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the cow jumped over the moon

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garden tour

As you all know, I have three part-time jobs. Some days I want to tear my hair out. Most days I have never been more happy.

My garden center/nursery boss has been hosting the annual Scarecrow Festival for years (I have posted about it a couple of times here) and that event benefits our town's non-profit community center.  This year, she is hosting the first annual Garden Tour, and this event will benefit the community garden, a program of the non-profit community development corporation (one of my other part-time jobs)! Thank you to D my garden center boss, and to all the gardeners!

Wednesday, we went around to the gardens that will be featured on the tour, and I took some photos. I was amazed, and humbled, by the skill and beauty of these garden. Since the garden tour isn't until July 12th, I am excited to see what will be blooming then. A sneak peek of some of the gardens on the tour:

garden tour
garden tour
garden tour
garden tour

And here I was all excited about my dinky little garden, and this little corner:  If you remember from last year when I first planted it.

garden tour
Heliotrope in foreground, purple lamium, and bellflowers waiting to bloom, and a stray weed.
And my Deutzia 'Magician/Magicien' is in bloom, in a bed next to our back porch stairs:

garden tour

what day is it?

what day is it?
Self-portrait of me in my basement art space -
though I haven't had time to get down there much recently
Lots going on - here's a run-down:

Nursery/garden center job going well - only there Fri/Sat this month, but it is a relief after all that is going on and the fact that I have no computer access so I cannot get distracted by emails!

Non-Profit:  Garden clean-up with college track team volunteers, and then a meeting w/some of the new gardeners this past Sunday.  The students were able to move a ton of mulch and wood chips in two hours, and weed all the raised beds, which was much needed and so very helpful.  Then last night we (Interim Executive Director and I) went in front of City Council to update our 'lease' on the garden. We are also asking to be able to sell produce to help fund the garden and have plans for a hoop house/high tunnel, but that needs more discussion. Robert was home and he taped and watched the televised meeting, so I got to see myself on video when I got home late (I screwed up stating my address! hahaaa!) and it was weird watching it because I haven't seen myself in motion since I was in my early 30s.  We also had a late request for our B&B program, but that was a success too even though at one point I was talking to the guest five minutes before a pottery class.  The guest was delightful and added an extra donation to our cause, and the host was happy.


what day is it?
College track team helping out in the garden

Oh also Sunday evening I went to meet some of the Board members of the Farmers Market to clarify my job description as Market Manager this year. 


Pottery classes going well but I need to meet with Education Director and the pottery instructor for teens/children to deal with reclaimed clay.  Actually I did talk and/or email with both of them separately - we need a plan of action agreed upon asap.  Most students want 'fresh' clay so reclaimed clay is becoming a mountain. I have a good plan - thanks to a Facebook group I joined - so I am confident we will get this under control soon.

It's Tuesday, right? Pottery class soon - better get ready.


only two weeks left

In two weeks on Sunday, my gig at the garden center/nursery ends for the season. Today I was thinking about that while I was weeding one of the stock beds, and I got a bit really sad because I love working there. But the last weekend will be a good one - not only is it the annual Scarecrow Fest, but it is also my birthday!

I bought a Little Lime hydrangea, and then when I got it home, I realized that I probably have its bigger sibling Limelight in my garden already!  I really love hydrangeas.

only two weeks left
The Little Lime hydrangea
I also love hollyhocks, but usually they won't grow for me, but one did this year.  Here is the second-to-last flower of the season, peeking through the deutzia.

only two weeks left

The larger sibling, which I do think is Limelight but I never wrote it down in my garden book, was so heavy with blossoms that they were on the ground.  I cut a few and put them in a vase on our piano.

only two weeks left

The weather is has been quite warm for September - lots of 70 degree+, though cooler at night.  Crocuses were popping up at the nursery, and a customer came in and said her wisteria was blossoming again.  Crazy!

wednesday

As usual and very much needed,  I had a wonderful time with Denise yesterday.  Being with her always brightens my mood!

This morning, after the rain stopped, I was riding over to P and M's.  I bumped into my friend Dave and he told me he is going to start up a cafe in a neighboring town and wants me to help him!  I told him that our car isn't working, but all that can be figured out. Looking forward to seeing how this develops.  As my job at the nursery is ending in October, I was starting to get a little stressed about job opportunities.

Later this morning, I needed to use up some strawberries, so I started some jam without a recipe and without measuring anything.  Thankfully, I was emailing with Heron at the time, and he gave me some good tips - thanks Heron! I still managed to scorch it a little bit though.

Here's the finished product (and edit to say this isn't shelf-stable and I didn't water-bath preserve it - I'm popping it into the fridge once it has cooled):

wednesday
The rain has stopped and the sun is shining today!


saturday

This morning I rode through the square to get the bank before work at the garden center/nursery, as I needed to deposit a check. I have mentioned that we live only a few blocks away from the town square.

saturday
Our town square

While "downtown", I saw Thomas taking his morning walk (he takes amazing photos of our town and posts them on Facebook, and is one of the only reasons I like Facebook.)  Then I saw Claudio coming out of the theater.  I glimpsed John and we waved - he was probably done with setting up at the Farmer's Market for his non-profit group, and heading home. I was surprised I didn't see Audra as she walks every morning.  I probably missed her as it was nearly 9:00 a.m.

At work - such a gorgeous day, and lots of folks came in - Rachel and Karen and Will and Liz and  (another) John and Reid and Gail, and a bunch of other folks, especially one gentleman who was with his elderly mother, and he bought a few plants (geraniums) and said how much he loved this "quirky" place. He was worried that he offended me, and of course I was not and told him so. He made me happy!

On the way home, I always pass a bunch of kids playing outside - on the lawns and the sidewalk, and we wave and say 'hello'.  I love passing them when I ride my bike home - they remind me of my childhood.

Almost home - the brown house on the left (with the car in the drive) is where my son lived for two years - only a few houses away from us.  Now he and his wife live only a block away from us to the south!

It was a good day. A very good day!

saturday

new kind-of-smart phone, and videos of work

herbs, vegetable starts, perennials
I needed a new phone as it would drop calls and then not find a signal for hours, and I really didn't want to get a 'smart' phone because I liked my old phone that had a qwerty keyboard. I don't like to text, but a keyboard makes it easier. This new phone is touch and swipe and I haven't gotten the hang of it yet. Especially the texting part.  It takes me longer to write a text than if I made the darned phone call. But I did get a really good deal on the phone and the plan.

Two things I really like about this phone: One is that I can download apps and I have downloaded the Goodreads app, which means now I know what is on my 'to read' list when I am at the library!

The second thing is the camera - it's a better camera that was on my old phone, and it also takes videos. So I took two small videos at work today (the garden center/nursery).



In the second video, I say "stock" with such a nasal-y midwestern accent I nearly laughed when I was taping this! I always tell my husband that I don't have an accent - that people from this area are how Americans talk on television, but I guess there is a little nasal twang in there, somewhere.  (See this article about the General American accent)

Robert also said that, after he watched these videos, that I really don't sound like me - that my 'real' voice is deeper.  Hmm, I wonder why it sounds higher in the video?  

just a normal day

just a normal day
Our flowering quince is flowering

This morning, when we went to make coffee, we had no water.  The water main project is still on-going, and on-going, and on-...well you get  my drift.  They were supposed to notify us, but they didn't.  We didn't have any bottled water in the house, so Robert went to pick some up so we could make coffee, brush our teeth and wash up (not necessarily in that order).

We really should have some jugs of water around, especially since we live in the midwest (tornadoes).  We need to be more prepared.

Around noon, off to work at the non-profit.  Then to a city committee meeting.  And because city hall is right next to the library, I stopped in there because I needed a break from Isak Dineson.  I am mid-way through her absolutely amazing Seven Gothic Tales, but her writing is quite dense, and I wanted something lighter to read as a little break, so I picked up Clive Barker's YA Abarat and Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn.

When I came home from work, two surprises awaited me.  First was a box of sweet potatoes - a friend dropped them off as a gift for Sephora-treats!  And Robert had totally scrubbed the stove.  He had scrubbed the kitchen floor, on his hands and knees, on Monday, and I nearly had a heart attack.  Whatever has gotten into him, I'm liking it.  And because I didn't want him to mess up his perfect stove (and as you all know, he's the main cook in our house), we had chinese take-out for dinner, my treat.

Let's see, what else?  Oh, I had to resign from Meal on Wheels because I'm working at the garden center/nursery every Tuesday.  I'm kind of sad about that - I really enjoyed that gig.  Maybe I can start up again in the fall.

And Poker Night (Sunday) was really fun.  Lots of good food, and conversation.  We are hoping to make it a regular event again.

That's about it - going to forego television tonight and dig into one of the library books.

back at the nursery

I started back at the nursery yesterday!  We raked tons of leaves from around the nursery stock and dumped them in the compost pile, but we only completed a small part of what needs to be done. This morning it was too rainy to do any raking, so I started cleaning up the store and the greenhouse. I love this job, and so glad to be back again this season.

back at the nursery
cleaning up the greenhouse
Even though yesterday wasn't super physical work, my body was screaming last night!  Today so far, it is only whimpering, and I was glad for the rain.

Let's see, what else? Oh - another shout out - this time to Beth, who after I posted this (about burning beans all the time), she called me up and suggested that I use a crock pot/slow cooker.  I have used this method twice now as the husband likes to have cooked beans on hand, especially for rice and beans.  And I heartily recommend this method. (You don't even need to soak the beans. Rinse them, put them in the crock pot, cover with water - I make sure there is at least an inch on top - and let it cook on low for about six hours or so.  Midway through, check the water level and add more water if necessary.) Thank you, Beth!!  You have saved me countless burnt pots.

back at the nursery
thank goodness for friends and crock pots
Hmm, maybe I'll have some rice and beans for lunch!

After lunch, I'm off to the pottery room, then to check on my friends' seedlings and garden.

Happy Friday, everyone!

stick to the schedule

Let's see - so right now I have about a zillion things on my plate, and I have to make sure that I stick to a schedule, and that the schedule has down-time factored in.  Because me with no down-time = not a good thing for anyone. It can get ugly.

Everything I'm involved in is right up my alley (and in town) and I couldn't be happier or feel more fortunate. Part-time work with a local non-profit, the pottery room gig, and back to the garden nursery for the season this week or next, depending on the weather. Included in the mix are my volunteer projects - Meals on Wheels (every other Tuesday), two city commissions, and a few other community garden/food rescue/food preservation projects.  (Edit:  I totally forgot to say that the non-profit is somewhat flexible hours, and the pottery gig so far is flexible - it's the flexible hour thing that can mess me up!)

This week, I'm plant sitting - taking care of seedlings and a garden - as friends are away on vacation (I cannot believe they trust me as I killed all my seedlings last year due to over-watering!). Wish me luck.

stick to the schedule
There are seedlings in the shed, and in the house - seriously, wish me luck!
Now that I typed this all out, it seems a bit overwhelming.  But honestly, it really won't be if I follow a schedule (all the volunteer stuff is just an hour here and there; and non-profit and pottery is flexible hours but I need to make them scheduled hours just to be on the safe side) and schedule in time when I turn off the phone and the computer. Today I'm confident- mid-week, well, it may be a different story! Plus, I'm not going to say 'yes' to anything else for awhile.

It is Spring, and life moves a little bit faster.  Right?

refrigerator dilly (dilled green) beans


refrigerator dilly (dilled green) beans

A bunch of string beans needed to be processed as soon as possible. I took the easy way out and on Thursday made some refrigerator dilly beans, using a Mrs. Wages packet of seasonings. Usually I like to follow a recipe out of a book or a website and add my own seasonings, but I had this packet (probably bought on sale at some point - it's the old packaging so I hope the seasonings hold up) so I gave it a whirl.

refrigerator dilly (dilled green) beans

So today I cracked open a jar, and tasted them.  I have never made these before.  You know that three-bean salad you can buy at the deli counter, or in a can?  Yep, that's what they taste like.  They'll be great alone, or on top of a green salad.

Today I have already worked a few hours at the non-profit.  Then started my application for the Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare (yeah I know, the deadline is in a few days).  Was going to go to the pottery room today but I cut my finger yesterday making more dehydrated sweet potato snacks for the dog and I don't want to re-open the cut. Now I have time to vacuum. Oh, hurrah. 
garden tour what day is it?only two weeks leftwednesdaysaturdaynew kind-of-smart phone, and videos of workjust a normal dayback at the nurserystick to the schedulerefrigerator dilly (dilled green) beans

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