Friday, May 30, 2008

Universe Delivers

Yesterday, at around 2:30, after the delivery truck experienced some difficulties, we pulled off 9 carts of hanging baskets, perennials, geraniums and one cart with 30 Bubblegum Pink Supertunias. I also asked the Universe for Diamond Frost and Bacopa for Leslie's order and that came also. I didn't know she needed yellow straw flowers so we didn't get them.

I was working on the perennial yard plants until 3:30 and then decided to get the 15 window boxes worked up and out of the way. I had to mix soil and get that all straightened away and had to keep my eye on customers who were helping themselves to my plants while I worked. Oy! I finished up at around 5:30 (an hour after my scheduled quitting time) an then proceeded to spend all I earned yesterday -- on plants for my own garden.

My friend Kay emailed me about a good deal on travel with AirTrans so I have to go on the website and buy some tickets for my next trip to Atlanta.

Slambo is coming home this afternoon after a week with her grandfather. She had a good visit but it was difficult for her to see how he lives. Asleep by 9 and not up till noon. My dad stopped going to the exercise classes for pulmonary upper body strength and has been getting progressively weaker. No muscle mass. And he has always suffered from depression and refuses to take the "mood" pills his doctors recommend. He says they make him feel "strange". I guess feeling good instead of depressed is "strange".

I'm tired. I'm supposed to be working in my garden but all my muscles ache from working seven days straight. I need one day of rest. I think I need to work on evening out my farmer tan while I sip coffee on the back stoop. So that's what I intend to do. See you later.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

What is Happiness?

My Painter's Key mentioned that some author thinks happiness is over rated. This author believes that unhappiness, sadness, morose thinking are more creative (introspective) and help artists examine their lives. Happy people don't examine their lives and therefore don't create as much art. Good art. The author says happy art isn't good art.

In general, I believe we are as happy as we want to be (excluding those with depression). What I mean is, if you expect to be happy, then you will be. If you expect to be unhappy, disgruntled, paranoid, distrustful or angry -- you will be.

Today someone asked if I was happy with my life. (yes, people say these things to me). And then I read this letter about happiness. Synchronicity. The Universe is speaking to me.

Yesterday I picked up a book sale gardening book from the 1950's. Flower Gardening. I opened the book to "flowers for a wet/bog area" and read about that. Know what? Today a woman comes over to me at work and asks if I know of any plants good in a bog situation. Yes, I do. AND I had a lengthy discussion with a customer about Ornamental Dahlias. No such thing in any book. She described a dark leaved dahlia with dark red flowers. THEN, as I walked out of work at 5 pm I look down on the floor and sitting there, where it hadn't ever been, was a dark, almost purple leaved dahlia. Red flower. Tag reads Dahlia: Decorative. Spooky, huh?

Things like this are happening to me on a regular basis. Like every day. It's like the Universe is closer now that I am outdoors and in contact with the sun, plants, water and air. Ask the Universe for what you want and it will deliver.

What I need right now--for customer's orders: dark purple Supertunias, Bubblegum Pink Supertunias (enough for 15 window boxes), white Bacopa and Diamond Frost. Oh, and some more white spreading verbena. And I need this stuff to be on tomorrow's truck which should arrive just after I punch in on the timeclock so I can grab it and hide it under the potting table until I can make up the window boxes. Please? Or Thursday. If you need more time, Universe. I'm off Friday to Monday. Don't bring it then.

And Friday, Saturday and Sunday I will be planting my vegetable garden and restacking the wood pile. I hit it while backing the truck up. All that work my son and G did, stacking the wood. All tumbled over. Trifocal glasses make for poor depth perception. I have no idea where the back end of the truck actually is. Until it hits the woodpile.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Good Stuff

Today I wore shorts to work. Men's cargo shorts. It was hot and sunny at work and I spent most of my day watering in the greenhouse or out in the perennial yard. Oh, the questions I was asked today. Amazing. I know the answers. Usually. Euphorbia equals spurge. I'm learning my Latin. Working again tomorrow. And we are having a "free lunch" for the holiday. Someone is making Whoopee Pies. I love a good Whoopee Pie. Chocolate cake circles with creamy frosting inside.

I remembered the granular sulfur I promised a customer. She lamented the need to buy a nine dollar bag of sulfur so she could dose her new hydrangea with one teaspoon. I said, come back next week and I will have sulfur for you. I purchased a bag years ago to mix a rose potion for my roses. It included iron which is a heavy metal and SO NOT healthy to be mixing. Anyway, this morning I got a sandwich bag and carried it out to the garage with me. Collected about a 1/2 cup (for years of deep blue flowers) and then carried my lunch, coffee and sulfur out to the truck. Yes. I get to drive the truck to work!!!! My customer said "what can I give you for this?" and I said, nothing. It is enough that I remembered. I was so proud of that.

Yesterday I fell asleep while watching Law and Order. I never do that. Now I do. This is what happens when you spend 8 or 9 hours a day, outside the house. Outdoors. Fresh air. Weather. Walking. Carrying stuff. Bending over. Reaching over your head. Good Stuff.

What's Good: My daily lunch of carrot sticks, hummus to dip the carrots in and a Yumbo. Ham, american cheese melted on a bun. Burger King used to sell them in the 1970's. My kids and I loved them and I always made them for the children as a special dinner when it was just the three of us eating. Now I have one every day for lunch. It took a while for me to find the perfect lunch. Some choices left me feeling too full and others--hungry (terrible!) This lunch is "just right". My second favorite is vanilla yogurt, Grape Nuts and dried sweet cranberries. The Grape Nuts get all soft and gooey after it sits for awhile (4 hours or more). I also like a carrot stick and Romaine salad with Ranch Dressing and some toasted bread. The more chewing involved--the happier I am. Clean sheets on the bed.

What's Not Good: Mosquitos.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Stoop Step 2

I published this once and the second time is never as "fresh", so bear with me. this is the back stoop where I get my suntan. I call it the "Provencal Coast". The original stoop, portion closest to the house (duh), was too far from the lawn and one (me) had difficulty making the transition, especially with a young dog. A stoop step was needed.

G built one while I was at work and was quite proud of it. I thought it too shallow at the back and still too deep at the front. I needed a hand UP to get on the step. so G had to take it apart and re-build it. Now it is perfect. I can go up and down easily, the dog likes to sit on the lower section, and I have room for two planter boxes on the ends. Keep me from falling off the side.

Later today I plan to plant the boxes up with Supertunias (sky blue), Million Bells (lemon yellow), Tiddlewinks (bright gold), Verbena in raspberry with a pot of Diamond Dust (dark green leaves and tiny sparkling white flowers). Everything has a spreading growth pattern so the boxes should become quite luxuriant with enough Miracle Grow.

I am going to get my nails done today and I need another haircut. In three weeks, my hair has grown like crazy. G says that's what happens in a greenhouse. So I guess I am fertilizing myself as well as the plants.

I also have two Nikko Blue hydrangeas to plant and sulfur to add to the soil (I must remember to take some sulfur to work for a customer), and a Nova Zema (dark red) rhodie to plant and one to transplant. I also have some plants in a plastic bag that overwintered in the garage. They are sprouting leaves. A plant that vigorous, well, I need to plant it. Astilbe. The geranium I got from a friend didn't make it so I think I will buy one from work-- Brookside which is an improved Johnson's Blue. I love blue flowers. And pink roses.

We finally got some yellow Moonbeam yarrow at work, so tomorrow I will buy some of that also. I want to buy Flax. But it never lives. I need to throw down some Rose Campion seeds so I can have flowers NEXT year. Biennial. Yellow, blue and magenta. My garden colors. And I have a "truckload" of weeding to do. And it still hasn't rained so the dirt is rock hard. Not good weeding. G is thinking of installing (building) an over head irrigation sprinkler like we have at work. Timing is the key to this kind of system. The leaves have to be able to DRY completely before it gets cool in the afternoon.

What's Good: A customer asked for Radish Flats. Started radish plants. Isn't that cute? Then later in the day another asked for Carrot Flats. I gently told them they had to use seeds. The old fashioned way to garden. Mail from Dianne in Hawaii. Thank You!!!! Can't wait to have time to sew this up. Day Off.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Something New

I bought a number of things at a fall plant sale (half price) and planted them into the newly de-weeded front bed. Now they are coming up and I don't have name tags. This looks interesting. Big leaves eventually with fall color. Right now it's producing a flower. I have it planted with Heuchera in the dark toasty color. I wish I had gotten the dark purple/red now.

I have borrowed the most amazing plant book from the library. Hardy Plants. And the amazing part: no Latin names in the index. I have begun to learn the Latin names (still can't pronounce them correctly) and try and keep up with the customers who want to use only Latin. But it is so trying. Valerian. Jupiter's beard.

Yesterday I worked my way through eight tables of perennials. Putting them in order as listed in the plant catalog. This is the way I work. Call me crazy. I have a bazillion more tables to sort today and on into the future (June). And the plant truck is disgorging more plants at 11am. I hope the Astilbe I ordered in abundance is on the truck. And the deep red tuberous begonias I ordered for a customer. In four inch pots. And the Rose Campion I ordered (Lychnis) for a customer and myself.

My socks are already wet and I haven't even left the house. I watered my own plants and dribbled water on my foot.

What's Good Today: Riley went to day care so G could finish wrapping the hot water pipes. I am stopping at Wendy's for a Taco Salad for my lunch later today (2 or 3 pm). The sun is shining. I have on long sleeves under a short sleeve tee. So I can "be one with the temperature" outdoors and in the greenhouse. The wind blows in off the ocean and it gets cold outside. I painted my 12 by 12 piece this morning and made photocopies of the quilting pattern and have decided on "text" for the background. Coming together. Used the remaining paint to paint a small piece of fabric. Waste not. Indian dinner with friends tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


My clivia finally bloomed. Not orange as I expected but a lovely yellow tinged with peach. I'm now wondering if this is one of the expensive yellow cultivars. I came by this plant in the usual way -- for me. It was left to die in the sun on a refrigerator at work. I watered it whenever I happened to go in the breakroom (not often enough). Eventually, I asked who owned it and convinced them to let me take the plant home to care for it. The owner could have it back when they wanted it back. It's been three, maybe four years. Plant is huge. Happy. Ready to make a flower. Sounds familar?

Work is busy, dirty and crazy. It's that time of year. Planting time. And today is the last chance of a hard frost so the geranium buying can begin and all those pots of geranium, spike and vinca can be assembled and put out on the steps. Let the summer begin! Go petunias! Supertunias.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Pick Um Up

We finally have a truck. We had been wanting a small pick up for nearly as long as we had been thinking about a family dog. Now we have both. Life is good.

I uncovered the garden yesterday to let it get rained on, ready for planting later in the week. The last lunar chance for a hard frost (full moon) is on the 20th. Then we can let the gardening roll on. G moved my seedlings into the little plastic, zip up greenhouse. Nice and warm and moist in there. He has to remember to water in there at least twice a day. Warm means dry.

Have been writing in my pen & paper journal the last two days-- feels good. I came up with my idea for the 12 by 12 water challenge. I just need to make large copies and transfer them to fabric. Just. It's a very good idea. Let's see if I have the skill to execute.

Breakfast is ready. Excellent biscuits. Red grapefruit. Big House coffee from Wicked Joe's. Happy Sunday y'all!

Friday, May 16, 2008


That's how many times I've written to you. Sometimes posting is the very best part of my day. Sometimes it's the time when I "let go" of what is bothering me and connect with someone else for just a little while. The blog is my best friend, sort of.

Today was my day off. I was so very tired yesterday. I just wanted to shower and climb into bed. This morning was better. I got to sleep until 8 am and have breakfast with G & Riley and then walk Riley with my walking buddy. Yah! She's back! We walked and talked and had such a good time. I have missed her. She's here until October. Lots of good walks.

It's going to rain for the next few days so I should uncover the garden beds, fertilize the rhubarb and plant my cucumber and squash seeds in little pots. Almost time to start the garden. If I was into cold crops of broccoli, cabbage and lettuce then I would already be gardening. I've tried all three and it wasn't such a "good thing" for me. The grew just great. But the eating didn't do much for me. Not enough broccoli and the cabbages were bitter. The lettuce bolted. So I grow what tastes good.

I worked on my suntan today. Even out the "farmer" tan that I get at work. I have a square of fabric I fold and tie (like on Survivor) and get a strapless tan. I also work on the tan on my legs incase I ever get brave (or stupid) enough to wear shorts. Not.

G bought a pick up truck yesterday. Used. Basic. Green. Riley & I went for a ride in it since I think it should be MY truck. I've been wanting a small truck for quite some time. To haul stuff. If there was stuff that needed hauling like cow manure, compost, rocks, dry wall. And stuff like furniture I find by the side of the road and want. Hard to haul stuff home in a sportscar, even with the top down. One chair. Small. Barely fits. I do like finding chairs by the side of the road. I like tables better. A sideboard would be heaven to find.

So now we have a truck. Driver and one more person or dog fit in the passenger section. No extended cab. 4 by 4. Crank windows. Classic.

Question: anyone ever mended (make watertight) a leaking plastic watering can? The reason I want to try to mend is that the cans (two) are French and you know I love all things French. One is cracked along a side seam and the other along the bottom seam. They were left out over the winter and ice must have frozen in them. Other than the two cracks, they are sound.

I have eaten all sorts of ridiculous food today, not enough to satisfy my hunger, but far too many calories. Why? Just careless. If I make a good lunch or supper, all is well. When I think a slice of bread and some cheese or peanut butter will be "good enough" --- well, that's when I go off the rails. And I haven't had enough to drink today. You can think you are hungry when you are just thirsty. Remember that. And drink something BEFORE eating what you shouldn't. Also, make something to eat that requires LOTS of CHEWING!

Okay, time for a bit of TiVo before bed.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Glorious Weather

The Maine Spring -first in the 16 years I have lived here- is absolutely glorious. Sun shining and blue skies. In the 60's each day. I know that most of you will think 60 degrees is still cold but here in Maine with a coastal sea breeze, 60 is wonderful. We are made of hardy stock.

The trees are slow to leaf out here on my property. One street over, it's a whole different climate. Leaves, tall peonies, daylilies in bloom. Riley is enjoying his invisible fence and roams freely, eating tree limbs, running through any standing water and helping the chipmunks sort through the compost for edibles. G has added to the "stoop" out back and we now have two levels and lots of room for visiting, suntanning and making cell phone calls.

My back is getting better. Always tough when I go from sitting to standing but then it eases up. I got the water plants all sorted out so I won't have to do that again. Lifting a water and rock filled pot is not a "good thing".

I'm making a list and planning to go to the grocery store after work. We have no bread, milk or sandwich ingredients. I've been eating my oatmeal without the usual "splash" of milk and I miss it. Today's lunch will be a skimpy sandwich and the last of the yogurt with Grape Nuts and dried cranberries. The dregs. I made cookies for G last night. No chocolate chips so I added Heath Bar bits and chopped pecans. Different.

The most beautiful hanging baskets came into the greenhouse yesterday. $30. I may buy one or take it's picture for you to see. Or both.

The front of my house looks very "ick" right now. The front door is the wrong color, the yews have been cut to the ground along the front porch (they were out of shape and scraggly), and the perennial beds need weeding and mulching. I need color and taller plants. My front yard needs a "makeover".

What's Good: I am enjoying my new camo cargo pants. Nice to have pockets for my box cutting knife, pruning scissors, latex gloves, kleenex and my Tootsie Pop. I love a Tootsie Pop while I water the annuals or sort the perennials. Knowing enough now to answer the phone at work. Potting window boxes. Having friends at work. Are we ever really happy at work without a relationship with co-workers? My walking buddy is back in Maine.

I'm working the weekend of the May all day Quilt-a-thon my chapter is having. It would have been great to get some stitching done in the company of fellow quilters. I have had time to ponder my future quilting adventures and I have a new direction. I just need time and space to get started. I haven't had time for my pen & paper journal either. Well, that's not exactly true. I do have time, I just am spending it weeding, staring off into space (thinking), or catching up on my TiVo watching. I finally watched last week's LOST. And I am in bed, asleep, by 10. I usually was up reading or watching tv until after midnight.

Got to get ready for work, water my plants, and pack my lunch. Oh, and make a shopping list.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Long Weekend

Worked Mother's Day weekend. Everyone in town must have gotten Mom something floral. We were very busy. And today, Monday, the mom's with gift certificates came in to shop. We get a big truckload of new plants every morning and rush to get everything put away.

G had the day off and came to work to have lunch with me. He brought sandwiches and we sat on the rock wall in the sunshine. Nicer than eating inside. I think I may have to do that more often.

I picked up a large waterlogged plant today and hurt my back. I walked the remainder of my work day to help ease the muscles. Now I'm taking a shower and will hope for the best. Sitting makes it much worse so no more blogging today. Hope you are enjoying a lovely May and digging in the dirt a bit.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Seedlings (Plants & Plans)

My tomato seeds are "big guys" now and I have them transplanted into quart pots. About 10 or 11 inches tall with nice thick stems. Too many. Yes, I've done it again. Raised too many tomato seedlings. And I am experimenting with my pepper plants. They will either do well or the stems will rot. One never learns anything if we don't try. My Morning Glories are twisting their tendrils around anything they can reach. The eggplant medley is slowly growing. Not enough heat.

The pupper and I are together today. Walks, gardening, and perhaps a ride in the car to the library where I will be returning books I have never had the chance to read. Up at 6 am and in bed by 10 pm. Not that I'm complaining. I feel great, full of energy. Laundry is getting done, meals are being prepared, plants are being watered.

I have some plans made for my perennial bed along the south side of the house. Originally this was a herb bed with some roses. Catmint, yarrow and false indigo. The indigo is still here but the yarrow and catmint are long gone. The roses all got "wet feet" and died. So today, and for many future days, I plan to just work from one end to the other and weed, dig and remove everything and start over. I do want to recreate the bones of this bed with double pink Knock Out Roses (hardy), yellow yarrow and catmint. My favorite bouquet is yarrow, the blue flowers of the catmint and pink roses. I also may keep ONE Lady's Mantle for the lime green feathery flower fronds. I also have Siberian Iris to plant. A lovely deep blue. So my garden will be pink, light to deep blue, yellow and lime green. No herbs. And I am determined to rid this bed of every stem of ajuga. Ugh!

My tulips are blooming in the vegetable garden. So pretty. And the deer can't reach them. I have new pots of thyme (ordinary and lemon), a new rosemary (forgot to bring it in before winter) and a spearmint which I will sink into the ground in a nice thick pot to keep it from going all over. I have oregano to transplant from the south east bed and I will see if the tarragon over wintered.

K and I could not believe Survivor last night. Erik. We were as speechless as the four women who worked him over. Innocent or stupid? The finest moment was when James chortled in pure joy that HE was no longer the "stupidest survivor ever". Ah, James, you are still MY favorite contestant. Rupert is now second. This may be the most intriguing season of Survivor with the fans of the show and veterans battling it out. No one is truly clueless (except for Erik) and we have heroic and underhanded play. Lots of lies. Blindsiding. Medical emergencies. Hard to say who is playing who right now. I hope Cerie wins. She has manipulated nearly everyone and has never won a challenge (or even come close), can't swim and is still wearing her gold watch and diamond rings. And she smiles sweetly through it all. Outwit, outplay, outlast. Go girls!

What's Good: My haircut. This maybe my favorite cut ever. Short, close to my head and the color (silver) is spectacular with the suntan I have now. Wash and comb with my fingers. I could never wear it this short when I was heavy. Sunshine (on a cloudy day). A whole day to just do or not do what I want. And the Greek lunch wagon in town is open and I think I will be getting a Greek Salad Gyro for lunch after I cash my paycheck and check out the resale store. I need some short sleeved or no sleeve tees.

Monday, May 05, 2008


I drove home today and the "performance" tires weren't. I mentioned to G that he should check the air in my tires. Turns out. The left rear was "flat as a pancake". G has no idea how I drove it home and why I didn't destroy the tire. Still could be destroyed. Big shiny screw embedded in the tread. See?

I read the manual and G changed the tire. Of course we had to FIND the spare first. It has it's own secret compartment under the car. Full of dirt. In ten years, we have never had cause to even look at it. Let alone, use it. It has warning labels, speed labels, buttons we "must" push etc. German safety and engineering. G will be driving it to the tire dealership. Not me. The manual says there will be steering and braking "issues" such as delayed stopping. Oy.

Happy Cinco de Mayo. We are having nachos with $4.99 chips. Well worth the money. Delicioso. With homemade guacamole with jalapenos. Margaritas? Yes, please.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

It's NOT Snowing

Cold, wet and cloudy. And I walked the dog twice today, twice yesterday, and twice on Friday. I had on a winter coat, wool scarf, hat and gloves. I have very little body fat left and no tolerance for cold, it seems.

This is my weekend OFF work but ON dog duty. G is having a terrible re entry to work after a week's vacation. Terrible. He is exhausted, depressed and ready to give up. Just when I was beginning to feel like things were getting better. NOT.

And I am feeling very violated. I wrote in my blog that I worked in a greenhouse. My instincts screamed "do not say anything" and my instincts were right. The person who reads my blog and made copies of entries relating to the library (and set my job loss there in motion) came to the greenhouse the day after my blog entry was made. She asked if I liked my new job. I don't remember what I replied. I felt like I was having a panic attack.

I don't feel the same about my blog anymore. I don't feel safe. I don't feel like I can be honest and free with what I write. I type and delete.

I'm very sad.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Vegetable Gardening

Today was my scheduled vegetable gardening "talk" at a local greenhouse. I had three handouts for each participant. One was a copy of the Master Gardener chapter on vegetables. In other words, more than they needed but some of everything on location, watering, soils and mulches. We also discussed moles, voles, grubs, composting, soil amendments, the size of slugs and recipes for food grown. I think every gardener is a good eater also. They took notes on the recipes.

I was hoping to have enough to say to fill a half hour. I ended up talking non stop for 2 hours. No one got up to leave. I am very proud of myself right now. They left to purchase soil, seedlings and soil test kits. As I was walking out of the classroom (the heated plastic greenhouse) I saw several groups chatting about their gardens. Information and a possible garden friend. Does it get any better?

They were even saying nice things at the cash register about the class. My boss will certainly be pleased with that--especially at the cash registers since it's a cold and rainy day today- sales are important.

I had to hurry home to walk the dog. We walked in a drizzly rain and on the last few blocks Riley carried a small sapling in his jaws, proudly, tail wagging. He's tired now and is probably chewing a hole in his bed. I caught him with a mouth full of fiber fill this morning and scolded him. I never know what he comprehends. He understands walk, lunch, dinner, drop it, ride and a few other things. We'll see if he understands no chewing.

He's in my face and wants to play. Guess I'm done blogging.