Monday, March 17, 2008

Brown thumb

On my list of things I would want, if I could have anything, a talent for gardening is in the top ten. My grandfather was a fantastic gardener. He could make almost anything grow. He didn't spend a lot of money on plants or garden design. He just put things where they would grow. When he had a spot that needed a plant he'd create one. I once watched him take a 5 inch branch and turn it into a new, blooming rose bush. Yes, it took months but it was still magic. His gardens were practical but beautiful. Alas, I don't seem to have inherited his talent, but I do have a great appreciation for beautiful gardens. Which means that as spring approaches I get more and more distressed by the mucky yard outside my backdoor.

My dream

My reality

Not only am I short on talent, I'm seriously lacking space. To make matters worse my dog thinks her job is to protect me from daisies. Last summer she dutifully attacked every single plant I put in the ground. But for some reason all of these things just don't keep me from flipping through seed and plant catalogs! So, here for your entertainment, are a few plants I would plant if I could plant a garden that grew....

Oddly enough, I find myself attracted to the cool, new, brown plants that are showing up in trendy nurseries. Perhaps it's so there isn't as far to fall? "Why yes, that plant is supposed to have brown leaves... isn't it lovely? No, it's not dead..."

The beautiful pictures are courtesy of Jackson & Perkins

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Rock, Paper, Scissors

So... I had a dream the other night. In the dream I found myself at an ambiguous event, it might have been a wedding, conference or a reunion, I don't know exactly but I was dressed up so it was something semi-important. I was happily sitting at a large banquet table, chatting and having coffee with non-specific friends, when I noticed a group of men sitting at a nearby table.

They were playing rock, paper, scissors.

After a few seconds I realized that the men were all my ex-boyfriends and the winner of their game was going to get to go out with me again. The weird thing was that some of them weren't even really boyfriends, just guys I had spent time with in my wild youth. I was appalled to see them all, and embarrassed, and generally annoyed by the whole thing. Then it occurred to me that this was ridiculous because I am happily married to Bob... who wasn't at either table.

I woke up before the game was over and I'm happy I didn't find out who "got" me. Why in the world would I dream about men I haven't seen in over 25 years?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Happy Birthday

"If critics say your work stinks it's because they want it to stink and they can make it stink by scaring you into conformity with their comfortable little standards. Standards so low that they can no longer be considered "dangerous" but set in place in their compartmental understandings." — Jack Kerouac

3/12/1922 - 10/21/1969

If he had lived to 86 what would he be writing about?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Now I understand...

I've never really appreciated the movie Office Space even though it ranks near the top of my husband's list of favorites and has been played about a million times in my house. It was comical enough to hold my interest once but over and over again? Hardly. It just didn't resonate with me, you know? Until today.

Today, for the third Monday in a row I arrived at work to find that some aspect of my job changed after I left Friday afternoon. Three weeks ago I walked in to find pictures of a coworkers children on my desk. That was my first clue. My things had been moved to an office down the hall, which I suppose was fine.. Until the accountant came in and wanted HER desk back. We adjusted though. Neither of us is there full time so we divided up the drawers and I found a spare computer that I can usually use when we happen to be in the office at the same time. I made myself a "mobile desk", a manila folder with various supplies and my name on the front so I could float around without infringing too much on others.

Two Mondays ago a new full time person was hired. This is actually good news but it means I will be losing some tasks after she is fully trained and able to take over. I spent the week getting used to my new routine. Monday at my desk, Tuesday floating, Wednesday my desk again, Thursday and Friday.. floating everywhere.

The new person started today.. and when I got to work I found she has been given my computer, and calculator, and stapler, and staple puller, and my cup of pens... in fact the only thing she didn't get was my "mobile office" and my box of zbars!

I should have seen it coming. I should have paid more attention to Milton... but I didn't.. so I've lost everything. Except the job. They still expect me to do the job......

"And I said, I don't care if they lay me off either, because I told, I told Bill that if they move my desk one more time, then, then I'm, I'm quitting, I'm going to quit. And, and I told Don too, because they've moved my desk four times already this year, and I used to be over by the window, and I could see the squirrels, and they were merry, but then, they switched from the Swingline to the Boston stapler, but I kept my Swingline stapler because it didn't bind up as much..."

Thursday, March 6, 2008

On the books...

Mrs. G at Derfwad Manor is giving away books this month and her generosity inspired Laura at CenterDownHome to contemplate giving away some of her own. However, in the process of analyzing her collection she seems to have found herself unable to part with anything (a condition I can completely sympathize with!) so instead of giving them away she documented the wonderous diversity of her hoard. Then she suggested that her readers do the same.

Then she posted pictures of Matt Amsden which made me go looking for information about Rawvelotion, which made me hungry…

But back to the books… I loved Laura’s pictures of her various shelves and tables full of books, unarranged, unretouched, and yet so artistic. I want to be like her! Unfortunately, I’m not Laura, I’m Gina…

(thanks Mom)

I’m a disorganized semi-packrat with a serious shortage of horizontal surfaces suitable for displaying reading material. Did I mention I moved twice in the last 18 months? I intend to use this excuse for at least another six months…

But back to the books… let me explain before I start showing pictures. You see, in my old house I had lots of built in cabinets in which to store all of my treasures. In this house I have very few. Two weeks ago we decided to move the only large built in bookcase/entertainment center, which really didn’t look right in the living room, to the den. This meant that I had to move all of the books. Since the shelving unit is the new home for a tv and all of the kids video gaming paraphernalia, my poor books are now homeless. Oh the shame!

Some are slouched against the wall in a corner of my living room, begging passersby for loose change, or wood, even particleboard will do... perhaps an IKEA gift card?

Fortunately they haven't taken up smoking.

Some huddle together in the shadow of the entertainment center hoping it will hide them from maurading dogs.

The oldest ones have taken up residence in an antique desperately in need of renovation. It's not pretty but at least they are safe there.

Many are hanging around the dining room in hopes of squeezing into a kitchen cabinet.

But the cookbooks aren't moving.

The Bible always has a home... especially during tax season.

And Bird by Bird hasn't left the bathroom in a very long time.

We won't even discuss the books jailed in boxes in the garage, or those that are hanging around the kids rooms. It's a terrible thing to be a poor, neglected book in this house and yet, like a crazy cat lady, I just keep bringing new ones home.

Help me...

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Legos, Literature, Solicitation...

photo courtesy of Kaptain Kobold

Writing is like prostitution.
First you do it for love,
and then for a few close friends,
and then for money.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Closet Archeology

I moved twice in the last eighteen months. The first move was from California to Washington. With only a few weeks to accomplish that move, most of our stuff went into storage and we moved into a rental house. Four months later we moved into our new house and I've been trying to recover ever since. Oh, all the basics were in place within a week or so but there is a whole lifetime of things that are still boxed, or partially boxed, stored all over the house. This week, in a futile effort to find a pair of textured brown tights (laugh if you want but they keep my legs warm and would go well with my sketchers mary jane's; yes I am 5) that I know I have, I cautiously opened a box in the master bedroom closet. The box was labeled "lingerie" so it was the logical place to start. In it, along with the 75 unmatched socks, slips, and panty girdles and other contents of my California underwear drawer, I found the following items:

  • A silk Versace scarf. I will never be able to justify what I spent for it in 1985.
  • Baby shoes - white, leather, with a little rubber baby foot molded into the sole. Unfortunately they haven't retained the lovely smell of baby toes.
  • The hat that went on Taylor's head the minute after she was born, and an almost identical one that Delaney wore. God they are so small.
  • The longline strapless bra that I wore with my wedding dress and the size 38GGG nursing bra I wore after Delaney was born. The difference in the cup size is astonishing.
  • A Sum 41 CD that I don't remember confiscating from one of the children... but I'm sure they haven't earned it back yet.
  • Letters to the tooth fairy.

My underwear drawer has always been the place to stash things that I just can't seem to part with... or stuff I'm hiding from the kids. That box was at time capsule waiting to be explored. I never did find the brown tights but I did find some buried treasure. What's in your underwear drawer?