I spend A LOT of time at my kitchen sink. Cooking, cleaning, entertaining – everything begins and ends with the kitchen sink.

The kitchen sink is not glamorous. It’s not shiny like a refrigerator, or glowing like an oven. But without it, the kitchen would come to a standstill.

I remember growing up in an old farmhouse in Indiana that was so cold this time of year. I’d complain to Mom, and she’d tell me to put on a sweater. Which I would do and still be cold. So then I’d complain again and she would send me to do the dishes. “It’ll warm you up,” she’d say.

And she was right. To this day, whenever I’m cold, I go straight to the kitchen sink. I don’t have dishes to wash – because I have a dishwasher and I’m also a neat freak who does her dishes right after she uses them – but just standing there, running water over my hands, warms me right up.

This is Sam the Aloe. Did you know that folklore says that an Aloe in your kitchen will protect your home from fire?

In the past, I’ve also snapped of a branch of Aloe when I’ve burned myself cooking. Its salve soothes burns. But a few days ago, Mom told me that was a terrible idea. She’s an EMT and while I don’t see the harm in the Aloe, she was very against it. So I won’t use it for that – promise!

You’d think with all the time I spend at the kitchen sink, the plants on my windowsill would be lush and thriving. Not so much.

I always tell people that you should only have to check on your houseplants once a week. That’s for anything in a 6″ pot or bigger. For the little guys, they need a lot more care. As my friend Molly says, “they need a teaspoon of water every day.” I’m not good with the daily care, so I splash them every few days or whenever I remember.

They get really thirsty, then I panic and give them too big of a splash. Then their leaves get all spotty and gross. This is not the way to treat babies, folks.

I’m not proud of this, but I decided not to lie about it. I’m great at taking care of other people’s plants in my small plant care business, but once I’m home, sometimes I can barely muster the energy to take care of my own. And that sucks, because if they could talk, I bet they would cheer, “Liza’s home, Liza’s home” when I walk in the door.

Ok, now this cute little gal is a Moonflower. I’ve never tried to grow one before so she’s an experiment. I planted her from seed, and she’s starting to climb.

I don’t know what possessed me to make lattice out of straws and yarn, but whatever. She seems to like it.

I could post these photos and thoughts and tell you that I’m the greatest plant expert ever. But it’s not true. I decided to start this blog to show people that having relationships with houseplants is intimate and rewarding. But just as relationships between humans sometimes go wrong, so do relationships with plants.

I’m hoping with your help, I can get this Moonflower to thrive. Who’s cared for one before, and what advice can you give me? I’m going to set all of my windowsill plants on a schedule – Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Those are the days I’ll check on them, and this time I’ll be disciplined about it. Hopefully in the coming months, I can show you Moonflower blossoms. Wouldn’t that be nice?