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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

You say it's your birthday....

Today is my birthday. I cannot believe I am 36 years old! How the heck did that happen so fast? :) I still feel like I'm in my mid twenties. I'm always kind of surprised when I remember my real age!

Today is going to be a low key birthday. GB has to work until 5pm, but my mom and dad are driving into town to take me to lunch (and maybe shopping at the farmer's market). After that I'll just be hanging out with Ginger and Marco this afternoon.  I am already losing touch with the work friends I had at my old job, so I don't really expect to hear from any of them except on facebook...which is fine, of course. I didn't mention my birthday at my new job-it's mere chance that I was scheduled for today off-because I felt weird about mentioning it to people I barely know. My inlaws will probably call. And tonight I will order in something good to eat, and then we'll probably watch a movie or something. Then, back to work! I do have this coming weekend off, the first weekend since I started the job, and GB and I may go to a nearby campground with Ginger and stay a night if the weather is nice. We'll see!

I did order myself a really cool t shirt from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab as a gift to myself this year. If you've never heard of BPAL, get yourself over to their website immediately and check it out! Here is a link to their site: http://www.blackphoenixalchemylab.com/welcome.html  I ordered this month's lunacy tee..."Worm Moon" and I am dying for it to arrive! I have not ordered anything from them. I usually just enjoy reading their updated offerings each month. Since my birthday was coming up (and since I really like the shirt!) I finally decided what the heck!  Happy Birthday to me! :)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Spring moon

Such a beautiful spring moon is rising tonight! It looks like a big golden ball in the east.

Tomorrow is spring equinox! I picked wild wisteria and daffodils today and put them in a vase in the kitchen to celebrate. This is my favorite moon of the year!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sprouts

Today is the day I pot up the seedlings I started about 3 weeks ago. I have parsley, lemon balm, mixed basils (genovese, purple, lime, cinnamon) and several tomatoes: Brandywine, Livingston's Marvelous, Roma, Sara's Galapagos, and Stupice. The seeds for the Livingston's and the Sara's were gathered at Tomatopalooza 2006, which is a big heirloom tomato tasting held every July in Raleigh, NC. Livingston's is just a rich, red beefsteak tomato with a nice bite and lots of juice. Sara's is a bit unusual...they are tiny yellow cherry tomatoes (almost currant size) that are really really sweet. Sweet like a grape is sweet! A college student named Sara studying in the Galapagos brought  seeds home to her dad, a dedicated tomato hobbyist. He starting growing them out and sharing them. The fruits I tried were scrumptious, so I am excited to finally grow out this variety!

GB loaned me an aquarium light fixture meant to grow saltwater corals, and that is what I have been using to grow my sprouts. It is amazing! My seeds have shot up this year and are really big for mid March. An early start with the tomatoes is important, because they don't do so well in really high heat and humidity. At best, the flowers will fail to self fertilize and will drop off, particularly with some older types of heirlooms. There are hybrids that are bred to withstand heat and humidity, but they are generally not as tasty. Of course, any homegrown tomato is going to be 100 times better than the soulless red cardboard mush offered at the grocery store! But since I grow mainly as a hobby, I go with heirlooms even if I get a lesser yield. I can always buy tasty field grown hybrids in the summertime at the farmers market!

So I'm off to work in the yard on this lovely, mild day. There are flowering crab apples in my neighbor's yard, our blueberry bushes are flowering (small pink flowers) we have a yard full of dandelions and daffodils, and some of the trees are getting pale green leaves. I have a table waiting to set up as a potting station so I can work out in the open air. Days like this are too nice to miss!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tired Tuesday

It's another beautiful day outside, and I am just too worn out to enjoy it.

This new job is kicking my ass a little bit right now.

My schedule at the old job was pretty fixed. I generally worked 9-5 three days per week, with a couple of 8 hour midday shifts thrown in occasionally. Now since I am training on all the management duties at the bookstore, I've been getting super early morning shifts (7am to 4pm) (which means I get up at 5am, yikes!) alongside of really late shifts, sometimes ending at 11pm. I am a creature of habit. I don't like it when my sleep schedule gets all disrupted. I hope this is temporary and some kind of semi-predictable schedule becomes the norm.

Add to that that I'm walking around nervous all day. I'm still green enough that I'm not really useful yet. I am still meeting new coworkers, because the staff is over twice as large as at my last job. I don't know what I should be doing half the time, and that's not a comfortable feeling either. Typical new job stuff, I suppose!

I've had a stomachache for several days now, and I think the main reason is my altered sleeping and eating habits. I've been sipping chamomile/spearmint tea to combat some of these symptoms. I have also tried to eat well, having small salads and bowls of soup at reasonable intervals. I am still walking, although I admit to having missed a couple of days! It relieves stress so I know I should try harder with keeping it up. And I am making every attemp to keep my sleep habits as consistent as possible. That has been the biggest challenge!

All in all, though, I think I am going to like the job reasonably well. The people all seem nice and businesslike. It's a quiet, orderly atmosphere, which really appeals to me. And already I truly enjoy helping customers track down books, especially if they have good taste :)  So I think the job is going to be okay once I know the ropes a bit better. It just takes time.

I am trying to notice the  changes outside, since this is my favorite time of year. Even if I am busy and distracted (who isn't?) I can make time to go outdoors for a little while each day. We're really having a mild, early spring this year. I love watching everything bloom in it's time. I don't want to miss any of it!


 




Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Rabbit, rabbit

As today is the first of March, it is an especially good time to start the month by saying "Rabbit, rabbit!" which is supposed to be a lucky thing to do. Here is a link to an article from wikippedia explaining the originsof the superstition:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabbit_rabbit

March is my favorite time of year, and I consider the rabbit a kind of personal totem. My birthday is in March, which is the month when hares go mad, and my chinese astrological sign is the wood rabbit. The spring when my husband and I were planning to elope, we kept seeing rabbits in our yard, which felt like a lucky sign. When we were finally on our honeymoon, camping at Huntington Beach state park, we kept seeing rabbits around our campsite. It felt like they were there wishing us good fortune! I love this month more than any other, true March hare that I am :)

March has come in like a lamb this year, with warm, sunny, windy days. The earliest blooming trees look like giant snowballs in my neighborhood. Our little winding  streets are flanked with ornamental pears boasting masses of white flowers. Here and there, closer to the ground, there are splashes of  vivid yellow--daffodils and forsythia--and delicate pink and lavender--tulip magnolias, hyacinths--and more white flowers, like narcissus. Our blueberry bushes and my potted pomegranate have red leaf buds just appearing. It is beautiful outside every day, and warm, at least 70-75F for a week now. We're probably going to have another cold snap or two, since our average last frost date is around the first week in April, but for now things are really nice!

Yesterday, on my first day of work at the new job, I got up extra early and went walking with Ginger. We watched the sun come up with gorgeous pastel colors in the east, and there was a waning crescent moon racing towards it. It glowed a pearly pink color in the early dawn light and there was a slight misty fog on the streets. Everything looked almost eerie...the pink sky, glowing crescent moon, the white balloons of pear blossom suspended just off the ground..like so many hot air balloons, waiting to lift off into the sky. The birds were singing and calling to each other, and the squirrels were acting crazy and hyperactive...lovesick, I imagine....and everything smelled like fresh green things and the rain that had fallen the night before. It was a nice way to start my first day of work, and helped relieve some of the nervousness I felt when I first woke up. The exercise helped, too!

Today I only went in for a few hours, so I have the afternoon to enjoy. The weather is so beautiful again that I'm itching to get outside and work on my herb garden. It seems like a good way to celebrate the start of March, and a good new job! Rabbits, rabbits!