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volunteering today...

Thursday, March 26, 2015
...at Callaway Gardens as a helper with the annual spring plant sale. There will be plants available from vendors throughout the southeast, as well as some grown in the Callaway greenhouses. I did this one time before, and was in attendance several days. Which of curse means I brought some sort of green living thing home every day as I roamed around and discovered things in pots that were calling my name.

I hope to keep my plant lust under control today. It remains to be seen whether that ambition will meet with success. Following a quick trip through the garden center at Wally world yesterday. When  my credit card literally jumped out of my pocket and into the little swipey thing that takes your money quicker than you can say 'how much?'

As  much as I love to dig holes and plant things, watch them grow and bloom, I would like think I can resist for one day.  And since today is the only day I could give them, with stuff on my calendar for the remainder of the week, I am mostly certain that I will be resisting temptation... which makes me the eternal optimist, I guess?  Also hoping it will rain at my house, but no where near that leaky circus tent the plant sale is in.

in spite of...

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


various health-related issues like struggling with chronic lower back pain and trick knee (which I always associated with things with rabbits out of black silk top hats and pulling a hundred feet of brightly colored scarves out of your ear) I have been stricken with Spring Fever.  I spent a couple of hours out in the sunshine today, puttering around in the yard. Not particularly productive, as I have discovered how tedious and convoluted the process is for me to get from a sitting on the ground to a standing position. But enjoying warm weather, greening everything (especially the undesirables) and compulsively stirring up the dirt.

I went to Sam's to do the weekly shopping, and found myself detouring through the garden shop at Wally-world next door, feeding a compulsion:  buying over forty dollars worth of perennials. Several of which I got planted in pots today to hopefully bloom by my front door. And the rest to be given away to someone who said she would love to have bloomers growing along the bank, edge of the creek that periodically sluices through her yard.

Then I got the wheelbarrow and picked up tree limbs, sticks, stuff that continually, incessantly falls out of trees into the leaf mulch in the yard. An endless task: by the time you think you have gotten to the end, it's time to go back to the beginning and start over. Sort of like playing Candyland with a kid, or possibly just living in a house with small children and expecting to get all the laundry done.

Dug up dozens of wee little daisy plants that have migrated, or reseeded, or volunteered everywhere. To put in pots and tend, water, nurture until I can deliver to Decatur, where they will find a good home. The ones in the bed between the house and driveway are desperate to bloom. If they could get a good rain overnight, I expect they would pop open at first light.

The only thing blooming right now, though the daisies look ready to put on a show momentarily, is this nifty little ground cover I discovered several years ago. When I was volunteering at the local botanical gardens fund-raiser/plant sale and fell in lust with Mazus. An early bloomer with tiny white or lavender flowers, and wee small leaves that spreads like crazy. It's not to the point of getting out of hand, though I can see how it could eventually have the term 'invasive' attached to it. Right now: it's just pretty, happily blooming by my front step, showing off the colors of spring. Oh, my goodness... Spring.

un-crisis here...(alternately titled: a happy ending)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015
...which makes me sorry I do not have the tech. skills to post the photo of the Happy Dance. Because I was certainly doing it when my keys came back. After fuming and fretting for days over the loss, and already becoming resigned to the fact that I would have to spend hundreds for a replacement to the clicker for unlocking the Toyo.

My friend with the metal detector loaned it, I bought batteries and made a half-hearted out in the  back yard under the forsythia shrubs. I was anxious and a bit fearful of burying the keys even deeper in the leaf mulch or dirt if I started stomping around, or raking or digging. So I was not enthused about the search out there in the woods. I wasn't sure I knew how to use it, and did not know if it was working properly, or maybe it was just me, not knowing how to properly work it. So I told P. I would like for her to come out and supervise/assist to help with the ongoing quandary.

Then there is the 'tick factor' with stomping around in the underbrush. Which is not only anxiety inducing, but actually intimidating though I am generally not so much afraid as annoyed by bugs. And feeling sort of foolish when I consider how fearful I am of something the size of pin head.

My friend agreed to come out after I got off work this aft., and go out with me to help in the search. She is such a smart, capable person, I was sure she would go about it in a methodical, careful organized manner: marking off a grid or some such to be thoroughly thorough. So she came with a gigantic doughnut shaped magnet on a string, that she was sure would attract the keys if they were there, hidden in the leaves and pine straw.

I went back in the house to get the metal detector, after she got started, and lo-and-behold: walking around the corner of the house found the missing aggravating keys lying there on the ground. Yay.
Yay. And yay again, while doing the Happy Dance, to everyone's great amusement.

ThenI had her look at my tick bite, and she said it looked harmless. Her son had Lyme disease years ago, so I was confident she would recognize trouble, and she said it appeared to be ok. So yay again.

a little crisis here.... part 2

Monday, March 23, 2015
... and to top it all off, when I looked at myself on Saturday night, I found a tick. That I immediately pulled off, went to find antibiotic cream and applied. I am now regretting that I flushed the tick. As there might be a problem.

I have been putting ointment on the general location of the bite, almost in  my arm pit. But it is really itchy, swollen and could be a problem. I am still trying to decide: who the best person for advice would be? A cousin has had Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and other assorted chronic, life-affecting health issue and a variety of things that affect the immune system, all scarey.  Which means I am quite conscious, probably nearly to the edge of paranoia, about tick bites. I still have one little dessicated insect I  pulled off my person years ago, and put in a little medicine vial, to keep in case I started feeling odd or acting funny...

I spent the day peeking at it, applying antibiotic ointment periodically, fretting, wondering if I feel any different. Generally checking on myself. Anxiously wondering how'm I doin'?

a little crisis here...

... which does not affect anyone but me. But I am affected in a hugely annoying way, and it gets more complicated as it goes along. And could easily turn from a small crisis to a health emergency.

It all started with someone replying to my craig's list offering for selling forsythia plants. Which I have been doing off and on for years. With generally poor results. But this person wanted fifteen plants, and at two bucks each, that would be a nice sum. So I went out to dig on Friday night after I got home from work, when it was very close to being too dark to see. I put my camping headlight on, got the shovel and went to root around to get up the plants, plus a couple of spares in the event one or two did not survive transplanting. With spring rains, and the fact that the forsythia is very resilient/tolerant/hardy, I think it will do well.

So I left the plants in a bucket by the front door, for the buyer to pick up on Saturday.

But when I got in my car, ready to go to work with not a minute to spare on Saturday morning at 5:50 a.m., I did not have my keys. I don't actually insert a key anywhere, but the fob has to be on  my person, or close to the car. And it was not. I dashed back in the house, with the key I keep in my car (no keys means no house key either!), and grabbed the  back up fob. And went tearing off to work. To get there at precisely 6:00, heart pounding.

I went out in the underbrush on Saturday afternoon to try to find the missing keys. No luck, though I have not given up entirely. I am sooooo irritated. There is lots of pine straw, leaf mulch, tree trash out there under the huge forsythia bushes where I was digging. Plus I was digging.  So the keys could be underground. Reminding me of the time years ago, my dad buried his eye-glasses in the back yard. Accidently, of course. Never to be found.

I have a very resourceful friend, who has a metal detector, that needs batteries to work. So I will try again, as soon as it gets light enough to see. I am soooo irritated. Annoyed, aggravated, frustrated.

cookin'at work... shrimps.

...was certainly not something I would be interested in consuming, but if someone who really loves shrimps would come to visit, I would happily proceed to make my house smell like the store when they are steaming seafood customers. The recipe was really easy, quick to prepare and have on the table for a hungry family. And also very smelly to someone who does not consume seafood.

I did not bring a copy home, so I will just tell you what is involved, what to do. For the specifics and particulars (like how much of what) you can either stop in for taste-test today and Tuesday, or you can go to the website, look it up to see what I might have left out. But basically it was just shrimps and pasta. Like you would get someplace fancy, but when you make it yourself, you can eat in your pjs.

It starts with a bag of frozen shrimps. Really convenient. They are ready to drop in the skillet. The tails have been removed. As well as the other parts you don't want to deal with: shells and de-veining.
So after you dice up several garlic cloves, and pour some olive oil in your pre-heated skillet, you drop in the shrimps. Cook about one minute, then start adding other stuff: diced roasted red peppers (from a jar), chicken stock, butter, a bit of fresh parmesan, seasonings to taste (I'd leave out the red pepper flakes at my house), then stir in a bag of fresh clean spinach to wilt. It will be ready in about the same amount of time it takes to cook the linguini.  Put the linguini on plates, top with shrimp mixture. Serve with a green salad. I didn't add as much seasoning as the recipe wanted, and still got lots of comments about how good it was. Some people passed due to not eating shrimp, and I said: 'me neither'.

I'm going back to do it again today.

not sure if it is...

Saturday, March 21, 2015
a good or  not so good thing. I went to work at 6 this morning, and left there a bit after 4, so it was a long stinkin' day. But if there is anything good about the long stinkin' day, it is that the job was in the produce department. And had a pretty good day, chatting with Alice and yakking with friend Martin.

Making salads, cutting fresh fruit to put in bowls and out on the fresh fruit bar. And yogurt parfaits, where I was before thinking it was a good idea to start the cooking demo. job. Which is also where I was before I feel like I shot myself in the foot, figuratively speaking. Due to being forced to take pay cut when my job class changed on the corporate level.

I'm still so annoyed (and that is probably the kindest, most printable word I can apply to how I really feel about this untenable situation) over finding there is no possibility of a pay raise for diligence, or reliability, or conscientious work, or dependability, or cheerfulness, or any of the traits I feel I demonstrate at work. It might be fine and dandy for people at a corporate level to make decisions about how much my time over these many years is worth. But when I think of how much money they get paid to sit in the rolling chair all day, and make those decisions that impact all the people out here on the front lines of providing goods and superior customer service it is so irritating. Makes me want to use those words I am trying to keep closely guarded in my mouth instead of letting them  loose to turn the atmosphere blue.