the intrinsickness

the Intrinsickness

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Donne Sali


With this year’s bumper crop of hot chilies coming in extra spicy and all at once, its good to have a way to preserve that summer heat all year long. These photos are from last year’s crop. I had so many peppers last year that I still have a jar of this chili paste, even though I gave over half the chili paste away to anyone brave enough to take it. One of the biggest problems with growing hot…

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Filed under cherry peppers chili chili paste chili peppers donne donne sali edible food gardening guam habanero heat my garden peppers preserves recipe spices spicy sriracha summer summertime

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summer suns

To me nothing says summer like sunshine and sunflowers.

The living’s easy and the veggies are free.

Stay tuned for a recipe of what you can do with all those hot chilis you’re growing.

Posted for the DP Weekly Photo Challenge – Summer Lovin

Summer Suns To me nothing says summer like sunshine and sunflowers. The living’s easy and the veggies are free.

Filed under bhut jolokia cayenne chilis DP challenge flowers garden garden photography photography plant postaday summer sun sunflower weekly photo challenge

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Expect the Unexpected

Carl Sagan“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.”
― Carl Sagan (via Goodreads)

In sixth grade science students are still learning the basics of the scientific process, which in our curriculum involves six steps: problem, hypothesis, materials, procedure, data, conclusion. We really try to hammer home all these parts in sixth grade, so that in seventh and eighth they can begin designing…

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Filed under carl sagan education expect the unexpected expectations hypothesis middle school question quote science scientific method teaching unexpected

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Pass the Ketchup

 We’d been driving all day by the time we pulled into town, and my dad was even more pissed off than normal. We were all hungry and tired. The motel sign read no vacancy, and the only restaurant still open was a hole in the wall Chinese joint.

“What the hell is this?” he asked. “First no fries or cheeseburgers, and now this shit?”

“They’re chopsticks, dad. Use them to pick up your food, like…

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Filed under chinese food chopsticks flash fiction friday fictioneers microfiction photo prompt road trip short story sriracha story

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Dinner Theatre

It seems like every time I visit my mother I arrive during a meal, usually dinner. My mom always asks me to pull up a chair to the table and eat, offering to share her plate of food with me, but I always feel as though I will interrupt the normal ritual with this little intrusion. There is something comforting in such daily routines, especially for people suffering from dementia, and I don’t want…

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Filed under aging alzheimers audience care home characters dementia dinner dinner theatre dinnertime family fiction mom play tragicomedy visit

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In case you didn’t know, I teach middle school. I also started and continue to run a school garden at my school. We have a summer watering schedule,  and students and parents have volunteered to come and water the portions of the garden over the summer months. But I still like to stop by every couple weeks and check on how things are going, to make sure the equipment is still there, and make sure nothing is broken or destroyed. Unfortunately, vandalism is a big problem when you leave an area of a school open to the public. Sometimes it seems that teenager’s favorite way to enjoy something is to destroy it. This summer though, so far so good.

In my own garden that I see everyday, the growth and changes are subtle and hard to appreciate. But not seeing the school garden for weeks at a time, the growth and changes are much more dramatic. These are some photos from my last visit.

Now if we could just keep all the other garden pests out.

Flowers in the School Garden In case you didn’t know, I teach middle school. I also started and continue to run a school garden at my school.

Filed under education floraphilia flowers garden garden photography gardening nature photography plants school gardens summer teaching

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The Hoarding Gene

After my mom died we realized the extent of her hoarding. Rooms stacked with boxes in boxes, years worth of newspapers, closets that spilled out like avalanches when opened. Most items made no sense.

My wife suggested a dumpster. It felt a shame to throw it all away, a lifetime of memories tossed. In one room we uncovered a forgotten memento from my childhood that I wanted to keep.  My wife…

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Filed under death dumpster fiction friday fictioneers genetics hoarding microfiction photo prompt ram story throw it all away

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Screen shot 2014-07-14 at 10.33.05 AM

“Isn’t he adorable?” my wife asked, holding up the fuzzy little muppet like it might be a puppy or a teddy bear. It was a koala bear, which she apparently purchased at a garage sale. Not a stuffed koala bear with big, cute Pokemon eyes, but a living, breathing, agitated marsupial. The eyes were not over-sized anime eyes, but rather the beady little eyes of a heartless troll. It looked at me and…

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Filed under adoption angry koala children family flash fiction garage sale infertility koala koala bear marriage marsupial monday flash short story stitch story

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flora (ˈflôrə) noun; the plants of a particular region, habitat, or geological period

-phile: (combining form) denoting fondness, esp. an abnormal love for a specified thing.

I live in California. I grow plants and take photos. I run a school garden and teach Science. I am a floraphile.

Screen shot 2014-07-13 at 10.08.18 AMThis is the tagline for my Tumblr, which is where I post about my adventures as a plant fanatic. It started from a New Year’s resolution in 2012, and this Tumblr essentially jumpstarted my floundering creative potential. It started out with me just sharing other people’s photos of plants, and then I soon began taking my own photos. Then I got a better camera and started taking better photos. I tried to capture the photographic evidence of the beauty I witnessed in my own garden. I wanted that sense of calm and serenity I feel in the garden to be delivered through my photographs. Not sure if I can succeed in this, but I keep trying.

Just the act of creating my own content soon led to other things. Soon the writing began. Then a workshop, an online course, a novel in progress, a slew of potentially mediocre short stories. Then this wordpress blog happened because I needed somewhere to put all these extra words. Frankly, the wordy posts I had been composing about my plants hadn’t exactly proved popular on Tumblr, and every time I posted a short story at least ten people immediately unfollowed me. I have a sneaking suspicion that many of the people that use Tumblr are illiterate, but I’ll be damned if they don’t like a pretty picture of a succulent. So now, I’ll just have to subject the blogoshpere of wordpress to all my rants, raves, and unfortunate literary transgressions. I apologize in advance.

Meanwhile, please enjoy these photos from my garden. This is a collection of some of the most popular photos I posted this week.

Originally posted on

Floraphilia flora (ˈflôrə) noun; the plants of a particular region, habitat, or geological period -

Filed under blogging botany creativity flora florafile floraphilia flowers garden garden photography gardening humor photography popular succulent succulents tumblr writing