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Monday, April 20, 2015

Days go by......


We are thawing out here in Chapel hill finally. Spring has arrived. Trees are green, flowers blooming. There are pinks and green everywhere. The sun comes out some days, but the skies have been cloudy this week with lots of rain. Enough to shoot our greens into mass production. Gerry and I have harvested the kale, spinach and tatsoi from our early spring planting and we have more than I really know what to do with in the frig now.  Yesterday I made kale chips and sautéed some of the greens with roasted red pepper and garlic. If nothing else, we should be nice and healthy when cold season comes round again. Our garden space is so tiny, we have only this one little spot where sun can get through the trees, but it produces quite a lot for such a small space. We have planted potatoes in buckets this year and they are really taking off.


Since I have been working at the garden shop, I have learned so much about nutrients for plants and proper soil mix, and it is paying off with healthy plants, disease and pest free. I have also discovered crab shell for my chicks and the garden. Chickens and tomatoes need lots of calcium and crab shell is rich in phosphorus, calcium and magnesium. I have seen a substantial change in the quality of my chickens eggs since feeding them crab shell. We have worked hard to build a strong soil, giving our plants nitrogen and phosphorus, and the crab shell produces chitin, which is a natural immunization for helping plants repel pests and disease. A long time ago we used to garden by just sowing some seeds in the ground and sprinkling seven dust all over everything. This sure feels a lot ether!


 I have such a lovely place to go to work every day. On Saturday, I took my coffee over to the nursery before we opened and just walked around in the morning dew looking at all of our plants. Last week we got in blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, fig trees, apple trees, and more perennials than I can name. Our plant buyer prides himself on sourcing unique and unusual plants and it is so fun learning about all these new things.  We got in a cute metal bistro set, and I have been having my lunch amongst the plants. What a job!


 I put together a little earth box display on Saturday. I have mostly been merchandising the inside of the store, but I was helping a lady in the nursery and she commented on how much she enjoyed our space and the aesthetic of it, so it inspired me to move to the outside to do some merchandising as well. It sure is helping sales!


Life is busy with having a real job. Its the first time in over thirty years I have had an obligation to be somewhere at a certain time every week. I enjoy it but it has changed my lifestyle, for sure. I see very little of my friends and family these days. My friends that work during the week don't see me because I am working every weekend. Wesley comes home on weekends and I barely see her. I have seen so little of Gerry during basketball season, that the other day I rode with him on one of his assignments just to grab a lunch with him. I ended up at a press conference at Duke with him, ha! I spend my days off catching up around the house, getting groceries and other errands taken care of, and then all I want to do is lay on the sofa and recover. This new job is serious manual labor. Its spring and everyone is buying soil and amendments. I lost track of how many bags of soil I have loaded in the past weeks.


My moms 84th birthday was this past Monday, so I took the week off and went down to the beach for a few days. It was nice and relaxing and I caught up on sleep and reading. The dark circles under my eyes look much better now :)   This is the view from the bathroom I use. Its interesting how close these houses are to one another and yet I have never seen anyone come in or out of this house.

Oh to have a neighbor like that. Our neighbor thinks he is Jimmy Hendrix and sits out in his garage most every night playing his guitar, or his band comes over and practices. They are so loud and so bad. One other neighbor that moved recently had a muffler on his car, and I swear to God, Gerry got a decibel app on his phone to measure the sound and it was equal to a plane engine. We finally got the sheriff to agree that this noise every day at 7am was too much and he gave the kid a warning ticket to get it fixed.  Give me ten acres of land and isolation! That's all I want!!!


 I shot this on my way home from the beach. Its a little Mexican restaurant in Bennettsville SC. When Wes or Gerry are with me, we stop a lot on this trip. When I'm alone, I just drive. We have often stopped here. This place has the best tamales I have ever had, and it's in the middle of nowhere.


Here's some more trivial news for you. For Easter, I made little treats for everyone at work. Since Wesley is vegan now, trying to find candy is no fun, so I sent her a book for Easter, but I needed the treat making fix, so I painted some little peat pots we sell at the store, transferred a cute image on the front, used shredded paper inside, and filled with jelly beans and chocolates. They were adorable.

I also have a new game obsession. One of my coworkers is an obsessed gamer, and we talk about video games a lot. He suggested I get Fallout 3, and I am once again staying up all hours trying to kill mutants in an apocalyptic Washington DC. It is soooo much fun.
Do we ever grow up?

May is coming and it is already looking quite busy. I am planning a baby shower for a couple at work. Wesley graduates May 8, we have family birthdays and Mother's Day and I am working every weekend. Life is busy! My blog suffers........

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

You Might Be One.....




Yes, I work in a store that sells home-brew supplies and yes we often have a tap gong of a really good microbrew, and yes I still prefer Budweiser. Chillin' on the porch last night with a cold one.


Gerry read me the following list this morning and it just set me off. I just can't believe how dumb things are these days. It just seems to get worse and worse.

Dear United States of America:
Could you please come out of Walmart long enough to get your intelligence back! This is becoming the dumbest society on the planet. 




Speaking of brews, made a new batch of Kombucha. Lemon, cranberry, ginger flavor. Looks so pretty with the afternoon light streaming through the bottles.

Watch yourself out there, you might be a terrorist if you are complaining excessively about the screening process, like what is there to complain about?!?! and make sure you squint, wouldn't want those eyes wide open!   Jesus...........

Sunday, March 29, 2015

New Stuff


Y'all know what happens when I get a check in the mail from my mom with a note that says buy yourself a cute outfit for Easter, or get yourself a pretty dress, etc, you know...... poor woman, she means well..... but.....

I got myself some new boots! I have a small obsession with American flag motifs.




 and I got a new Carhartt hat. Also a small obsession.... Carhartt, what a great brand.


I think we are starting to look alike, me and Sybil. Those dark circles are from insomnia and new contact lenses. Ugh..... my eyes are feeling rough right now, trying to get used to these new lenses, pollen is starting to fall, and the f@*% ing rooster next door crows every morning at 5am. I finally get to sleep around 2 or 3am so I'm getting about three hours a night. Not fun


Got a new fermenting book at work. We get books at cost plus 10%, this could get dangerous....


Gerry has been firing up the new grill and having something on it when I get home on nights I work until closing. It is such a cool little grill, and after dinner we roast marshmallows on it. So fun! This was the most perfect marshmallow I have ever done. Crispy on the outside and gooey in the middle. YUM!


Also got a new mug from Michele Hastings. Helping her out with her crowd funding for their move, thanks to Suzi at Smartcat blog for the reminder. If you haven't ordered one, the price is great and worth every penny. This is a beautiful mug, and I really needed another one because I only have 40 or fifty of them in the cupboards :)

Head on over to Meesh's Pottery and get you one!


We got in a bunch of organic potato sets at the store a couple of weeks ago. They are heirloom varieties, very unusual, and they flew out the door about as fast as we got them in. I got one box of french fingerlings and when we cut them open to plant them they had a surprising red heart shape in the center. So pretty. Can't wait for these to come up! We have never planted potatoes because our ground is mostly rock and hard clay, but we put these in buckets and will just keep hilling them up.

I'm just working working working. Don't see much of my friends these days, missing all the coffees and lunches with them, but I do like the paycheck, and I really like the folks I work with. I am  having a blast! A couple of my pottery pals came in this past week, so I guess if you want to see me, thats one way, ha!

peace y'all
xo

Saturday, March 21, 2015

I'm very lucky


I love this photo Gerry put on his instagram today of my studio. I have not spent time in there in a year now, I miss it, but I/m having a lot of fun doing new things. I'll be back there one day......


This is my new place. I'm working 4-5 days a week now, learning more and more every day. This is our greenhouse. I have always known a good bit about house plants, but I know soooo much more now. I am cloning african violets successfully which is a thrill. Today I found a little rogue violet that had somehow cloned itself in a large fern. I have repotted it and brought it home to be with my other ones.


I'm doing most of the merchandising and being given more and more responsibilities. Its so fun to have all this cool stuff to play with!




I got to source some new note cards for the store, and I started at the top, with one of my favorite artists, Shannon Bueker. Shannon was gracious enough to let me come to her studio and pick out some cards, and put them in the store for review. The first day out in the store, we sold four of them, and everyone was very complimentary. I knew they would be a hit! Baby steps. Buyer one day? maybe........



Here's Gerry's favorite space in the store, the hydroponics and soil grow room. Tomatoes getting bigger every day. One day we would like to have a space like this to start plants indoors. Its amazing to see what light and nutrients will do for plants!


Another hydro display. Simple and efficient. Last Saturday I sold my first hydro set up to a couple without having to run to a manger asking for help. I actually knew what I was talking about and had a $500 sale, all by myself. I felt like the training wheels were off. The first month I worked at the store, I felt like a complete idiot about a hundred times a day. I didn't know how the computer worked, didn't know where anything was, didn't know what half the stuff we sold was for. And now they are asking me where things are! And I can get through most of the day without needing help. What a great feeling. Its like when I finally learned how to mix a glaze on my own.


Poor Gerry. He's used to being the one to get home late at night and I have dinner for him. I have been working until 8pm a few nights a week, he is shooting basketball tournaments. Not much time for home cooked meals. But I did come home the other night to a wonderful plate of pasta.  Gerry has never been one to cook a lot of meals, but this was a great one and most appreciated, as tired as I was. Spring time in a garden shop is unreal! I come home exhausted.Wesley and Gerry have both been great getting meals together for me, and I love them for it!

I feel so lucky that this job practically fell into my lap. I work with the most fun group of people. We all get along, we are all somewhat dysfunctional in our own adorable ways, we laugh a lot, we support and help each other, there is just a great feeling of working for a common goal. I have never worked at a place with an energy like this store. And I feel very blessed......

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Treat yourself


Can I just say, the Lodge Sportsman cast iron hibachi grill is the cutest thing ever!! My mom sent me some money for the usual, "go buy yourself a cute outfit". And if you have read my blog for awhile you know where that money goes. NOT to buy a cute outfit. I have clothes. What I have wanted for the LONGEST time, is this grill. So I got one. Sometimes you just have to give yourself a treat. I was due for one. I am tickled to death! It conveniently sits on top of an iron table I bought once for a play I did. Never could find a good use for it until now. Its perfect. Can't wait to grill a pizza or some veggie kabobs. Too bad I can't eat red meat anymore, a burger sure would be good.... sigh.  I love cast iron.


I also treated myself to a night out last night. Wesley and Lazarus have been here for a few days, left last night and there was a book reading I wanted to attend. It was a drizzly evening, we went out to dinner together, they headed back to school and I went to see David Joy read from his first novel. It was quite good, he is a young mountain boy, just flew on his first plane recently to go to NY to sign a book deal. I had heard him on NPR and it was just a spur of the moment decision to go see him. Glad  I did. He was very entertaining, and I read half the book last night, curled up alone, listening to the rain, and reading a good book. Sigh again. It was quite decadent and rare.


At work, we have a mouse problem. We are finding tiny babies who still have their eyes closed and no mom to take care of them, all nested up in bags of soil. One of the guys at work is animal obsessed and is taking them home to care for them. Ironically, my cat left a little mouse gift at the back door this morning. First of the season for her. Ick.


 I worked Tuesday unpacking lots and lots of planters and cast iron garden stuff. By the end of the day, I could hardly walk I was so tired. Came home, popped open a can of Budweiser (I know) and ate one of the best bowls of curry I have ever had, prepared by Wesley (Lazarus helped). Gerry has also been helping get meals together on the evenings that I work late. It sure feels good to walk into the house smelling all delicious and know there is a good meal waiting. Thanks family for helping out! It means more than you know, xoxo!


These two cuties have been home all week on spring break, writing grants for their trip to India and not really doing what most college kids do on spring break. No beer bongs and late night partying for them. They have grander plans! Very proud of both of them. It was good so see them, even if it was just tiny snippets of time. Seems spending time with mom is not as fun as it once was..... but I'll take what I can get :)
one more sigh......

Peace y'all
xo

Monday, March 9, 2015

Losing, loss, lost.....


Sometimes melancholia sweeps in at the most unexpected moments. Just two days ago, I wrote in my journal about how happy I was and that I could even see that light reflected when I looked in the mirror. And just like that, poof, sadness comes a calling. Don't get me wrong, I am still pretty happy. Just got sad news today and it reminded me of so much loss.....

My mom called to tell me that one of my favorite aunts, "Tootsie" as family called her (Margaret for everyone else) had breast cancer and it was in her lymph nodes. Having lost my dad to cancer after the progression to the lymph nodes, I know what's ahead. Its not good. She will be the last of my dads family to go. His little sister. I look just like her, more and more as I get older. She laughed at everything. I never saw her sad or upset, only laughing all the time. And coughing after her laughing, while chain smoking and drinking pot after pot of coffee. Her and my dad, just alike. I couldn't go see her for the longest time after he died. They looked like twins, it was too painful to look at her. I wish I had visited more often and had her tell me about my dad when he was a little boy. Too late now, she has dementia and is angry and curses at everyone.

Gerry's mom is lost. I miss her so much. We would call each other and talk for hours. We would sit up late into the night and talk. She would listen. She had wise words. Gerry is much like his grandfather. I wish his grandmother was still alive. I would like to talk to her and tell her how much like Josh he is. We could compare notes.

My daughter is growing up and away from me. It is the most difficult struggle I have had with her since she was four years old and wanting to pick out her own clothes. We can't find a good place. Losing my little girl, watching this young woman emerge.......  I miss my little girl.

My grandmother has been gone for years. We were so close. I loved her african violets. She was so proud of them. My mom told me today that Sybil would travel to her uncles farm where he raised rabbits and she would bring home the rabbit poop for her violets. She once went with my grandfather to Georgia and all she brought home was a bag of cow manure from his brothers farm for her flowers. I never heard this about her before. Now I know why I love dirt under my nails. My violets are thriving. I have cloned seven violet leaves, four are now tiny little plants. Sybil's blood courses through my veins. I miss her so much.

A friend told me this week he is becoming a woman. Do I lose one friend and gain another or will she be the same friend? I don't know yet. I worry for this persons future, what their life will be like in this world of judgement and hatred and bullying. I know this is a great person, man or woman, and they will still be my friend and I will help any way I can. But I will be sad to lose the male version....

As I was on the theme of loss, I wandered around with it a bit. Losing my 20/20 vision has sucked, although I am liking the contacts very much. Losing my strong thin body has sucked, but I'm mostly healthy and not overweight, just soft.....  My left arm aches all the time, it is very weak. My knees don't like to help me up so much when I squat down, I feel like I have to pry my hands apart in the mornings they are so stiff at the joints. I am getting shorter.

But damn, I like where I am right now. If I don't want to do something, I don't do it. I know things. I like learning new things. I like me. Not the body part so much, but the inside part is pretty much ok. I have my moments but mostly its all good. I still feel like I'm about 12 years old inside.

I just miss folks that have left my life and wish I could have one more day to talk with them, to laugh, to hear their stories. But I have lost them, gone forever. And that has weighed heavy on my heart today.....

Monday, March 2, 2015

I've been buried....



Finding your passion isn’t just about careers and money. It’s about finding your authentic self. The one you’ve buried beneath other people’s needs.