Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Pink Poppies

Returned because they were the "wrong" color. I think the label mentioned their pink qualities. Perhaps the gardener/owner needed some cash for a Starbucks run and therefore needed to dig up and return (for cash) her flowers. This reminds me of the guy who comes in each year around now to get his "money back" because his patio tomato plant is "too big". He doesn't bring the plant (loaded with tomatoes) back, he just asks for the $34.99 back. Last year they called me to the front counter and I refused to refund without the plant. He said he didn't want to dig it up. I said, then you like the plant? Yes. But it's not a patio tomato. Then return it? No. I said come back with the plant and I will happily give you a refund. Until then, no.

This guy buys the expensive $34.99 potted tomatoes and then comes in, every year to get his money refunded. Free Tomatoes. Quite a little scam he is running with a company that wants it's customers to be "happy". I'm all for making them happy, but he has to dig up and return the offending "too big" tomato.

I played "What Is It?" with any number of customers yesterday. Goofed on the Sweet Fern but got just about everything else right. Lots of customers with Oriental and Asian lilies finding the red lily beetle on their plants. Leaves eaten and brown piles of larva and poop. I've viewed these lilies on a few blogs lately, and, I am wondering when the red beetle will destroy them. The beetle is here in Maine and along the eastern coast but perhaps hasn't reached Tennessee yet. But it will. And there is no way to kill it.

I have planted a few items across from the stoop. A little "white garden" of Moonflower and Nicotiana Sylvestrii. I want to purchase an Arctic Queen Clematis to go with these two plants but can't justify it to myself. I may add some white impatiens. A low ground cover of pure white. And there were some broken bags of cow manure at work yesterday that I should have purchased. Duh!

The roofers arrived at 7 am and began setting up and getting ready to do the bedroom wing. It's cooler today, with sunshine so a very nice work environment for them. Even a slight breeze to keep the bugs moving. Riley goes out to check on things frequently and then back inside to check on me. My day off. I'm finishing my coffee and cereal and will then work on the legal document. Procrastination. And I will finish shredding my dad's files. I hauled so much paper from his house to mine. Just in case. But I think old utility bills and Medicare stuff can be shredded. The last, lingering medical bills were handled months ago.

So, my day stretches out in front of me. Free at last to read, drink iced tea and perhaps close my eyes and just breathe in and out. Rest. A day of "retirement".

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Blue, Blue View, Again

Not as pervasive as last winter. Just the sun porch today. The roofers are tearing off one side of the garage wing and hoping it doesn't rain. G cut back all the shrubs so they have a clear path of perhaps four feet in width to work from. Makes it easier than fighting with bushes all day. They covered all the greenery to protect it from shingles. Riley has barked himself silly over them. Now, he is quiet. I think he remembers that roofers have coffee. They poured coffee into the snowbanks last winter and he would hurry out to chew and lick the coffee soaked ice. He will lap up coffee out of my mug if I set it where he can reach, by mistake.

Riley seems better today. Not so much foot licking.

I was up early again this morning after a fitful night's sleep. Dreaming again of living in Europe. Big, gray concrete apartment. People I didn't care for. Everything colorless. I probably woke up early so as to end the dreaming. Are dreams messengers?

I accomplished nearly everything on my Sunday to do list except for the legal paper for my daughter. Slipcovers changed, furniture rearranged, stuff removed like the Christmas wreath and antique quilt hung behind the sofa. Everything vacuumed. Now I want to wash the kitchen floor. I'm totally caught up on the laundry. I even have the used slipcovers washed and dried. I have my work clothes in the dryer right now--as I spilled coffee on them on the way home.

Yesterday a customer returned plants she dug up out of her garden. They weren't the right "colors". She bought them, planted them, let them grow and then decided to return them and get her money back. I was speechless. And on our newly constructed road, all four lanes were open for traffic this week and an ambulance with flashing lights and siren was trying to get through. Do you think any of the big SUV's would move over? The truck in front of me and me (of course) pulled over to the side and were PASSED by the SUV's behind us. Finally, the ambulance drove into the oncoming lanes of traffic rather than try and get past the idiots on my side of the street. During all the construction, I often wondered what would happen if there was an ambulance or fire engine trying to get past. Our fire station is just up from the construction site. Now I know.

We have a multi million dollar "secondary" fire station on this road. They had to build a big station to hold the 800K new truck, the 800k plus Tower One (to reach third floor fires in a town with only two story buildings) and the even more expensive Hazmat truck. Nearly three million dollars worth of fire trucks that don't go anywhere. We hardly ever have a fire. And no Hazmat incidents other than the drunk boater who filled his boat with gasoline instead of the boat's gas tank. Tower One is so heavy it gets 3 MPG and goes out on fender bender calls.
Actually, now that our town has a rule that a fire truck has to go out to all motor vehicle accidents, the trucks do get some time on the road. And, they do roll all these new trucks out of the fire station in the mornings and turn on all the lights and leave them out there flashing away for quite some time. Festive. Riley's doggie day care is nearby so I get to witness all the light flashing. Frequently. Really, really stupid. I live and pay taxes in one of the stupidest Towns in America. AND, they plan to spend 5 million on another CENTRALLY located station. AND, 6 million on a brand spanky new Police Station. You really would assume from all this that we have fires blazing up several times a day. And, that the police did more than race to Papa John's for pizza. Go ahead, call them--see if they say they are "too busy" to come help you! It's an event to see a Police Car. All brand new by the way.

I have a lunch date with a friend on Thursday of this week and a penciled in date with another friend on Wednesday to just sit and talk. I haven't been free to do these things since March, so I am looking forward to more time with my girlfriends. Thursday is Canada Day and my friend is Canadian. So we will celebrate the day together. I like holidays. And Fourth of July is coming up. In Maine we have Winter, Mud Season and the Fourth of July. We didn't have much Winter. No Mud Season. And now you have to worry about the Fourth of July being a disappointment. Global Warming is hitting Maine pretty hard this year. We had Spring and that never happens. And the Spring we had was sunny and very warm. Freaky.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Leaf Challenged Orange Tree

Look how many leaves my little tree has now! It's been out on the stoop in the rain and sun and all kinds of leaves are popping out. Now, we need to make a flower and some oranges. I'm a real task master, huh?

I left for work this morning and it was cold and pouring down rain. Then it was drizzling. Then, from one moment to the next the whole temperature changed from cool to steaming hot and humid. Thank goodness the sun was only out for a few minutes. THAT would have been horrible. Like hell. I kept taking layers off and finally added bug spray. Summer.

The roofers were supposed to begin working on my house this morning. Not happening due to all the rain. Riley split one of his nails horizontally and spent most of Sunday licking his paw.
Never napped or anything so he was very, very tired. We finally gave him a Rimadyl pain pill and he fell asleep. Slept until this morning. I took him to our Vet and now Riley has more Rimadyl and will be pain free until the nail breaks off. The Vet offered to sedate Riley and pull the nail off. We decided not to do that.

Much discussion today @ work regarding asking for a pay raise. We don't get performance reviews or annual raises. We don't get anything at all. A co-worker mentioned she didn't want to ask and take the chance of not getting a raise. Because then she would have negative feelings about her employment and that wouldn't be good. Have any of you been in a situation like this? What have you done?

The high school loader boys get 25 cents less than I get per hour. They don't know the answer to any questions and can't make a window box look wonderful with a budget of $20. They can lift 50 to 100 pound bags, dig holes for trees and carry purchases out to people's cars. They also get tips. I think I am the only greenhouse employee repotting plants who has NOT gotten a tip. And they get "folding" money. Not that I want a tip, but really, wouldn't you tip the person doing the most professional job? Or do you tip the college age guy who is really trying hard to not mess up? Perhaps, I should act nervous?

My horoscope says I should "clear away self-limiting assumptions I have made about my life" and move forward. All well and good if I had any idea what these assumptions are. You have been reading for years now--what are my self limiting assumptions?

This post is turning out to be an essay exam isn't it. Well, sharpen your pencils and get started with the answers.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Why Are We Awake So Early?

There was nothing to watch on television last evening, we had eaten, showered and looked at the computer. So G suggested calling it a day at 9.45. When you do that, the dog wakes up at 5.45 and wants to go out, eat breakfast and then go back out to sit on the wet stoop and hope a squirrel or bird comes close enough for a good game of "run really fast". That leaves me sitting here in a daze. I am not EVER up at this time. And certainly never drinking coffee.

I have been surfing the internet for about 90 minutes and it is unusually boring. None of my favorites have posted--they are obviously "having summer" and not just working all the time like I am. Friday was interesting at work. Saturday was not. The gardening season is definitely rolling to a close. Now we are entertaining the people "with nothing else to do".

My roof shingles have been delivered. Anytime now the crew will appear and start banging, thumping and tearing the old roof off and putting the new one on. Thursday morning (up early again) my cross the street neighbor was mentioning how much she liked the look of my roof (!) and the way the shingles looked. I said they were "architectural shingles". Hers are flat. Mine have a raised "definition". Mine are much more expensive. The delivery guy said the new shingles have a 30 year warranty but should last up to 45. The ones on the roof right now made it to 26 years. And I think most of the damage to the shingles was done by my husband. He walked/climbed up on the the roof without putting down any protective surface and broke shingles etc. There is noticeable damage everywhere he went over the 20 years we have lived here. And we have algae. The new shingles have algae "guard". We won't ever need to do this again, unless we live to be 100 and are still able to live here unassisted. Our children will be nearly 80 years old by then. Not much help.

I have two things to do today. A bank/inheritance matter for my daughter and cleaning the floors. I like bare feet in the summer and the floors are not in bare feet condition.

Three things. I should change to the summer white duck slipcovers on the sofas. Which will involve much furniture moving, dusting, vacuuming etc. Then more laundry. Hell, why not.

G wants to carry the new grill down from the attic. We carried it up there a few years ago after he bought it and I didn't think we needed a new grill (we had just bought new heating things for the old grill). So, it was not a happy time. And I doubt that carrying the grill down stairs and assembling it will be a happy time. But it's rainy and the grass isn't going to get mowed and the weed whacking isn't going to get done and the clover isn't going to get removed from the remaining perennial bed. And I am going to be doing floors and slipcovers. And I am going to be very tired and cranky from being awake since 5.45. And I work tomorrow and the next day.

The native strawberries are red but they are very sour. The little wild ones were very tasty. Oh, well. I had wanted strawberry shortcake.

I'm going to see if I have enough flour to make biscuits for breakfast and then see if I still have buttermilk. The pantry is getting down to the nub as they say. Hope the sun is shining at your house.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Breakfast Bowl

Store brand mini shredded wheat with unsweetened soy milk. Why do they flavor and sweeten soy milk? It has no taste. Meaning a taste/flavor that needs to be hidden. And the addition of "cane syrup" really defeats the "organic" ness of the soy milk. And vanilla milk?

I have gotten two deliveries of Publix Rich & Creamy coffee creamer. They have switched from the nice blue cap to a gold cap and have also changed the creamer. It is no longer rich & creamy, smooth and white. It is grainy and beige and is sending Coffeemate vibes. I am not amused. And my coffee isn't as wonderful.

I can no longer get the wonderful cotton v-neck tee shirts I love. I can't find underpants that I love. Now, my favorite creamer (the one I even pay a baggage fee for when I fly to places that have a Publix) isn't the same. I've given up on finding a comfortable bra. I can understand why older people stop buying or wearing new things and wear threadbare undies and clothes. I am bleaching my clothes more now--to try and make them look cleaner and less spotted. I have spots on the fronts of nearly all my vintage white tees.

Yesterday I visited Goodwill looking for light, sleeveless cotton shirts with collars. I found one and went to try it on as it looked a bit skimpy. I stood in the dressing room and stared in amazement at the old, fat, lumpy woman who was in there with me, trying on a similar shirt.

Reality Check! What the hell has happened to me this summer? I could understand this if I was drinking beer and eating bacon cheeseburgers with fries. I'm eating fricking yogurt with frozen raspberries. Soy milk and cereal. We haven't had pasta or pizza in weeks. I'm working 4 to 5 days a week lifting things and never sitting down. On my days off I have laundry, gardening, hauling bags of manure to the garden and I look like I never lift anything other than candy bars while reclined on the sofa.

Old. Fat. Lumpy. And my toes are all gnarled and deformed. When did that happen? I used to get them painted red for the summer. How ridiculous. Now I try, but rarely succeed, to get all the dirt off my feet after working outside all day. I even soak and scrub them. Still dirty. I will have to go back to wearing socks. Then I'll have filthy socks instead.

G was up very early this morning. The morning shift manager (new) was late showing up. G left without eating breakfast. Now I'm up early also and will be going out to do some gardening left over from yesterday and then a shower and off to work. I already did two loads of wash,changed the sheets, dog bed covers and made coffee, ate breakfast, made my lunch and it's 8.25. I'm not exhausted yet, but by 2 or 3 pm I will have lost the will to continue working. I work until 6 this evening. If we were still open until 7, I would kill myself.

Tonight's dinner is red ripe local tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil and balsamic vinegar with olive oil. Tuscan boule to sop up the juices. Simply divine.

It rained hard enough yesterday that I don't have to worry about watering the garden. The lawn people covered the grass with some natural gluten weed killer and requested we water (we never do) and it rained so that's all well and good. I guess. The dryer just buzzed. Got to get moving.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

My Box of Books & Assorted Other Stuff

These are the books I am keeping until the next book sale. I may keep some of them longer, especially the block printing on fabric and the how to silk screening book. No novels. I chose from the three sections I normally unpack each year. Gardening, Cooking. How to/Hobbies. My daughter unpacks Biography, Mystery, Science Fiction & True Stories.

This is post 823. I have 190 days to write 177 posts in order to reach my goal of 1000 by the end of 2010. I am doing some record keeping today. Tidying the desk top.

Are you one of the Chosen? Do you randomly look at the clock to find it at 11:11? I do. Today the phone rang and by the time I answered, no one was there and I glanced at the clock--11:11 and it had just changed to that time. I stood and looked at the numbers wondering where I had read about the few who have been "chosen" for something with 11:11 being their only indication of their status. Once upon a time I would stop and have to look at the digital clock --always at 11:11. It got to be very spooky. But, I didn't know then, that it had any meaning. I guess I still don't know, since I can't remember what I read.

And the reason this is very odd, I never wear a watch or pay any attention to time. At work, I have to be reminded to stop for lunch or go home. Time is not relevant. Unless I am cooking or baking and then I set a timer. If I travel with people, I wear my wind up watch. So I can meet them for the ride home. I have had my wind up watch for nearly 30 years. A Cartier Tank.
Crocodile band. Gold case. I washed it in the German washing machine once. Cartier fixed it free of charge. Replaced the blue stone. I love winding it.

Rose Campion

A biennial perennial. How's that for confusing? This plant makes a rosette the first year and flowers the second, sending out seeds to make next years's rosettes. If you don't mulch around the plants, and give the seeds a chance to germinate (meaning aren't in there weeding and cultivating) you, like me, will always have a few of these tall silver leafed plants in your garden. They are easy to transplant from where they rosette to where you want them to flower. I even have a pure white one in the vegetable garden. The deep magenta are my favorites. This year I have a nice bed of them-- a sweep of rose campion -- in the bed next to the back stoop. So far, I have managed to have a lovely "sweep" of two different blooms. The Bachelor Buttons and now the Rose Campion. Today I am adding Penstemon to the mix and one bold Zebrina hollyhock.

I have been looking my book sale books over and already have several disappointing choices. The French Table is all about pottery. I had hoped for something else. The slow cooker recipes aren't all that interesting. A Gee's Bend look a like collection is second rate. I am not sure about the Zen Bowls book. I don't have a lot of time to stand around at the set up to look at books. That would send a bad example to my volunteers. So, I have to choose fast. Get back to work. We'll just drop the mistakes off at the sale. Someone else can buy them.

G asked if I wanted to go somewhere for breakfast this morning. I replied, "that would involve getting dressed." A lazy day here I think. And a trip to the grocery store later in the day. Soy milk, yogurt, coffee. We'll be harvesting, washing and eating one or two of the heads of leaf lettuce from the garden today. So, I should purchase a meat to go with it. And I have good tomatoes from Walmart of all places and some fresh mozzarella and good bread would be wonderful with some garden picked basil leaves for tomorrow. The roadside stand has native strawberries now. I am enjoying them in my daily yogurt lunches.

Summer is upon us here in Maine. Cool nights. No air conditioning needed. And sunny, warm/hot days. Cool bright mornings with dew on the grass. Nice for dogs to roll around and chew on sticks. June in Maine is perfection (on the days I don't have to go to work). Like today. I'm going to enjoy our blue, blue sky.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

It's Raining

Book Sale set up today and the rain is a good thing. Means I am not feeling like I would rather be in the garden at home or at work. I'm not feeling the love this year. I may snap out of it once I see all the boxes full of books. Or not. I wish I had the crew from work coming in to do set up-- wowza, that would be something. Those gals and guys know how to get things done, fast. And then they party.

I have my Book Sale bag. My box cutter. My work gloves. A pen. Paper. Debating on whether I want to make coffee. Had the last of the soy milk with shredded wheat for breakfast. Supper last night was a sleeve of saltines (plain, with butter or with cheese) and a cup of coffee. Just took a big orange pill. Riley needs to be cross town at day care in the next little bit so I can be back on this side of town by 7.30/7.45. No time to make coffee.

My arm is looking kinda normal this morning. Skin isn't swollen or hot so perhaps the big fight between the insect bite and my white cells is over. I'm taking bug spray to the book sale as bug like rainy weather. I will be SO dirty by lunchtime.

I don't like working with the guy running the sale. Oil and water. He dithers and thinks everyone will do a good job and just "hopes" it all gets done. I kick butt.

And now I'm home again. 5 pm. No lunch but the "guy" bought me a coffee. It's done. It looks great. Less books but more in some sections which Haven't had this much in years--kind of threw me for a loop around 9 am.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Mary Rose

My David Austen Roses are in bloom. The Japanese Beetles aren't eating them, yet. All's well in my world on this first day of summer. Almost.

I was bitten on my right arm, by something, outdoors. And my arm was swollen, red, hot to the touch and itchy this morning. And the swelling became more and more pronounced and the skin filled with liquid and became "hard". By 12 noon, the cashiers had decided I needed to take Benadryl --2 tablets, and see if that helped. They also had me rest my arm on a bottle of frozen lemonade. I think the frozen bottle did help along with the drugs. I don't remember. I felt dizzy. And it was so damned hot at work and the sun was so hot outside. But I couldn't go home--as driving like that, "under the influence" isn't a good thing. So, I stayed at work and tried not to be too silly. By the time I got home, the swelling had gone done by 20%. My arm still itches but I can press on the skin and feel the bones under the skin. The skin around my elbow is red and rash like. G thinks it is a horse or deer fly bite. And I am allergic to whatever it is.

I had to stop at Wally World to pick up my pain pill prescription and buy a lemon after work so I could prepare lamb chops marinated in garlic, olive oil, rosemary and lemon juice for G. Wally World also had fresh asparagus so I bought a bunch to roast with olive oil and salt and pepper (425 for 25 minutes). I made wild and white rice for his starch. I had some of the curried squash rice I made (still too hot) some asparagus and a few chunks of granola. Still under the influence.

Now I am going to go fall asleep in front of the television. Working again tomorrow.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Fresh From Sifting Compost

And not the most flattering of double chins. I had no idea I had dirt on my nose, chin, neck, forehead and I have a picture of my dirty unattractive feet which I am saving for a winter post. Lord I need to be on a stricter diet!!! And my ears are enormous.

I shoveled and sifted three and a half big containers of lovely, lovely black gold out of my compost bins. G had to bag the grass clippings when he finally got to cut the grass today and I wanted to layer the fresh grass with the uncomposted stuff so I had to get moving. All the veg got a few handfuls of compost. And I shook the container over the chard and kale giving them a good sprinkle also.

Really, I can't describe how lovely that compost felt. Light, fluffy and rich in minerals and microbes and worms. The second compost bin now has the uncomposted stuff from bin one, mixed with fresh grass and the siftings of the compost. Sticks, rocks, and one coffee spoon. I was hoping the lost fork was in there, but no such luck. We take all that stinking, rotten veg, coffee and other stuff and let it sit in the bin with yard clippings and "stuff" and we get this earthy, clean, good smelling compost. It's a miracle. And it's been a good, long time since I sifted compost. Like two years.

G and I fill the little yellow compost pail once or twice a week depending on how much veg we peel and eat. Potato peels, apple peels. lettuce cores and bad leaves, banana peels, daily coffee grounds, spent flowers (usually roses), and I should remember to pour yogurt whey in the bucket. If we ate real eggs, there would be egg shells. We eat Egg beaters. I also pour the crumbs at the bottom of my cereal box into the compost container. I add used kleenex, paper towels, shredded junk mail, tea bags. Thin cardboard can also go in if you tear it into little pieces. It's all good. I'd love to convert everyone of you to making a compost bin and filling it with stuff you would normally send to the land fill. Maple leaves and grass clippings alone make a fantastic compost over the winter. Adding vegetable scraps and coffee grounds makes it even better. No meat. No fat (grease or oil). And salad doesn't mean leftover tuna salad.

Summer is a wonderful time to start as we are all eating corn on the cob, watermelon, salads, fruit. Making iced tea with 6 to 8 tea bags each time. Lots and lots of "garbage" can be moved directly to the compost pile. And in the fall when you clean up the flower gardens--all the clippings go right into the compost also! But NO weeds.

My household garbage bag contains styrofoam,used plastic bags, meat trimmings, dog hair and lint from the vacuum and we usually put a bag out every three or four weeks.

Clean plastic bags are folded and knotted for use when walking the dog. My recycle container is filled with thin cardboard boxes,cereal boxes (when I don't need them for cutworm collars on new plants) newspaper, yogurt containers, mail, magazines, catalogs, cans and glass jars. I could layer all the newspaper, magazines and catalogs in the garden and let them compost naturally but G doesn't like the way that looks. I had planned to try and layer the newspapers into the compost bins as a trial. I should have done that today. Darn.

G is ready for his ice cream so I'd best sign off and go eat some ice cream (as if I wasn't fat enough already!). Happy Father's Day.

Sunday Morning

Starting the day a bit rough. Back hurts which makes me feel sick to my stomach. I'm remembering the kidney thing and I know I didn't drink enough liquids yesterday and ate salty things. This is the result. I'll be making a large jar of water to drink during the day. I also am faced with making choices of just how much I can accomplish today. Weeds. Bills. Laundry. Garden. I feel I am pushing myself too hard. Trying too hard to be Super Joanne. And summer heat beats me down. I am a cold weather person. Heat drains me. All I want to do is recline somewhere cool and shady and drift off to dream land.

I also began the day with such lovely blog comments. Really. I was most interested in Diane's feeling that some change is coming like a storm. Do you think the combo of 911, the bank crisis, and now an oil disaster that will take 10, 20, 30 years or more to even begin to fix has made us feel less secure, less happy go lucky. America has been rather "happy go lucky" for a long, long time. Minus the Civil War, civil rights and Kennedy's death. Oh, and the Beatles.
The long hair which led to drugs and hippies.

The Book Sale is this week and I am having back pain. G says he thinks it's psychological. I don't want to do the book sale anymore and my body is manifesting back pain so I have a way to "stop". I do like emptying the boxes of cookbooks, gardening and how to. Those are subjects that I like. And now that I have had two big cups of coffee, the pain is gone. I am hydrated.

The daughter just called to see what we are doing today. Father's Day and she is invited to spend it with the boyfriend, his two boys, and his parents. I told her the truth. G doesn't even know it's Father's Day. He'll be okay with not spending the day with her. And, if I give him permission to bring the brand new grill down from the attic (where it's been for two or three years) he will be so very happy that he won't care where she is spending the day. And he may even load our old grill on the truck and take it to her house so she can grill with the boyfriend and his boys. And G will be having lamb chops for dinner. It's all good.

I need to get started on my list of tasks for today. I've spent 2 hours doing nothing much. I guess that's enough "relaxing" for me right now.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Unidentified Change Coming

We have a moth trapped in the house. It came in with Riley. I thought at first it was a hummingbird. Birds are bad things to have in the house. Dee and I have been discussing bats. I don't think bats are a good thing to have in the house, either. This moth is all white. So not a bird and not a bat. And it just came and landed on my arm.

I am being pissy again today. And I know why. Change is coming. I don't like change. But I can feel it coming my way. Intuitively. Like the physic hotline. Things are going to change. My horoscope for the last little while has been saying I should be preparing. Making decisions.
Getting ready.

This isn't something I am excited to learn. I don't even like having to buy a new brand or style of underpants.

So, of course, I am not getting ready. As if I even knew what it was I should be getting ready ... for. Is that even a sentence? I did do something remarkable in the past two days. I wore a sleeveless shirt to work. The flappy, old lady arms were in full view. And they are now sunburned. Shorts, also. So my legs are sunburned. And no socks. Total rebel.

Perhaps the change that is coming is the future content of this blog. I have this nagging feeling that I am boring all of you. That I should have more interesting topics of conversation. Or perhaps, actual gardening tips and stories. Recipes. Tutorials on something. I have no idea what. But I feel I should be more interesting. I feel I should be doing more interesting things. I think they used to call this "Important Business". Here I am again wondering what I should be when I grow up. And, it's really time, don't you think?

I've been off reading other, new to me, blogs and I find that the kind I like reading are the ones with a "story". Usually, short stories. One blogger purchased an old recipe file box and pulls out a recipe, makes the item (usually a dessert) and then tells a story relating to the baked goods. Others have stories about objects they cherish. Another shows me what she has found in her pocket. Or on the street. Debris lined up and photographed. Her found items always so much more interesting than mine. (perhaps I need to learn to look?) Others have taken me on vacation with them to far away places or just around the corner.

Each of these new blogs makes me feel too solitary. Too closed off. Too alone. Too self absorbed. Too complacent. I don't think anyone would be leaning forward. glued to the computer screen, waiting for my next word. Too weird.

Interesting things to report: Ice maker acting cranky and refusing to make ice cubes. The new work schedule was posted and some coworkers discovered their names were NOT on it. That's how they found out their "season" had ended. One was working her last day in the greenhouse today (she called out) and the other is working her last day tomorrow (it's going to rain and I bet she calls out). And the remaining troops are restless. Been more than three years and no raises. M goes out everyday at lunch and buys the $2 Taco Bell special. Burrito, chips, drink. $2. I asked him to get me one. I only wanted the chips and drink and I said he could have the burrito. When it's 90 to 100 degrees in the greenhouse, I crave salt and a beverage with ice. M refuses to let me pay since he ate the burrito. Oh, dear. And my hips hurt so much today that I was walking (limping) like an old crone. After sitting down for 30 minutes (first time all day) to eat my lunch with chips and diet Pepsi, I could barely walk to my locker. I had to hold onto the counter. This was a first. I had waited too long to take a pill. I won't make that mistake again. Time for bed. To dream of change.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Pissy Princess

I wonder how much SPAM that title will generate? I have been Pissy lately. You noticed. I go through these phases when I expect too much of myself. I think I am going to dig weeds with a shovel and clear beds and plant things and it is TOO MUCH. And there are bugs. Rain. Dinner to cook. Clothes to wash. Shirts to iron. Dogs to walk. Not much room in there for ME.

I get tired. Cranky. Down on myself. Yesterday I just decided to go down to the hell hole I call my "workspace" and work on the dreaded purple and yellow. I started with a simple background. Two fabrics. One purple and one yellow. And added some tone on tone strips.
Sewed them down. Added some yellow thread lines. Added some hand stitched lines. Added some more yellow. More hand sewing. And then I stopped. The piece looks okay. It could be the one I show on July 1st or it could just be the canary in the mine shaft. But I made something. Used the sewing machine. Cut fabric. Threaded needles. Felt less pissy.

I even washed my face, wet my bed head hair and took the dog for a walk. A short walk as he was panting. Then I took the dog for a ride in the car. I needed to visit the grocery for yogurt and a cucumber to go with the butternut curried rice I made. I met a friend and we talked. Then off to the grocery and who do I see but the next door neighbors. Yes. Next door. We never see each other. So we caught up on the gossip (news) about the other neighbors, my garden, the deer eating the hosta right in front of them, in broad daylight etc. Then I bought groceries and got home in time for G to call and say he wasn't going to have to work until 1 am and would be arriving home in an hour or so. He is having a number of "call outs" at work because of a big switch in management in the company he works for. Summer is not the time to switch things up. Plenty of jobs in fast food right now. Not enough trained people.

Read a letter to the editor of the local paper. Our navy base is being closed and all the property (except for the big "secret" building) is being given to the town. The town is thinking of giving some of the buildings and land to a college. Like a community college. And the writer of the letter said this was stupid as we already had two colleges in our town of 20,000. True. The writer said we need a place to train people to be welders, carpenters, plumbers, electricians etc. Interesting. Because most of the locals like being lobstermen, clammers, worm diggers, shrimp catchers, landscapers and housekeepers. At least it seems like they like doing these things because there are ever so many of them doing these things. Recently a new clam flat opened and the boats were side by side as clammers dug clams. Making $500 a day. Of course, when they have dug all the clams (which they will do) there won't be anymore and they will have to move on to digging worms. And best of all these are "cash only" jobs with no reported income to stop the flow of welfare checks.

Maine is one of the most generous welfare states in America. You come in for Food Stamps and they see if you qualify for any of the 30 other welfare checks including free Maine Care health insurance. And, right there, people see that this is something that brings in extra cash.
And working lowers the welfare check. So they go to the "cash only" jobs with no benefits and no paper trail. Those clammers were making $500 a day for two or three weeks of seven days a week. Now, a training center that teaches you a trade like welding, carpentry etc would end this nice little situation. So, who exactly would the training center train?

The colleges just, finally, give students a chance for a good high school education. Something they didn't get while in high school because hard work and low grades would hurt their self esteem. High school is all about feeling good about oneself. Yes, there are students who learn languages, math and English. And do all the sports. But they leave Maine as quickly as they can and go to college far away. Live and work far away. Not in Maine. They do come back after they retire from the huge corporate jobs they get in other states. And they buy big expensive homes on the ocean and need carpenters, welders, plumbers, electricians, landscapers and housekeepers. This is why we need someplace to train people (who didn't do well in Maine's high schools) to serve those who prospered in far away states. The circle of life here in Maine.

Next week is Book Sale week here. And I am only working for ONE DAY this year. Last year I had very bad back pain and was entirely miserable. So I am trying very hard not to lift and turn with any heavy objects at home or at work in preparation for book sale lifting and bending. My day of Zen for the year.

I think we are having cold sandwiches and perhaps ice cream for dinner tonight. Supposed to be 90 degrees today. Stinking hot day to be at work. Stinking hot day to be at home.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Working With Purple & a Work Of Art Review

And not having all that much fun. This is a color that does not exist in my fabric collection. I had to ask a reader to send scraps from her wastebasket. I'm liking the little pieced bit in the lower center but that work belongs to Dee and not me. I even ventured into the attic storage boxes belonging to my friend. She had some purples. Dreary stuff. Give me orange, lime and magenta and I can be happy. Purple. Not so much. Edited: I know it's very bad. That's why I showed it as we artists do have bad days and very bad work.

It is raining. Cold. And Saturday and Sunday will be sunny and 85. Today is the day G needs to install the portable AC. Unpleasant. He should have done it weeks ago before the mosquitos. And because there will be an open space where the window unit goes (during installation) --the house will have mosquitos and they will find me.

All the things I wanted to do today, can be done in the cold rain, but I'm not all that interested in being wet and cold today. I have been cold for most of the "summer" so far. I wouldn't say I am eating a low fat diet but this is what happens to me when I don't eat fats. I get cold. I need to go find some wool socks. Be right back. I have noticed, and this was a surprise, that my tummy is flatter. The Greek yogurt, eaten every day, is supposed to lessen belly fat and it seems to have happened. I am stupified as I have had belly flab since I turned 10. No matter what I weighed. I just wish there was a food to eat that removed the hip saddlebags.

I happened to watch the "Work of Art" show on Bravo. The artists were supposed to create a piece that spoke of their individual "vision" using at least one of the discarded electric items. As usual, they loaded big orange carts with heaps of things and used very little. One woman collected a huge heap of very interesting wire and cords and made ....... nothing. This woman is 61 and one oar short. Giving a bad rep to women of my age group. I could (would) have made a very interesting woven piece with that cord and wire.

The guy who was voted off last night was bizarre. He sat doing nothing for most of the 18 hours they had to do the work. He had one drawing in his journal that he seemed to enjoy looking at. And he liked touching the left front side of his hair. He expressed his opinion that he was famous and very talented. The winner was the guy who won last week. Miles loves the free art supplies and food, things he doesn't have access to often in his real life. The other artists, and really, I should use quotes around that word, "artists", were amazed that Miles knew how to make a silk screened image of a circuit board. Perhaps, he's been to SCHOOL. Or knows how to READ. An ART BOOK. I often wonder about the category "performance artists". And now there is a new category, "installation artists". I wish they had a hip hop graffitti spray painter.

One "painter" does Paint by Numbers work like Neil Welliver. It's all she knows how to do. And she wears very trendy and expensive clothing. And stays very clean. She and the 61 year old fruitcake could have been voted off last night. The bizarre guy with the hair touching thing could have stayed -- he was amusing.

I often think it would be more interesting to give each participant the EXACT SAME items and then see what they do within those limits. Like "Chopped". Sort of what 12 by 12 does.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Salad Days

I skipped the grocery store yesterday and went out into the garden and picked the rocket and mesclun lettuces that had gone to seed (bolted). I washed and dried it and then dressed it with olive oil, salt/pepper and Balsamic vinegar and served it on top of (or next to) a nice crisp, thin piece of chicken breaded with butter, Parmesan and bread crumbs. It was divine. Bitter. Yes. But the dressing tempered the bitterness.

Work today and the scheduled rain didn't happen. A nice, cloudy day in the high 60's. A good day to be home weeding and gardening. Not a good day to be working. Few customers. Lots of busy work for the few employees still working.

I've had my shower (hot water, finally) and am waiting for my red beans to defrost. I made a delicious pan of cornbread to go along with the beans. I think it might be a complimentary combo that provides complete protein.

I am in a contemplative mood today. A bit feisty. Still wanting to one of the people working full time (wanting to be wanted) but really excited to have tomorrow off. I am a complicated person. "A real piece of work" according to my husband, who should know me best. I want what I can't have. The grass is always greener in someone else's yard. All the things I dreamed of doing if I had money? Now, with a nice bank account, I don't want them anymore. Perhaps, I need therapy.

Riley is busy cleaning the floor--I do make a mess when baking -- and he does such a thorough job. G is washing dishes. Pretty nice. Oh, and my book is waiting at the library. I ordered it last night before going to bed. Excellent service.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Good Morning Sunshine

The sun is finally shining. I have the day off. I have on real clothes and not work clothes (for now). I am going out for breakfast and a good long conversation with N. The only speck in my good day is the 2 pounds I have gained since the last time I weighed myself. Bread. Big Sky Granola. French Fries. Ice Cream. The Usual Suspects. Oh, and let's not forget Saturday's donuts. Two Pounds. I'll think about it tomorrow.

I purchased three big bales of peat moss for the garden. My soil is feeling too sandy and isn't holding water when it rains. One of the sandy beds has tomatoes in it and they already look sad. I also bought some astilbe for the front garden bed. And will transplant some Hosta there from under the weeping crab, where it is slowly dying.

I plan to harvest all the bolted wild rocket from the garden and wash, dry and saute it with garlic, olive oil and onion. I read in a garden blog that you can do that with the bitter bolted lettuces and be able to eat them rather than compost them. I'll be serving the bolted greens with Parmesan crisp chicken. Two actual dinners in a row. Woo Woo. We had Jamie Oliver's wild mushroom pasta last night.

Once the rocket is history, I will plant the Brussels sprout starts in that section of the garden. I bought tiny red Swiss chard starts at Moose Crossing on Sunday along with spinach and kale seedlings. G can get seed to sprout but I don't do as well with the tiny stuff. The chard is in but the kale needs to get into the ground today. I think the spinach will go over to the daughter's garden along with the two sweet red peppers.

N will be here any moment so I need to find my keys and purse and make a last visit to the restroom before she picks me up.

Update @ 2pm: It's not only sunny, it's very hot. N & I had a good breakfast (pancakes and eggs) and an even better conversation. Her 2.75 year old grandson had a wonderful time at "gardening camp" and has two pumpkin seedlings to plant with his grandfather. Riley had lunch and a walk and is panting and overheated. I hope he is resting on one of the cold tile floors. It's WAY TOO HOT to start gardening. And TOO HOT for seedlings to be transplanted.
So I have three choices: read, groceries, fabric. I think a quick stop for cherries (on sale), G's yogurt and a vegetable for dinner sounds about right. I can make more decisions when I get back home.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Passion Flower

I remembered my camera today. The Passion Flower wasn't fully "open" so the stamen or pistel isn't completely extended. I will try and get another picture on Monday as several flowers are preparing to open on the plant. I have a Passion Flower that I made in fabric for one of the Twelve by Twelve challenges. I wanted to see a real flower before I called my fabric collage finished. I can already see some room for improvement in my work. Isn't this an amazing botanical example? Always best to work from a live model.

I have been trying to think of something interesting to do with the next Colorplay challenge (purple and yellow). So far, blech. I just need to sift through the fabric pieces and discover an exciting blend, something that will get me interested. Or draw some shapes. I had planned to do a vase and flowers for each Colorplay but veered off course with the volcano colors. I need to simplify. Work in a series. Right now I'm all over the place.

Back to working on Saturday and I realize that I love working on Saturday. There's a sort of caffeine buzz all day long as people shop, ask questions and generally make the work place "busy". Sunday is one long snooze. And we had donuts. Perhaps it was the donuts that made me so very happy? Half a chocolate and half a glazed. The college and high school boys ate all the rest, I think.

My daughter went to the college "dump & run" today and I had mentioned a few items I was interested in (a down vest for winter work and an adjustable desk lamp). She found both. The vest is perfect and FITS! and it's GREEN! The lamp is black, works and can take a three way bulb. It will be excellent on my quilting worktable. The one I had been using broke and we can't fix it (27 years old - purchased in Germany in 1982 or 83 for the children's desks).

G has just returned from the Chinese restaurant where he and Riley went to get take out. It smells very good and I am hungry so I will bid you adieu until the morrow.

Friday, June 11, 2010

New Work Schedule

Sales/customer visits, are slowing and so our work schedule for next week has reduced hours and fewer days. Four days for me. I am always ambivalent when this happens, even though I wanted fewer days, I remain a competitive person. If someone else has five days, why not me?

I now also have Thursday off. G's day off. So we are now back on the "good old days" routine of having the exact same days off. Thursday & Sunday. We can DO THINGS together. I think it's been about five or six weeks since we have spent two full days a week together. And, while trying to psych myself up, I can now have three full days in the garden. Time to plant and weed.

My wild lettuce and Rocket have both bolted already. Why do I even bother?

My cabbages, radishes, zukes & cukes, squashes, peas and bok choy are all doing very well. I think it may be time to eat a few of the baby bok choy (attempt some homemade Chinese wonton soup). I even saved 7 tiny Swiss chard seedlings from the weeds. I will be germinating some kale this week. And more beets. My tomato seedlings look superb. All is going well in the garden. So far.

I decided I didn't really enjoy eating the plain Greek yogurt. So I purchased some low fat vanilla and now am mixing it half and half. Better. I had some today and it was very filling. I got tired of eating it halfway through lunch. Rather blah.

Today started with an interesting problem. A very old and pot bound fern. We (four employees) attacked it with a knife, clippers, a hunting knife and a machete. One of the younger employees keeps a Bowie knife and machete in her car at all times. An axe would have been welcome. After nearly an hour of hard work, the fern remnants were reassembled in a new pot, with new soil, water, fertilizer and a good spray of water on the fronds. Our work station waste can was filled to the top with fern debris. When I left work at 7, the fern was still looking very nice. Perky. New lease on life.

The older gentleman came to pick up the 14 window boxes done in Bubblegum Pink. They looked so beautiful this morning.While he was paying for the order, I told the cashier about the first time we met. And the lovely woman with the magazine picture of window boxes in Bubblegum Pink, asking "can we do this, please?" I helped him load the car, as I always have done. And when everything was in the car, he opened his arms and we hugged. He said this was one of the harder things to do; as it was so much "her" and not so much him. I told him I had thought about her the whole time I was working on the boxes and I hoped he would raise a glass of wine on their 60th anniversary and enjoy the Bubblegum Boxes with her. I don't think I will be filling those boxes next year.

I worked out in the perennial yard for the rest of the day. Moving things. Sorting out bad plants. Straightening. Pulling weeds out of pots. General housekeeping. All by myself. A pleasant day that went by very slowly. Tomorrow I am working Saturday again after three Sundays in a row. Saturday is busy and goes by quickly.

G surprised me with dinner tonight at 7.30 when I rolled home. Nachos. The perfect dinner. And he (we) had everything right in the fridge and cupboard. I walked in and he slid the prepared pans into the oven. Every bite was wonderful. I was a very happy girl. And a very tired and dusty one. I've had my shower and now to bed. I start work at 8am.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sunny Picture On A Dreary Day

I don't mind working on rainy days. I wouldn't be able to work in my garden or sit on the deck daydreaming if I was home. I don't like being cold and wet at work. A nice "inside" job would be perfect on rainy days. I do have a pleasant enough job for the day. Sixteen window boxes filled with everything "PINK". I ordered the flowers yesterday and the customer brought the boxes in by mid afternoon. So, I am ready to just settle into a groove and plant pink flowers. This is the third year for this customer and the Bubblegum Petunias. Remember when I asked the Universe to send petunias in 2008?

The lady of the house and the person in love with Bubblegum Pink, passed away this spring. So this is a remembrance of sorts for her, given in loving memory by her husband of nearly 60 years. Their anniversary would have been in August. She was delighted by the thought of celebrating 60 years together. Her husband took care of her to the end. He said it was difficult, but he couldn't imagine not caring for her. Which lead me to wonder yet again. Is it easier to be the one who dies or the one left behind?

G and I went OUT to dinner last night. A small, local, Italian restaurant that serves up very good Eggplant Parm. G had lasagna and a side of Carbonara Procuito. Then we had small ice cream cones. We haven't been out to eat in nearly a month, so it was nice. We had wine. The guy at the table next to us had two martinis. He may have had a third by the time they finished dinner. I think you have to "build" to drinking that much in such a short period of time.

Bravo has a new show "Work of Art" with artists competing for money and an art show. This is something I will TiVo and watch with interest. Art. Finding the next Picasso. Making art is something I understand.

Riley is moving his toy basket across the floor while he digs his nose in to find just the right bone to chew on this morning with G. G holds the bone while Riley chews. Interactive Play. This dog is very amusing.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Post 809-Next To The Lamp

I was looking for something, anything, to use for the top of this post. I forgot to take my camera to work. And I found the most interesting Passion Flower and--no camera. This looked good and there was enough light to get a clear picture. My "mail" is in the bottom left corner. Dee. Light. Full.

G got home very late, had to cut the grass, had to drive the mower to the daughter's house, teach her how to use it, then go find a restaurant open to make us food. It's now 8.45 and we are about to eat dinner. What kind of crazy loons have we become? Old people. Nuts! The daughter cut the grass while G was hunting for food so now he is unloading it. Two lawns cut and looking very nice. I even grabbed the mower after G was done and cut the moss and grass covered swale (roadside area). It looked weedy. Now it looks different. Mowed moss is very different. G thinks I am crazy. Riley agrees.

I checked with the weather map and even though the picture shows rain--it is going to be mostly sunny tomorrow. The Tomatoes are going into the garden. Enough hardening off (rolling around the yard covered with shade cloth). Some of the plants already have tomatoes. I am so very proud. I am testing "Tomato Maker" fertilizer this year. Supposed to cure/fix everything that can go wrong. I hear about "everything that can go wrong" from my customers at work. Most of it is their fault.

I bought two six packs today: parsley and basil. I planted seeds but they aren't coming up. So I will encourage seed germination by example. The seeds can exist in the same bed with already grown parsley and basil and try a bit harder to fulfill their seedy destiny.

I also have the front yard planters to fill with flowers. So the deer have something to eat, overnight. I could always decorate with soap in pantyhose tied to a stick. Not. Riley thinks soap is delicious.

Time to eat. Drink. Be merry. Tomorrow is my day off and it isn't going to rain. Woo Hoo!!!

Mars In My Sign

Boosting my vitality until July 29th. Wowza! I'm supposed to be careful I don't burn out. At 63, I don't think that's possible. Nice thought though.

The sun is supposed to be coming out today. I have shorts on and see a long day in the perennial yard in my future. The "boys" can water the greenhouse unsupervised. I have a flat each of basil and parsley to purchase today and G bought my Epsom Salts so I can dig and plant my tomatoes tomorrow or even after work today. Mosquitos. I may wear my Mosquito Fan to work.

I have packed a HUGE lunch for myself. Pasta and BBQ (extra sauce) instead of salad or yogurt. We'll see if that helps me feel better in the afternoon. I'm not all that hungry at dinner time but starving at lunchtime. Cold salad isn't ringing any bells lately. Yogurt doesn't taste yummy.

Taking the camera to work again today. See what I can take pictures of for the blog. One of my co workers is wearing those rubber shoes that have a section for each toe. Weird. I'll get a picture if she has them on today.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

View From My Desk Calendar

Still May. I need to switch it, but that means copying any needed info--like passwords, books, phone numbers. I keep the old pages but it's easier to just copy stuff from one to another.

It rained again today and my co-worker called out. I had seriously thought about staying home (not being sick) but I worried about the others who did come to work having to do my work and theirs. I'm like that. So, I was at work and got to do her work and mine. Nice.

We are having French Rolls stuffed with BBQ pork for dinner and then Rhubarb Pie. Later I will watch Fringe (disc 6). And that's all the news I have.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Saturday Morning

I woke up to the sound of rolling thunder going over the house with heavy rain. Big booms. We hardly ever have a thunderstorm here in Maine. Well, hardly ever before the last few years. Now, in 2010, we are getting thunder even in the winter. Climate change is far reaching. I think the sun is trying very hard to come out. I can sense a change in the light every so often.

Riley is less than pleased with today. He likes water but not rain. I found him curled beside my side of the bed this morning for comfort and protection.

I made my oatmeal a new way this morning. Same amount of oatmeal, twice as much water and double the time in the microwave. So, 1/2 cup dry oats, 2 cups water and 4 minutes (could have done 30 seconds more). Let it sit. And you have a large bowl of thick oatmeal for the same calories as the small bowl. It is indeed large. I haven't eaten the whole bowl yet and feel very full. Which is a fantastic feeling when counting carbs and calories.

The Greek yogurt is doing something. My flabby tummy is looking less flabby. And that has never been the case, even when I was 20 pounds lighter on the "diet". I just wish the yogurt would have some effect on my saddlebag thighs. Any ideas for that area?

I made a crock pot of BBQ pulled pork again. Pork was on sale for $1.49 a pound so I bought seven pounds of southern style ribs (Boston Butt). This time I will freeze a portion. As much as we like this stuff, we do get tired of eating it day after day. I like it on salads, pasta and nachos or rolled up in burritos. Almost nothing in the fridge today, so if it continues to rain, I will be washing the inside of the fridge. Spraying it with Simple Green. I like an almost empty fridge.

I have watched 5 of the seven Fringe, Season One discs. Which is great since there is nothing on television worth watching. In the "old days" I could watch vintage Law & Order but they have stopped broadcasting episodes.

The Wedding Flowers episode ended badly. A co worker shipped it off Friday morning before I got to work, not checking for water, any bad leaves etc. Forgot the saucers for the big pots. Sent all the paperwork with the driver so I had no receipts, no contact info, no nothing. I was open mouthed with astonishment and mentioned that I hoped I could return the "favor" when she had a client. She shrugged and said "whatever". I was "this close" to leaving the building and never coming back. I hate wedding flowers. Always. Always. Goes wrong no matter how hard you try to get it right. I kicked things and grumbled and said "shit, shit, shit" for awhile and then called a courier to deliver the saucers to the event. I will refuse to come to the phone on Monday when they call to complain.

On the home front, G has had his CAT scan and they detected a smoggy situation not unlike the sky in LA. A bacterial lung infection and now G is taking Amoxicillin three times a day and will have a visit with the doctor this Thursday to discuss his tests and blood work. I think everything will be okay. This is sort of like pneumonia only not as bad and no fever.

So, dear readers, I am hoping that next week, sans wedding, will be better. The light outside just went up a few degrees. Good sign.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

ColdRain: It Must Be June in Maine

Yes, dear readers, we are having cold rain every day (June 1, 2 & 3). Deja Vu all over again. Last year this lasted until July. Making the garden a mess. Already slugs have taken up residence on the deck boards. The weather report visuals show a sun peaking out between the clouds. Not yesterday. No rain until night but the skies were grey all day long. Today, daytime rain. And I must go to work.

I have dressed for the weather in my "quick dry" long hiking pants, double shirts (one long sleeved and one company tee), socks. I will also layer on the zip front company sweatshirt. It really doesn't matter. Customers ask me, no matter what I wear, no matter how many logos and green clothes, "do you work here?" I can understand the confusion on days when landscapers outnumber customers. They are dirty and muddy and look just like the employees. But on regular days, I look just like an employee. I'm even "working" i.e. watering, carrying trays of plants, resetting tables of plants, repotting things. Still, they ask.

I am wondering about my lunch choices for today. Warm? Cold? Yesterday I made mushroom pasta and my daughter came over for a few minutes and had the small portion that would have been a lunch serving. So, not that. Still some lasagna. And the condition of that is "iffy". I made that a long time ago, right? Pizza? I don't have any soup in the freezer. I do have red beans. And bread and cheese. Tonight I am putting 7 pounds of pork in the crock pot for pulled pork. Let it cook overnight. Rain is pounding down on the roof right now.

G is having a CAT scan today. He had about a quart of blood taken Tuesday for a long list of tests. Still no idea of what they are looking at or why. But it's not being treated as an emergency. We are still in "want to take a closer look" mode. He is still coughing. So whatever it is, it's still bothering him enough to make him cough, just not as often. So the new allergy meds could be helping.

My horoscope recommends "just showing up and doing the work" at work. Make decisions on some other date. And that sums up my state of employment pretty well. In general, everyone is morose. Not the jolly crew of past years. I think it's because there are less skilled employees and more unskilled "loader/boy/sweepers". Yesterday there were three of us who could answer a plant question. Spread a bit too thin. I never get work done because I am running from one question to the next. I DID manage to get the 24 geraniums into their clay pots yesterday morning for the wedding delivery. Today, I will spend an hour or two cleaning the pots and the leaves of any dirt. Making everything look "perfect" with the soft brush I remembered to bring to work yesterday and hope has not been used to do something dirty this morning.

I have plants to be delivered to a new facility. And an orchid ordered for a meditative garden. And perennials ordered. If it stops raining I will go out and deadhead the blooming perennials.

I had wanted to plant things in my own garden this morning. And yesterday. That didn't happen. I am way behind and my plants are losing quality. Oh, well. Planting into wet dirt is never a good idea. I'm going to check on the lasagna.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Waiting For The Rain To Stop

I managed to get to the bank, grocery, library and haircut. I also stopped in at the resale shop and Big Top for my egg bagel. But the heavy (at times) rain kept me from settling plants into the garden as I desired. Now, they have to wait for Thursday. G planted more radishes yesterday while he was home.

I saw an interesting blog post about making seed "tape" out of inexpensive paper napkins, washable school glue and seeds. Then covering the napkin with compost and vermiculite, watering and waiting. I also learned about placing a board over the carrot seeds (or any other small seeds) to keep them moist while they germinate.

My rhubarb custard pie is in the oven baking and I am enjoying my second iced coffee of the just begun summer-ish season. Delicious even if a bit watery. My ice melted while I was typing. I have to start putting leftover coffee in the fridge to get icy cold.

I took my library books back unread and then, while trying to select new books for G to read, I saw one of my returns on the shelf, so I checked it out again. My Quilting Arts June/July issue arrived this afternoon. I was getting worried. The previews looked all exciting and the actual pages --- not so much. I have debated canceling my subscription to this magazine but continuing with Cloth, Paper. I wish there was more written content (do the editors limit the number of words?) and less of the larger than necessary, poor digital photographs. Sometimes, Pokey, less magnification is better.

I have watched two of the Fringe season one discs. This is a perfect time to have something like this to watch as there is nothing to watch on regular television. Mad Men begins soon. And a few other cable shows return for the summer season like Closer. I don't mind repeats of Law and Order either, as I think I missed some due to the Tivo not recording the full season. G and I enjoyed the recent Jesse Stone movie (which we finally got to watch) and there's always Wipeout.

I am working 38 to 40 hours again this week. Still no discussion of less hours for me. Others are already done for the season and will be returning in the fall. And that wedding is drawing closer. Delivery is scheduled for Friday afternoon. I have 6 white pots done and 4 red. I need 12 each. And I have the large white done but not the red. Hard to find plants with buds, good leaves and a nice shape. The white are better than the reds. I am hoping an order of plants came in today for me to pick from tomorrow. Fingers crossed! I need to be finished by Thursday night so I can spend Friday cleaning up the pots and plants and making everything look perfect. Remind me to take a soft brush to work to brush any dirt specs off the leaves?

I was TOTALLY tempted to buy the $3 huge bags of orange slice candies at Big Lots today. I absolutely LOVE to eat the slices by the handful. Which is one of the reasons I weighed 238#s. I didn't eat bad things. But I did eat too much of all the good things. And stopped being able to bend over and pick things up off the floor or tie my shoes.

On that rather sad note: I will stop eating tortilla chips out of this bag next to my right hand.