Thursday, October 27, 2005

Just when I'd completely given up...

...on my garden, this pops up:

My little autumn crocus bulbs (corms) I'd planted probably 7 or 8 years ago, (which I'd completely forgotten about and was sure had long since bitten the dust along with everything else in my wretched garden thanks to the worst drought on record), they're showing their lovely heads this week, just to prove me wrong.

This is why I love to garden - the lovely little surprises when you least expect them.

More pictures:

If I were any kind of gardener (or perhaps, any kind of cook), I'd be harvesting all those stamens for saffron. But, as is no surprise to anyone, I'm no kind of cook. The saffron will wither on the vine (stem).

I may be inspired to do some actual yard work, however, now that temperatures have cooled down quite a bit and it's actually pleasant outside. Now where is that rake...?

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Dry as tinder...

No real update on this blog since May - that's really sad. But that's when I started going to California every week for work, and ended up on the world's most wretched project there ever was. This project was so wretched that I ended up, ultimately, quitting my job over it. I don't like to think of myself as a quitter, but I was ripe for it and the timing was right. My consulting firm, which I've loved ever since I joined it and which has been incredibly successful for the past few years, (record growth, national awards, etc.), was bought out by a VERY LARGE, OLD and WELL-KNOWN U.S.-BASED INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION, which shall remain nameless, but which I refer to as the BIG BORG, (resistance is futile. you will be assimilated). The firm I loved has all but disappeared in the absorption process that has followed the acquisition, and my loyalties diminished to the point where they were almost non-existant. All that being the case, however, I still would have stayed but for the wretched project on the opposite coast, where they planned to keep me for the next three years. Expressing my misery to upper management fell on deaf ears, and so I did what I had to do to keep my sanity. With no real prospects, I left, expecting to be spending the next 4-6 months looking for work again. I really wanted to find some work locally and get off the road and perhaps start the nursery business my brother & I talked about, but that process required finding the local work, and that has not happened as of yet. Therefore, I decided that from now on I would work as an independent consultant, where I could say "yay" or "nay" to projects as I see fit, and turn down the horrible, life-sucking commutes to the west coast. Being so picky, I knew, would mean I might have gaps of several months where I wasn't working, but I was okay with that. I was so burnt out from the west coast project that I was ready to do NOTHING for a couple of months -- I looked forward to it! But the break was not to be -- within two weeks I had an offer for a gig to subcontract as an indy consultant. I turned it down. It sounded too much like what I had just left, and it would mean being in the southeast in August - I sweat just thinking about the southeast in August. A week later they called me back and begged me to take the project. They offered more money. I reconsidered. So, I've been working in the southeast (in August, in September, soon to be October, November....), ever since. In my particular niche of expertise there is a lot of potential work coming down the pike in the next 5 to 10 years, so I think I made the right move, ultimately. We'll see if I'm singing that same song after I finish this project and am looking for another one. But from all the emails and phone calls and contacts from colleagues I've received, I think there's going to be plenty of work out there. It just makes it that much harder to wean myself from the very good pay and settle down locally. I do really miss being able to take classes and join clubs and work in my garden every day and belong to things and meet new people. What personal life I had when I worked locally has all but dwindled down to nothing. Sure - I have friends all over the country now, but where are they on a lonely Saturday night when all I have to comfort me is the Andy Griffith marathon on TVLand?

Okay, how about a little cheese with my whine?

Seriously, though, let's get back to the topic of this blog, which is gardening. There has been none. Nada. Nothing. Zip. Zero. Zilch. Nein. I haven't put spade to dirt in about five months. I've watered once all season. And, after the two previous record-breaking wet and rainy summers from which we became royally spoiled, we are now in the midst of the driest month ever recorded. (Well, that was yesterday, when it was September. We'll see what broken records October has to offer). So everything, I mean, EVERYTHING is shriveled up and brown and dead. It looks horrible. Even my Eupatorium coelestinum (perennial ageratum), which grows literally like a weed is nowhere to be seen. ....sigh.... So discouraging. Makes me question my gardening abilities. I surely haven't been in the mood to tend to anything, with the weather having been so hot and humid and rainless this summer. And now that Autumn is closing in and things should be perking up a bit before winter, they're dying back, instead. So discouraging. This may be my last gardening post of the year, unless I decide to post some pictures of my dead or dying garden.

I've since taken up a new hobby - knitting, and may start a new blog for that, just so I can keep track of my projects and the yarns and needles and stitches I've used on my projects. Might also be fun to track progress as I graduate (some day) from scarves to something more complicated....

So, it may be awhile before I post to this blog again. Perhaps not 'til spring is sprung, grass is riz, etc., and things are new and blooming and worth photographing and discussing again.... We'll see....