Things Unrealted to Food.

It’s been a while since I’ve updated life-in-general things. My last update was right after my sister’s wedding, so I go to my picture files to find out what I’ve been up to since then… it’s all a blur to me, so thank the Good Lord for digital cameras.

Lots of pictures ahead… Continue reading

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Creativitiy: This is what makes my brain happy.

The first week back to work, about 6 weeks ago, I was very happy to be doing something other than procrastinating and puttering around home (according to me, I was ‘working on my art’.). Working with my hands, creating things, has always brought me the most joy in my day. Christmas wreath making is definitely creative. At least, the first 40 hours or so. After a week of filling orders; cutting the boughs into the proper length pieces for wreaths, making ‘hands’ of balsam, trimming, a piece of cedar or pine, clamp to the frame, rinse, repeat about 1,000 a day… well yeah, my brain has been dying lately. I like creativity, but I do NOT thrive on monotonous repetition. Just reenforcing my previous knowledge the factory work would probably kill me. (All you factory workers out there… I’m not trying to belittle factories. My own dad is a factory worker, and we’ve been very grateful for the dependable job he’s had for over 25 years.)

Today, finally, I was completely caught up on the wreath orders and the front of the shop was full with our own standard wreaths… so there technically wasn’t much I needed to do. My boss told me to just make up some extras to keep out back. Spurred on by Robin, the awesome lady who works there as florist, I took the opportunity to do some different things, use different materials, decorate the wreaths the way I wanted them. I do what I’m told when I work, so unless I have permissions to just go crazy, I keep all the ideas I have under my hat. Nobody’s ever said “Do whatever you want.” before, so it was pretty exciting. 😉 I didn’t even break for lunch until half an hour late, I was having so much fun! My mood was definitely lighter than it had been the last few days; I’d been mentally rehearsing the scenario of dramatically throwing a handful of balsam in the air and stalking out in the middle of the day. *angel*

I snapped a few pictures of my favorite pieces from today. I hope you enjoy them.

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Boxwood and gradating silver balls. Boxwood is so easy to work with!

Click through for more wreaths. 🙂

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Hi ho, hi ho…

I have a tendency to either work or play, and have a hard time mixing the two into one day. The only other option in my life is to veg. On days when I work 8 hours, I then come home and veg. Rarely can I get the right balance of energy to also play. Blogging is one way that I play, so during the 6 months of the year that I work full-time, these funny little things called ‘blog posts’ are few and far between. But hey, today I have pictures of such beauty, I MUST share them! Facebook is insufficient cyber-space, WordPress must be given proof that I work in a place of beauty! Well, sometimes. Now that the poinsettias have come it, it’s a sure thing.

Click through for more pictures. 🙂

 

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Fried Green Tomatoes?

Okay you foodie-writers out there… pretend you are describing friend green tomatoes to someone who has never tasted them, and can’t imagine what they are like. Well alright, don’t pretend. Do it for real.

You see, I’ve never tried them. I don’t like plain tomato, so they intimidate me. I’m sure they must taste quite different, not being ripe and all that… and being fried. But I’m not very adventuresome when it comes to vegetables. In recent times I’ve come to appreciate snow peas, cauliflower and red bell peppers as long as they are mixed with other things and well seasoned. Yeah, I was one of those kids.

So. I was helping customers pick out tomato plants today, and one of the was talking about how he couldn’t wait for fried green tomatoes. Which got me wondering. Do they taste tomato-ey? Savory? Sweet-ish? Mushy? Wet? Dry? Crispy? Tangy? DO THEY TASTE GREEN?? Someone tell me, please!

She rises while it is yet night…

I have never, ever been a morning person. When it’s required, I’ll get up early, lurching awake to the sickening sound of an alarm going off and wondering if my eyes have indeed been glued shut. Back when my family owned and ran a produce business and I had to get up by 5 at the latest, I have been known to burst into tears. That was a long time ago though. *cough*  Until a couple of weeks ago I didn’t have to be at work until 9, but my hours have just been changed. I now have to be in at 8… which means… I have… to get. up. early.

So. I’ve been compiling a list of pros and cons about getting up early. Here is it.

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Greenhouse Adornment

Typical vignette of any given day at the greenhouse:

Me in The Big House where all the flowers are, busy watering, deadheading etc.

A middle-aged male customer wanders in and stands just inside the door, hands in pockets, vacantly looking around at the rows and rows of brightly blooming flowers.

I take pity on him. “Are you looking for anything in particular?”

“Yes… tomatoes and peppers…”  He begins to strain his eyes looking down the length of the hoop house.

“All of our vegetables are in the next greenhouse.”

“Oh! The one over there?”

“Yep.”

The same basic scene happens when people are looking for perennials, which are beyond BOTH greenhouses, on the other side of the parking area. It’s like they think the FIRST door they come to must be hiding exactly what they are looking for and any other option is bewildering. So. I approached my boss and told him asked him nicely if he would like signs to identify the different contents of the greenhouses. He agreed that it would be helpful and even offered to pay me if I would make some signs. BWAHahaha, now we get to the bottom of the idea. *winkwink*

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So I stayed up way past my bed time to get these finished for the weekend. I know they aren’t perfect in the world of sign making, but I kinda sorta just did them free-hand… bad girl, I know. Much more consistency would have been achieved if I’d measured everything and done all things correctly, but it’s too late at night for that sort of thing. It makes my head hurt.

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Decided to have some fun with this one.

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I hope he’s happy with them! He’s not really into fru-fru, so I tried to keep it to a minimum. Now I just have to figure out how much to ask him for them.  $_$

Mother’s Day/Prom Flowers

This is my third season working at the nursery, which has a flower shop attached to it. The first year I didn’t help in the flower shop because, well, that’s not what I was hired for! But THEN, the florist quit on Mother’s Day. Walked out. Left then in a giant lurch, you might say. The florist’s helpers frantically stepped in and pulled it all off, but I’m sure that day is burnt deeply in the owner’s mind! When they hired the next florist, she saw I was a creative, artsy type and asked me if I wanted to learn flower arranging. DID I??? Since then I help out on holidays etc. when they need more than one person in the shop. In this particular town, the high-school schedules their prom the same weekend as Mother’s Day every year, so there are three days of frantic taping, wiring, clipping, spraying, glitter and ribbons. I stole a few precious moments to snap quick pictures of a few corsages and arrangements that I was working on. In our small-town community, the people are a bit old-fashioned; most corsages are roses or carnations. Someday I hope to start seeing orchids and different things, but we’ll see.

 

Simple corsage with yellow mini carnations and white wax flower.

 

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My job, for the most part, is the all-purpose greenhouse worker; planting, watering, general maintenance, customer service and running to pick up my boss when *cough* his ruck breaks down eight miles from home.  But I also work in the adjoining flower shop when I’m needed; V-Day, Mother’s Day, Prom, Funerals, weddings, etc, or when the florist is not there and I need to take an order or make up a quick arrangement for someone.

Today was one of those days. The florist had to leave early. My boss was gone for a load of mulch. I was trying to get cabbages planted to 806’s (that’s Greenhouse People’s secret code for six-packs) and kept getting interrupted by customers needing assistance in the flower shop. A young, happy-looking guy comes halooing for me; he just wants a flower, maybe a single rose? He settles on lavender daisies and pink wax-flower. He’s very happy, cheerfully paying (a LOT of men are very grudging when it comes to paying for flowers. A lot.)  and I get the strong feeling that this small bouquet is momentarily to become a romantic gesture toward his sweetheart.  How cuuuuuuuuuuuuuute.

I love working in the flower shop.

Another lady comes in, an older woman dressed in yellow. She wants to order a piece for a funeral to be held tomorrow. I knew that several other orders had come in for the funeral she meant (small town, generally only one funeral at a time, thank heaven.), but I wasn’t WHAT exactly had been ordered; what type of flowers, what size, colors, theme, etc. She was quite interesting in knowing exactly what we had available and what we could do and wanted to make sure it would be nice, and that it could go on the grave after the funeral. I was in a bit of a tizzy because I felt sure that there were more baskets somewhere to chose from, but I wasn’t sure where. Also, I knew the florist had ordered in special flowers for the funeral pieces, but I didn’t know what. So I’m trying my best to sell what I know we have and give her an idea of what we can do, and I was filling out the order sheet, all official and everything, and came to the space where you fill in the card information.

“What would you like the card to say?”

Pause…

“I’m not sure. He was my husband. What do you say? What would you say?”

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Pretty much, you could have knocked me over with a feather. There I was as worried that I wasn’t representing the flower shop as best I could and I might be flubbing up the order, when the whole time I’m going on and on, this woman is dealing with so much more grief than I can imagine.

I stammered something about not know, being sorry, we could just do a ribbon with the word Husband on it if she’d prefer, took her money and returned to the greenhouse fighting back tears. In a matter of minutes my normally quite uneventful job had shown me love and joy and expectation, then love and grief and loss. No other job I’ve had has had that ability, and I keep feeling like it’s the perfect illustration of something, and some lesson could be learned by it, but I haven’t quite figured out what that is.