Some things are naturally nonconformist. When virtually all other plantlife here in this northern climate, indoors or out, is settling into its dormant period, the Schlumbergera -- often called Christmas cactus -- starts flashing its showy blossoms like a card trick. I noticed the first buds of the year on my plant when watering it last week, then this morning I saw that some blooms had already opened. At this rate, the performance may not last until Christmas, but then there will be bright holiday decorations to compete with. No, this plant is taking advantage of the dullness of November to strut its stuff on a stripped-down stage.