May 9, 2010

I'm Back!

Thank God and Greyhound, spring semester is over and done with. I haven't been this happy to see summer vacation since ... well, grade school, probably. Burnout has been setting in, and dragging myself over the finish line this semester was a pretty tall order. But, I'm looking at three months of no classes and no 50-mile round trip to campus three days a week and I'm much happier.

I believe I mentioned that I'm once again gainfully employed, but I don't think I gave any details. I started my new job at the end of March, working in one of the local garden centers in their tree and shrub nursery. So far I'm enjoying it, though my body is far less comfortable being on its feet all day than it was many years ago when I last worked a "stand-up" job. I splurged on some fancy-schmancy gel insoles the other day, but they aren't much help. Unfortunately, it's not a permanent job - how long they keep their seasonal people on depends entirely on how their spring and early summer sales go - but from things I'm hearing, once you're in, you're in for as many seasons as you'd like. And I may be able to pick up some additional work this winter when their Christmas tree sales start. If nothing else, working in the nursery is an excellent way to have day-in, day-out, "hands on" experience with the various trees and shrubs. Sure, I've taken all the plant i.d. classes, but this is Colorado we're talking about ... for most of the semester, it's not plant i.d., it's stick-and-twig i.d. Seeing the plants every day as they go through their growth cycle is a whole different thing.

There's also the issue of my employee discount. I have a whole yard that needs a lot of help, and getting a big, fat discount on plants will be useful. I've been pretty good so far, although that walk from the employee entrance through the perennial department to get to the nursery is certainly trying my restraint. I did break down and buy some Silverheels Horehound (Marrubium rotundifolium) a couple of weeks ago. They only had about a half of a flat of the stuff out, and it's one that I've been planning on buying for the front yard. I'm going to plant it in combination with some Seafoam Artemesia (Artemisia versicolor 'Seafoam'). That particular combination is one that I've swiped from CSU's test gardens up in Fort Collins. They had the two planted around the base of this enormous Douglas Fir, and it looked incredible.

I really want a tree for the backyard (we're in desperate need of a screen for some of our neighbors), but the one I keep coming back to is not really all that practical as a screen. We have some Montmorency cherries on the tree lot that I am just in love with ... beautiful glossy reddish bark and huge white flowers. The problem is, they don't get all that big, and I can't stand cherries. The Amazing Husbandini likes them, though. So I'll probably just use him as an excuse when I finally cave in and buy one. :-)

In other news, the kitties are all doing well. The Big Acoustic Kitty is still puttering along on his mini-dose of insulin twice a day. His drinking is still up there, as is his "output", but other than that things seem to be about the same. He's certainly as grumpy as ever.

That's it for now, but once the dust settles and things around here get back under some sort of control, I'll put new batteries in the camera and post some gratuitous kitty photos.

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