Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Garden Experiment Update

Usually, by this time each summer; I am writing a post about my vegetable garden and how well (or not) it is growing. As we all know, I didn't plant vegetables this year, so this post will be all about the experimental cut flower garden that I am raising.

Early this spring, I planted three types of zinnias, five types of dahlias, five colors of snapdragons, three colors of cosmos, bachelor buttons, and ruby sunflowers in the raised beds that Hugh built for me several summers ago.

I wasn't sure what to expect, but I am pleased to report that most everything germinated and is budding out, if not full-on flowering.

I chose varieties of flowers that would (theoretically) bloom throughout the summer, thus making them available for the wedding on August 10th. In order to ensure that they continue to bloom; I have to do periodic cuttings, which feels a bit nerve-wracking (what if I cut too much and they don't rebloom?).

The first cuttings I did were on a dahlia plant that I purchased from the nursery in Hooterville; I was worried about the tubers I planted not producing plants and had wanted to hedge my bets with a slightly more mature plant. That plant has since been swallowed up by the plants produced by those tubers, so I needn't have worried.

When it seemed to be taking an overly long time for my snapdragons to germinate, I again panicked and purchased a couple of plants from the nursery. And, once again, I needn't have worried, as the seeds did, eventually, produce plants, which are now blooming. The picture below is cuttings from the nursery plants, however.

One mistake that I did make was not reading the label on one of the dahlia tubers closely enough. Had I done a better job of that, I would not have ended up with a dinner plate dahlia that will be useless for the wedding centerpieces. The pictures below show the progress of that dahlia, as well as what the garden looked like about a week ago.

I photographed the beds again this past Sunday, and this is the progress that has been made since the photos above...

...including the plethora of blooms that I needed to cut in order to keep things going.

I love the color combination that is happening and Shanti was excited to see that it would compliment the bouquets that we ordered for her and the bridesmaids.

Yesterday, I snapped a few more pictures while doing my morning watering. The bachelor buttons and cosmos are just starting to bloom, and you can really see just how big that dinner plate dahlia that I mentioned above has turned out to be.

The sunflowers are growing really well, and, should bloom right on time (fingers crossed). I am really hoping their color is the deep ruby promised on the seed package, but we'll have to wait and see.

And, that's it for the garden update.

Hugh is still a bit salty over the fact that I'm not pulling cucumbers out of the beds this summer, but, he concedes that the wedding it a titch more important than a cucumber dill salad.

Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Who Wants To Golf On The Hottest Day Of The Year?

One hundred and twenty-two hardy souls who love both golf and a good cause, that's who. And, lucky for us, because we raised over $35,000 for Not So New Job.

The morning dawned bright and clear, with a slight breeze and a very minor chill in the air. We would miss that chill later in the day, when the temperature topped 100 degrees with zero cloud cover or breeze.

This year's tournament took place at the golf course where my staff and I are taking our lessons, so we all feel pretty comfortable on the course and in the clubhouse; this made the tournament a lot less stressful than last year's tournament at a rival course where the staff was in turmoil and many balls were dropped.

As always, we started the day with check-in and breakfast for all the golfers, including a Bloody Mary bar and breakfast burritos. I shot a few pictures of the check-in process, including the massive number of golfcarts needed to shuttle thirty-two foursomes around the course.

This year, we tried something new: a chaos putt! Participants purchased a numbered ball and everyone gathered around hole 18 in a large circle. On the count of three, everyone putted and whoever sank the putt won a prize. Two golfers made the shot, which was really cool. We had a drone overhead, videoing the putt and I can't wait to get the footage.

After the chaos putt and our opening address, we sent the teams off to their assigned holes (the format of the tournament is a scramble) and we loaded up our cart for a day of driving around the course, taking team photos and delivering ice cold water. The water deliveries alone made us the most popular people on the course.

This year, the Man-Cub put his own team in the tournament, including Mikey, who was happy to join.

Hugh also had his team in again this year and they did really well.

By the end of the day, my staff and I were all hot, sunburned, and dehydrated but we agreed that it was a great way to spend a day at work.

Friday, July 12, 2024

Friday Favorites, T-Minus 28 Days and Counting

Shanti and I spent Wednesday evening on the golf course, playing a hole with our fellow golf clinic participants, and, while we did so; we celebrated the fact that the wedding was exactly a month away! It;s now 28 days away, but who's counting? 

Me. It's me! I'm counting.

I am so excited and ready to see these kids take that walk down the aisle. Before that, however, I need to finish the tasks that have been assigned to me, including the shoes for the reception, and the table decor for the rehearsal dinner. Tomorrow, I have the golf tournament for Not So New Job, but the rest of the weekend will be spent embroidering and candle-making, and; I'm not ad about it.

Today's favorites will be short and sweet, starting with that evening on the golf course. It was the final clinic of this session, so we were broken into two groups; my group hit the tenth hole with the GM of the golf course, while the second group headed to the front nine with the assistant golf pro. Our group consisted of me, my work team, Shanti, and a woman whom I had not met before, so; I volunteered to partner up with her while Shanti partnered with my bilingual victims advocate and my Forensic Interviewer Coordinator and Victim Services Coordinator teamed u in the third cart.

While I won't be winning any tournaments anytime soon, I did manage to make it over a water hazard and onto the green just slightly over par, so I definitely improved during this session. The next session starts next Wednesday, and we are already planning to sign up for it.

If you had told me a few years ago that I would be learning how to golf and actually enjoying it, I would have told you that you were crazy. 

Being proven wrong about my own damn self is becoming a favorite; I think they call that maturity.

I guess it's about time.

Tuesday, July 09, 2024

4th of July Recap

I really should have posted this yesterday, but it was my first day back at Not So New Job after the long holiday weekend so all manner of bullshit needed to be dealt with. As per usual.

As to that long holiday weekend, it was both the first time in a while that I didn't get called out for a holiday emergency at Not So New Job, as well as the first time in a while that Hugh and I were without plans. So, of course I didn't get a call out, come to think of it.

What I did get, was a lot of relaxation and some quality time with Jules, who I don't get to see nearly as often as I should, considering she lives just an hour down the road from me.

I started the weekend with a completely chill 4th of July on the porch with Hugh. I spent almost the entire day reading and working on Shanti's shoes for the reception (one month to go and I still need to finish hers and get the Man-Cub's finished).

I didn't feel like cooking, so we ordered takeout from the Chinese restaurant in Hooterville. I got my usual: chicken lo mein and chicken with broccoli. It was delicious.

On Friday, I basically repeated the previous day, minus the Chinese food and late-night fireworks that pelted our house with debris. Hugh and I are all for our neighbors enjoying the 4th, but when the fireworks went on past midnight and it was raining debris on our rooftop, he decided it was time to step out for a conversation with them. Ironically, Hugh arrived in their yard just as the local police pulled up; apparently there were other neighbors who were also ready to get some sleep.

Anyway, Jules joined us on the porch Friday night and we each downed a mojito before driving to Pixler for dinner at the Italian restaurant that we like.

Saturday morning, we were up and at it early. We drove over one of Colorado's most scenic passes to Durango; the town of our alma mater and where Jules and I first met.  Our goal for the day was to get the last remaining items of Jules's from a storage unit that she and her ex husband had been renting for almost two years.

It didn't take long, and, before we knew it, we were eating lunch at a popular brewery in Durango, and then heading back over the mountains to drop everything off at Jules' house.

The drive was so beautiful; I can't believe I didn't take a single picture. Hugh, however, humored me and Jules when we asked him to take a picture of us with a 55 speed limit sign, to celebrate that each of us has reached this milestone birthday.

His effort was appreciated, buuuuut...we'll probably try for a better shot sometime between now and November/December, when Jules and I pass out of this speed limit and onto the next.

All in all, it was a really relaxing and enjoyable way to spend a long weekend. This week, I am working on all of the last minute details for our golf tournament fundraiser on Saturday, so; it's a good thing I rested up 😊

Monday, July 01, 2024

Life in the Slow Lane

Wow, I can't believe that today is the first of July. This year feels like it's been set to warp speed and I can't say that I'm happy about it; I still have so much to do for the wedding next month (gulp! Next MONTH!)! I want to soak in as much joy as I can because I do realize that this time, right now, will never happen again. I want to savor it!

The shower the weekend before last was a wake-up call for me about how I need to make myself present for the events surrounding this wedding. I need to focus on being in the moment, which is hard when you are responsible for the details, you know what I mean? But the details won't mean a thing if I don't slow down enough to notice and appreciate them.

Anyway, I'm going to do my best. 

I did get to spend some time with the soon-to-be Mr. and Mrs., outside of wedding planning, which is a gift that I am grateful for. 

Shanti and I were the only ones in our group who could make it to golf clinic last week (my coworkers each had somewhere else that they needed to be), so, after we kicked around in the sand trap (the golf pro says it's a bunker, not a sand trap, but my Dad called it a sand trap so, sand trap it shall forever be) and learned how to chip out of the tall grass onto the green, we met up with the Man-Cub at the clubhouse for dinner.

Hugh was working his Wednesday overnight shift at the fire station, so he totally missed out on both the company and the food, which, was ah-may-zing.

I had the chicken pot pie, which came with a salad. The Cub had the lobster mac'n'cheese, and Shanti had a Ceasar salad with baked salmon. None of us was disappointed.

The waitress sold us on the Wine Wednesday Special: we bought a half bottle of wine and got a dessert for free. We chose the flourless chocolate torte and were wowed. Since Shanti's mom is living gluten-free, we may consider a dessert of this type for the rehearsal dinner.

Dinner service was a bit on the leisurely side, but we didn't have anywhere else to be and the view was spectacular, so we enjoyed the evening. As I said above; I need to do more of that and less rushing the moment.

This weekend, I purposely slowed down again. One of my coworkers has cherry trees on her property and she gifted me with a large bucket of fruit.

I quite fondly remember summers when I was a child and my Grandma Molly would can cherries that she and Grandpa Nick got from this area while they were visiting Grandma's sister, who lived in Pixler with her family.

I knew I wanted to preserve the cherries from my friend, but didn't necessarily want to can them. Instead, I invited Mom over to the house to help me pit and prepare them for freezing.    

It was incredibly messy. And, a lot of fun, actually. We sat on the porch and chatted away the afternoon while we worked and, it occurs to me that a lot of the world's problems could be solved if more people chatted away an afternoon on the porch with the people they love. Or, on the golf course. Or on a long Sunday drive...

...slow doesn't have to be a four letter word, y'all.