Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Oh Boy am I Feeling It

I have a part time job in a nursing home.  Back in the day, I was a nursing assistant.  Before I became a 'chemist', I had intended to go to nursing school.  But the waiting list for the nursing program was long and my patience was short.  So, at the urging of my chemistry professor, I switched programs to laboratory science and never looked back.

Until recently I was pretty fine with that.

When the rumbling at work started about the downsizing, I started to think about nursing again and wondering where I would be if I had stayed the course and gotten that RN that I wanted in the beginning.  So, just out of curiosity, I took a nutrition class.  It happens to be a requirement for the nursing program. Well, now it looks like I'm going to be a nurse.  Not anytime soon, mind you.  I can't start the actual program until next year.  But I'm getting there.  My current Human Anatomy class has enough details and booby traps to keep my head spinning and my lips moving for months.  I can't wait for the Human Physiology class next term.  Oy.

In the meantime, since my job was ending, I landed a part time gig as a nursing assistant.  I am here to testify that this is not an easy transition to make.  I've spent the last 16 years at what amounts to a desk job getting fat and out of shape.  The first two shifts last weekend at that nursing home kicked my hiney but good.  Two days later, I'm still feeling it.

Oh boy am I feeling it.

It's not pain exactly...anymore.  But I was using muscles I haven't used in that particular way for a long time.  I don't remember it being that painful when I did the job before.  But it was sixteen years ago and a lot of water and gravy has gone under this bridge in that time.  Oh, and pie.  Mmmmm...pie.  It's harder than it seems it ought to be working on your feet for eight hours at a time.  I know I'll adjust.

But I am still feeling it.

Just so I don't stray too far from the real topic of my blog, here is a gratuitous shot of my black-eyed susans.  Aren't they pretty?  They come up in this spot every year as well as some other random spot.  Enjoy!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Season of Change

A couple of days ago my position at work was eliminated.  I knew it was coming months ago.  I have had a plan in place to make the transition as painless as I possibly can for a long time now.  I have lined up a part time job that starts this weekend and will become full time in the near future.  It seems I've managed to keep my affairs in order.

Still, it stings a bit to be told you're no longer needed in a job you've done, and done well, for the last 16 years.  So I've been feeling a bit sorry for myself these last weeks and especially the last couple of days.  I admit to spending a bit of time not quite certain what I ought to be doing consumed with an empty, nagging feeling that I've forgotten...something.

It seems I've always had something to do.

It's not that I don't have anything to do.  Perish the thought!  It's just that my routine is disrupted.  The things I had to do before are no longer on my to-do list.  Things like getting up at the crack o' dawn to drive an hour and a half to work.  Or like packing my lunch the night before and shopping for special lunch items that travel well and making sure I have something clean to wear to the office.  It's really a pretty long list.  I don't really miss that part so much.

No, the things I have to do now are simpler.  Take out the trash.  Wash the dishes.  Cook some dinner.  Mow the lawn.  Putter in the garden.

Ah!  The garden.  Now there's a change of scenery.  So much happens so quickly in the short time we have our growing season here in the heartland. 

I took some pictures.

The tomatoes are crazy tall.

New to my garden plot this year is the Indigo Rose tomato.  A friend at the aforementioned job grew them last year and gave me a few to try. They were cute and tasty.  These are still green, but when they're ripe, the bottom of the fruits will be red and the top will stay purple.

Just today I got my very first cherry tomato of the season.  I don't have a picture of that tomato because it didn't make it 3 feet away from the plant before I chowed it down.  But here are some its kin:
Right next to the tomatoes, whether I wanted it there or not, is a massive row of volunteer dill plants that are every bit as tall as the tomatoes.  They even came up in a bucket of dirt I had nearby.

Speaking of volunteers, I have a few in the garden this year other than the dill. Here are the petunias:
 The petunias I plant on purpose never look that good!  

There are, of course, sunflowers:
And these brown-eyed susans and catmint:
 And let's not forget this onion that I missed pulling last summer:

Onion flowers are quite pretty, aren't they?

The garden is really going well in spite of the record amounts of rain we've had this year.  Lots of the local farmers had to abandon hope of planting anything at all in some of their soggy fields.  I'm fortunate in that I garden pretty much exclusively in raised beds.  Minor flooding really isn't an issue.

After harvesting most of the potatoes and the last of the peas last weekend, I decided to plant some late crops.  I put in these pole beans where the peas just finished up:

Beans are almost instant gratification seeds since they germinate so quickly.  These yellow summer squash seedlings are coming up right where I dug the potatoes.  They come up pretty quickly, too.

The cucumbers are not really a late crop for me, I just got them planted later than usual.  I heard if you delay planting until after June first or so, the plants will do better and be more resistant to damage from insects.  I hope so.  Those cucumber beetles are a menace.
These are a bush variety that I've never grown before.  The plants are still pretty small and I'm not sure how big they'll get in the end.  Looking forward to cucumbers soon.

This year I was fortunate enough to harvest an adequate amount of black raspberries to make a whole pint jar of jam and still have enough fresh berries to snack on while I did the picking.  Here's the plant with the spent canes removed.  Those are the new canes that will bear next year.  I learned recently that if you let the ends of those canes get so much as a whiff of the soil, they'll set roots and start a new plant.  I have room for another bush, so I might just do that if I can get the plant to go where I want it to go.

The large daylillies in the front garden are going gangbusters this year. They look especially nice with the native bee balm right beside:
Today's blog closes with a parting shot of my latest garden toy.  Yep, that's right.  It's a tractor seat on wheels.  Now I can sit and pick tomatoes in comfort and style.  Just don't look when I try to scoot around the beds on that thing.  It's not a pretty sight.

Have a good one!