Sunday, April 28, 2013

Working In The Garden

I am trying (with this picture) to channel positive thoughts to the carrot seeds in my garden.  Especially the purple carrots.  Please GROW.  But first, Please GERMINATE.

Today the only WORK I did was to smear brown sugar and enough yellow mustard to make a paste on a ham, stick it with cloves and seal it into a roasting bag I found while cleaning the hall closet.  Why it was in there is beyond me.  Anyway, it worked better than all the HD foil on Easter.  That day the oven turned into a smoke filled sugar burn site.  Three hours at 350 and then another hour "resting".  Tender, moist and delicious.  We each had seconds.  I also made baked sweet potatoes and a green bean casserole subbing 1/2 cup each of sour cream and mayo for the campbell's mushroom soup.  Fewer carbs.  But many more carbs than usual.  But I won't discuss it.

While the ham baked, G and I sat in the sun and then walked down to the garden and I dished up compost tea for the germinating seeds and sprinkled kale seeds over compost in the kale bed.  There are seeds germinating.  But I didn't see any near the stakes that said "carrots".

Next time I walk down to the garden I should be planting my snap peas and my onion seedlings.  And setting out my fennel seedlings.  Those seeds are doing a splendid job!!!

My rhubarb plants (four hills) are popping out of the ground.  Only a few inches tall right now but they are showing promise.  This might be the year they actually produce rhubarb.  I have been quite diligent in my applications of manure and water.  I may add some Fox Farm fertilizer this year.  This is the product line that all the "medicinal" home growers use if you get my drift.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

What I Need IS A Good Apron

I like this one from 100 Cookbooks.  But it fits sizes 2 to 10.  Not me.  I like that it doesn't tie or wrap. I think it is imported from Japan.  I'm certain that it is very expensive.

I haven't painted anything yet.

I worked on Friday and then left early to drive to the library where I had been asked to be the "speaker" for the 135th Annual Meeting of the VIA.  One hundred and thirty five year old association.  Yikes.  They had a silver punchbowl and little cookies and lemon squares.  They laughed when they should have and were kind enough to give me a little round of applause at the end.

Today--well, I was tired all day.  I taught another Vegetable Gardening class and forgot to tell them my name.  All day long I had a "shadow".  I turned around and there she was.  Listening to everything I said to customers.  It is the best way to learn the job--I just had never been the recipient of such attention in any of the years I have worked.  I never actually knew when she was there--until I would turn and see her.  I just talked to the customers.  Like usual.  She did want to do things herself.

Now that was a bit of a struggle.  If she does the things I do--then what do I do?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Moving Toward Start

Today I had an Art Visit with my library friend.  We visited the Bowdoin Art Museum here in Town and saw the exhibit of Pers Kirkeby from Denmark.  What I liked the most was his work with chalk on painted masonite.  It didn't look like chalkboard paint but it could have been.  It looked flatter and more densely black.  The chalk looked like the creamy French chalk.  This was my first visit to the Bowdoin museum even though I have lived here for over 20 years.  I'm not a real museum goer.

The second thing I enjoyed (my friend did not) was a 45 minute video of the artist painting a very large piece over many, many months.  We (I) watched him add paint, cover it up, cover that up, scratch into it, cover that up etc. etc.   Now, I realize I just didn't cover things up enough in my own work.  He had massive numbers of layers when it was finally finished.  And under all that paint are three to six other paintings.

The picture above is a kitchen but you have the black painted masonite (if you will), the rolling cart is standing in for the rolling scaffold that Pers climbed up on to paint the top sections of what was a room sized canvas, what we are missing is all the paint and the scribbled designs in creamy chalk.  And wasn't that what I have been trying to do--chalk on black fabric?  Well, now I need some big squares of masonite.  And synthetic paint.  Which my friend and I agreed must be acrylic.

It's warm outdoors and cold here inside.  Tomorrow will be a very stressful day for me-- work and then the lecture/demonstration.  G has all kinds of things he wants me to do with him, but I feel like I need to type up my class notes and make a list of what I hope to accomplish during my demos.  This is how I felt when I had to present to one of the local garden clubs.  Like I should never have agreed to do it.

Work is in flux.  All the employees I began with 6 years ago, are gone.  To other, better, jobs.  I think I like most of the new hires, but only time will tell.  The new ones are rubbing the more senior (but still new to me) employees the wrong way.  I think it's because the "new" are older (40's) and the "old" are in their late teens and early 20's.  All this, and training, is making me very tired.  The "new" are so eager.  I remember being like that my first Spring.  Trying so hard not to screw up.  I was SO MUCH OLDER than everyone else.  But it eventually worked out.  Like years later.  LOL.

And I am still older than everyone else.  So that's the same.

Monday, April 22, 2013


For most of my life, before I started writing to you, I postponed doing the one thing I thought I wanted to do the most.  Paint.  Watercolors.  I postponed it in the 60's.  The 70's.  And with so much regret--in the 80's living in Europe.  What a wasted opportunity.  Six whole years of doing nothing and I could have painted.  Then, in the late 80's, back in America, I painted while taking classes in botanical watercolor at the Morton Arboretum.  Loved it.

Then, moved to Maine.  Fell for fabric and quilting.  Well, actually, I fell in love with BUYING fabric.  After I bought it and made PLANS for it--I lost interest in the actual MAKING which seemed tedious and was so filled with unsewing.  I unsewed so much.  Too much.

Then I discovered painting fabric.  Well, that was the end of my love for printed commercial fabric. Well, my love for buying it.  I still have a closet full of favorites.

Today, Golly Bard has a contest.  One word.  Looking at the paint brushes, it was just "start".  Now.  Don't wait any longer.  Because my horoscope seems to be telling me it (me) comes to some horrid end on April 28th.  Have I waited too long?  Put it off too long?  Missed my many opportunities???

Have you postponed something that would make you happy?  It doesn't have to involve living in Paris 6 months of every year.  It can be small.  I remember the first night we slept on real linen sheets. OH! Why would I sleep on anything else.  Ever.

Those paint pans, the colors mixed with water, the brushes.  They all speak to my heart.  That one picture says everything about me that I would never be able to express if I typed the rest of my life.


Saturday, April 20, 2013

Cymbidium Orchid In Bloom

The plants themselves are rather wild and not all that attractive.  The flowers?  Sublime.  I repotted my yellow and pink orchids last summer and didn't expect to see any flowers this Spring.  The spike is very short but the flowers are wonderful.   These two plants were a gift from a library patron who brought his best pot of orchids in to the library each March.  I tended the orchids while they were with us.  And admired them.  I was delighted to be given two smaller ones several years ago.  And they have grown.

I had the two big tubs of orchid foliage and wood chips in my bathtub all winter (not upstairs in the bathtub there, like I have done in other years, forgetting to water them).  In a big plastic storage container full of water (when the pots were getting watered) and then without water when they were  just sitting around.  There's a nice South facing window above the tub so they got some daily sunshine. These orchids like partial sun.  Now they are on the sunporch.  When it's warm enough they will be going out onto the front porch.  The yellow orchid has one spike as well.  But it's a few weeks from blooming.  These flowers will last that long.

The weather here in Maine is "one day warm and then one day cold".  Today there was a bit of sun. I worked on my job of raking the acorns out of the back lawn.  It's hard work.  Those little suckers are embedded in the turf.  The first few buckets of debris were mostly dead grass and acorns so I added them to the compost with two large bags of Starbucks coffee grounds.  Like 40 pounds in each bag. I'm going to hope the pile heats up.  Later I worked on digging grass out of the peony bed.

Then I tried to open the bottle of chelated iron for my Meyer Lemon which is looking sad.  It had spider mites this winter.  I also sprayed it for mites and gave it a good dose of iron (after G opened the bottle).  Between mite treatments the little plant has put out a bunch of flowers.  I like to think it is showing it's gratitude.

G has been working very hard on building me two pergolas in the vegetable garden.  I want to grow beans and cucumbers on them this summer.  Perhaps a few scarlet runner beans.  They have gorgeous red flowers.  I will snap some pictures when the sun is out.  He even built a little shelf for me to hang my garden hose on.  He did leave the gate open one night and deer have been in my carrot beds.  Big footprints.  My rhubarb is coming up.

Too many leaves in the beds.  Oops. (remember the guy bringing me maple leaves?)  Next time I will add less. Even a Master Gardener makes mistakes.  I tell everyone--more is not better and then I do it, myself. I know that my regular oak leaves take forever to crumble into dirt--but I was hoping the more tender maple leaves would compost during the winter.  Now I'll think of it as "leaf mulch".

I hope you are all getting ready for Spring.  I need to start a few pots of tomato seeds.  I managed to get a flat of Arkansas Traveler at work.  My favorite tomato.  Now I need something that ripens early--like a Patio or Early Girl.  And a purple tomato.  Everyone raves about the taste of purple tomatoes.  So I need to try one.  Cherokee Purple.  I'll try not to have more that a dozen plants.  But That never works.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

So, Okay. No Roof Is Going To Fall In

The insurance adjuster dug around and found sound beams.  He also explained what happened as the moist air in a winter house traveled up and into the bead board above the chimney and then got stuck under the framing for the skylight.  Couldn't continue up to the roof peak, so the moist air traveled south to the cricket.  And made mold and wood rot where it could.

We also got to hear about bathroom vents ( in other home owner's homes, not mine) that are vented into the attic and not up through the roof.  Mold.

Anyway.  Our home inspector should have noticed the moisture problem and the out of code chimney. If G knows where the inspection report is--we can try and sue the inspector.  Not likely.

Intermediate Update

The carpenter and roofer were here.  We are now educated in STRUCTURAL DAMAGE.  Not the chimney or the cricket.  The Structural Integrity Of The House.  On the south side.  The insurance adjuster hasn't been yet.

One guy called it "Architectural Misadventure".  Someone built something that should not have been built.  No venting.  So moisture, in the roof, collected for the entire life of the house.  G has to stop taking down the chimney since he risks the whole roof--cathedral -- and skylight (huge) falling in.  On us.  Since the only thing holding up that side of the roof---is the chimney. Well, half the chimney. And it's not even a structural part of the house.

Really.  The roof caving in.  Where we sit to eat breakfast, dinner and read the paper.  All these years.

Does it get any scarier????  We are the luckiest, stupid people in the world right now.  Not squished.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Chimney--The Big Surprise

G managed to get to the "cricket"-- a little tent shape that was added to the roof and butted up against the back of the chimney (why, I don't know).  You can see the very large skylight right behind the tarp and my very nice new roof shingles.

And inside-- rotten beams and mold and other very bad things.  All, we just got off the phone with the insurance adjuster,  NOT covered by our insurance as the damage is older than 14 days.  More like older than 20 years.  Like, it was already leaking when we bought the house and we were too dumb to know that this was a VERY BAD THING.  We just thought the chimney needed a cap.  Which we had installed.

What does it mean?  Sigh.  A big chunk of our retirement savings is going to the roof repair, the mold abatement, new windows and lots and lots of carpentry.  The odds are we would never have been able to sell this house without fixing the damaged chimney.  And we need new windows. So G and I are just going to do what has to be done and hope that we see the money spent, returned to us when we eventually sell the house.

This whole thing has played out, in three acts, since I walked into the house from a VERY bad day at work at 4 pm.  So like three hours.  Reveal, insurance call, roofer call, estimator letting us know we have no coverage and, then, G and I staring up at the skylight, the bead board ceiling under the skylight, which will probably need to be removed to check for mold, and looking at that crappy brick inside the woodstove "nook".  The insurance guy and the roofer are coming tomorrow.  My day off.

Water has always been our problem.  We are both Fire Dogs.  Water.  Anything that has gone wrong has always involved water.  On our worst days--water and electricity.

Oh, well.  Other than paint and a new roof--we haven't done anything to this house in 20 plus years.  And think about it--I will have so much to write about for the next six months or so. For some reason I don't feel real worried right now.  Whatever happens--we'll be okay.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Still Taking Down The Chimney

This was Friday of last week.  Two chimney tiles.  When we look up and out the skylight we no longer see the crumbly brick chimney.

This was a few minutes ago.  G has gotten another tile out and is close to the "cricket" behind the chimney on the roof.  Almost time to call the roofer to make sure we do things right.  The next day's work should take G to the fascia board on the house.  Then we get to find out if the back wall of the chimney is the brick wall in the family room.  Big hole in the house if it is.  And I think it is.  Excitement.

We have already had our hours reduced at work.  One hour less each day.  But we are very busy this week.  Now, last week, it would have been good to go home early.  Not so much today.  I had stuff I didn't get done.  But each day is interesting.  Can't complain too much.  Making nachos for dinner tonight.  Someone at work had them and now I want them.  G will have lots of chips and I will have a few.  Got to get started on the chopping and cooking.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Waiting For Bananas To Ripen

Now that I don't eat bananas (too high in carbs), I don't have a regular supply of over ripened ones to make into banana bread for G.  So I had to buy regular all yellow ones and they are taking forever to go all brown and spotted.  Like these.  Our daughter bought him sugar cookies at the European Bakery and she asked for the ones with the most sprinkles.  So dessert tonight and tomorrow is covered.

Today I went over to our daughter's house with G to "supervise" the removal and replacement of the kitchen countertop and the sink installation.  It took all day.  He's still there with our daughter.  She will call if things get testy.  And I will go back.  He is doing a few cosmetic things.  The two of them are so alike that they rub each other all wrong.  They are happiest with me standing between them.

I was going to say something about work.  But all I can say is "sigh".  The new hires are starting to have personalities and I am starting to like them.  I remember how hard it was for me to break into the "clique " my first Spring.  I thought they all hated me.  And what it actually was --that they (now, me) try not to get too involved until we see if the newcomers last. If they stay.

It snowed yesterday or more like sleet.  April is the hardest month.  I actually don't care if it's cold, but I want blue skies.  Sunshine.  Even if it's cold sunshine.

Tomorrow is Sunday.  A slow day at work, usually.  If it isn't raining (or if someone hasn't screwed it up today) I want to finish the Perennial Yard set up.  I'm in the middle of the letter P and have P, R, S,T, V to go.  I could get it done in a few hours.  Latin names.  I have my fingers crossed that a certain pain in the butt didn't go out there today and try moving stuff around. As far as I know, the alphabet is pretty much the same for all of us.  The Perennial Yard is in alphabetic order.  Except for Hollyhocks.

I'm going to feed the dog and make myself a cup of coffee.  Put my feet up and read my book until G gets home.  It is my day off.   I am also going to get back into my pajama bottoms.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Another Truckload Of Bricks & Other Things

G says this pile was good enough to fill five wheelbarrows.  So he lifted them once, into the wheelbarrow (five times).  Twice, into the truck bed x5.  And, a third time to drop them off as "fill" in another town x5.  Lots of work.

As a reader mentioned.  The chimney is too short.  A chimney mason did offer ($$$$) to take off the crumbly top, rebuild a new top, making it very high, very narrow, using steel rods etc to attach this very high chimney to the top of the roof.  Of course, high winds (this is Maine) might just rip the entire thing--roof and chimney off.  He couldn't guarantee anything.  And we do have ANOTHER chimney, perfectly good condition, which serves the fireplace in the living room.  I think one chimney per house is enough.  Plus wood smoke makes me sick.  Actually, quite ill.

Now, my day, yesterday, was no plate of cupcakes either.  First one into work so I had to open, turn lights on etc all the while glancing out the window at the very large truck sitting just outside our front gates.  No one else was showing up for work.  I cashed up the cash registers just as one more person showed up and one called to say he would be late.  Turned out the three of us unloaded 517 pieces of Nursery stock, I took inventory as they all disappeared.  It went like that until 4:19.  We were always three people short.

I finally got to do what I usually do in the morning.  Water the greenhouse.  Only it was now 3 pm.  I drove home with wet clothes and socks.

Life at home was no plate of cupcakes either.  G selected the Chinese restaurant for dinner.  I was too exhausted to put up a fuss.  He loved his food.  I did not enjoy mine but ate it because I was hungry. It tasted okay but the presentation was disgusting.  If I had been my usual self--I would have complained and sent it back.  Service was so slow--I would never have gotten anything to eat. We got home to discover that Riley had completely destroyed G's new library book.  Completely. We have to take the bag of scraps to the library and write a check.  The barcode is still readable.  We were very shocked and sad.

I watched my recorded Mad Men.  Went to bed.  Dreamed I was living in a foreign country (soon to be packing up for home) and kept losing my son (who was, at times, small or a preteen).  Confusion and loss.  Comforting.  I am up early and tired.  Hungry.  If this was a work day I could do as the 20 somethings do--call out because I "hadn't slept well".  Instead, I started in on the laundry.  If it isn't too cold outside, I will work on digging the clumps of grass out of the next perennial bed.  And see if any soil has thawed in the vegetable garden so I can plant my onion sets.  And leeks.  And cabbages. I also need to think about starting my tomato seeds.  Eggplant??  No rest for those who "haven't slept well".

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Taking Down The Chimney

G has been climbing this tower of scaffolding to get to the top of the crumbling brick chimney.  A chimney that never met building codes as the top of the chimney was lower than the roof peak.  So, any fire we attempted to make in the wood stove, smoked.

The first load of cement and other capping materials was trucked to the next town to be sued as "fill".  Saves us paying the Town Dump here in our Town for dumping.  It's raining today so no climbing and breaking up bricks today.  We (G with my help) lowered the first of many chimney liners down.  That's it in the right front.  We are very thankful to our helpful roofer/house painter who set up the scaffolding for us.

Double French Doors will replace the very wide brick chimney.  And new windows on each side and the left side corner.  They will have to work on removing the "cricket" from the roof and replace shingles.  Big doings this Spring and Summer.  Inside carpentry and framing also.   I (we) really hate the color of paint I chose for the house (it never faded like I had thought it would).  That's another expense.  A new color.

I'm thinking this will be a nice area for a wide deck.  Oh, I do have so many expensive plans for the house.  See how G is protecting my daffodils from the dropping bricks?

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Another Amaryllis Blooming

I don't know if this is Apple Blossom or not.  A friend gave me one in 2008 when I had my "one woman" show.  In a blizzard.  Hardly any visitors.  I would like to think that this is it.  It was very gracious of her to bring a plant to the gallery where I sat alone.  Making Christmas cards.  She also brought liquor.

My third week back at work is in the past.  One more week and my body should be remembering how to work ( I am still taking Aleve every day when I get home).  My face is all suntanned from looking up  at the glass ceiling while watering the hanging baskets.  The tan makes me happy.  I need to remind myself daily to take extra (dry) socks or wear my rubber boots.  I never remember either and end up wet.

I taught two classes on Annuals and Perennials yesterday.  It was fun and I had a very good turnout. I really, really enjoy teaching.  IF I had followed thru on my college education, I would have been very happy teaching for 30 or 40 years, as a career.  It's nice to know that the path I did not follow would have been as happy as well as the one I did follow.

My plan all week was to just get through and make it to Sunday when ALL I needed to get done was the taxes.  My daughter's and ours.  And I did it.  In less than 3 hours, which included a mad hunt for my daughter's papers (which I thought were in one safe place but were not there).  G was smart enough to be FAR AWAY during what he figured would be the worst of it.  There was a 30 minute period when I thought the "new" Turbo Tax would not let me print.  I was terribly worried.  But it did print and in pretty colors.  So, the colors must have been the "improved" feature.  My April horoscope said to wait until April to do the taxes.  I didn't read it until after April first, which was THE DAY to ask for a raise.  Shoot!!!!  I need a raise.

So, I was finished with the taxes by 3 pm and then G and I went to the grocery store to finally get some food into the fridge.  We had been making do with whatever we could find.  G found some KFC chicken tenders in the freezer and has been eating them or not eating at all. I had two large spoonfuls of peanut butter for my dinner yesterday.  Tonight we will be having meatballs (homemade) baked in marinara sauce. I also got the last chuck roast that was in the meat display (on sale) so we will be having that later in the week with mashed potatoes and cole slaw.  I also have another sale ham (a better one) in the fridge to make someday.  We are both feeling better now that we have food.

While the meatballs bake, I am going to settle in on the couch and read my book.  The Hypnotist by some Swedish authors.  The same couple who wrote  The Nightmare.  The Hypnotist was written first and is much better.  I think there might be something good on Masterpiece tonight and the Good Wife. The taxes are done--what a relief.  I can just feel the tension fading away.  Now if my regular work pants would just start buttoning--I would be completely happy.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Windowsill Pea Shoots

You may not find this as fascinating as I do, but, they are delicious.  This took way longer than expected.  When I read about it on Yellow House, it seemed like it would take only a few days or a week but in the end it has been three or more weeks to get to this point.

Take any package of pea seeds. (even old expired ones) Soak overnight.  Rinse.  Soak again.  Rinse.  Then leave to start sprouting in a plastic baggie.  You may have to rinse again (or more) to keep the peas from getting stinky.  Then, once you see some activity that looks like sprouting, layer your peas (not quite as heavily as mine) in moist soil in a reused salad container with lid. Peas just right on top of soil.  Sit box in the sun on a windowsill.  Water.  Wait.  You can cut and eat the sprouts at any point.  Fresh in a salad or scrambled eggs or sautéed.  They taste like fresh peas.  You will wish you had started a salad box of peas every week.  I wish I had.  Now.

Sigh.  Where has the time gone?  I still have our taxes to do.  Sunday.  That's when I will do them. Why didn't you beg me to do them in February???  Riley has his Sixth birthday today.  He punctured one of the pads on his left front paw in the woods.  Limping a bit.  G has taken him to Petco for treats and a visit to see the hamsters, fish and birds.  A birthday treat.  Our vet just called to check on him which is very nice.  Reminded us to soak his foot.  What fun!!!!

Today I am working on my class notes for Saturday's classes on Annuals & Perennials.  This week, at work, we had new employees to train.  Yesterday was my turn to show them how the greenhouse works.  I took the opportunity of having someone other than myself watering to change out the greenhouse hoses.  I got rid of the dried up, kinky ones and now have soft flexible hoses that wind nicely in circles.  It doesn't take much to make me happy.  Those kinked up dry hoses were making me very unhappy.  Of course, the other employees told all the new hires that I had watered the front of my pants the first day back.  This was a cautionary tale.  Because after telling them of my "accident" they were advised to bring a full set of dry clothing "in case".   I heard them say my "Depends" had failed. Very funny.

I am also working on a new recipe (Nigella's) for chicken curry.  I have everything but cardamom pods, which I read were very expensive.  I will do without.  I am making it now, this morning, and then will reheat it for tonight.  The comments say it is extremely delicious if allowed to sit and develop the flavor. This will be G's first taste of curry.  I love it.  He can fill up on rice if he doesn't like it.  I wonder if I should have gotten nan?  Or ingredients for a raita.

G has been doing a wonderful job of keeping the house clean.  Vacuuming, making the bed, folding the laundry and keeping the kitchen counters clean.  He even makes coffee for me in the morning and then goes back to bed.  He and Riley have the same sleep schedule.  I make my breakfast and lunch listening to Riley snore on his bed by the kitchen window.

The roofers put up scaffolding for the chimney removal and G removed the trellis and clematis that was growing on it.  G will be going up and starting on the breaking up of the brick from the outside (front) edge to keep from damaging the roof shingles.  He has some kind of air compression tool to break up the bricks.  They are pretty crumbly.  I suggested he break up as many as fit in a wheelbarrow load and then move the bricks to a low spot (to be decided) in the yard and then decide if that's enough for one old man to do in one day.  We had hoped to have a young man from my work to help with the wheelbarrow but he is full time now.  He could come over after work (5 pm) and move bricks for an hour each day.  G could come get him and then take him home.  No driver's license yet.

I expect the chimney to take a few weeks.  Then we have to have reconstruction done on the back of the house, new windows ordered for the entire wall and a new (to us) French door where the chimney was (yes, the chimney is as wide as a double French door) which also means carpentry.  Lots and lots of "future" light in this south facing room we spend so much of the day in.  Later G will build a deck outside the French doors and we will have a wider spot for chairs and perhaps a table for meals outdoors.  We had talked about a built on greenhouse or conservatory but not right now.  I know G wants that.  At any rate, the French doors are necessary if we ever do add on the conservatory.  Part A.

We don't want to over build for the neighborhood.  Ours is a "one of a kind" house on our street as it is. That isn't always a "plus".

Well, I'm off to reheat my coffee and start on my chicken dish.  Working Friday and Saturday and off on Sunday when I will do the taxes.  It's usually only an hour or two.  The printing takes the longest.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013


Are just about coming up.  The ground is more brown than white.  But it's cold.  The roofers came and put up a scaffold by the chimney.  G can start taking it down, over time.  Nothing quick.  The little plastic greenhouse is back up (it fell down in the snow of winter) and even with a few holes and a few missing bits, is getting steamy inside.  Even if it's cold.

I am working my second forty hour week.  I know that in another 2 weeks this will be past and I will feel better.  I am tired.  Sleepy.  It takes four weeks to get used to a new routine.  The body has to relearn things in it's own time.  We have fewer employees.  Better equipped to help customers.  Nice people with skills.  I am looking forward to getting to know them. But fewer means we each have to do more.

One is a small square foot farmer.  He stops twice a day to pick up coffee grounds at Starbucks.  Sometimes 60 pounds.  I said I need to start adding coffee grounds to my compost bins.  And he laughed and said "now I have competition".  I laughed and said "not much".  I think I will learn a great deal from him.

I will try for a longer and better post on Thursday, my day off.