Saturday, July 26, 2008

#28: Keep a potted plant alive for at least one year

Unfortunately for the plants, I'm kind of limping across the finish line on this one. I was given two gorgeous plants as housewarming gifts last July: an aloe and a beautiful flowering plant (front left; hibiscus, maybe? who knows...). In the early eagerness of domesticity, I bought the third plant (front right).

Knowing how living-plant-challenged I am, my friend who gave me the aloe assured me they are hardy, nearly impossible to kill. Thank goodness, because as you can see, the poor, not-so-hardy mystery flowering plant only has about five leaves left, and one of them isn't looking too hot.

I haven't had blooms on either of the flowering plants since last August, a fact I was told could be remedied by repotting them with some fertilized soil or miracle grow or some such. I consider that to be level II care; I was concerned with level I care: water the correct amount in order to keep alive.

I nursed them through the winter, and when sunny skies and warm weather again arrived in central Texas, I happily moved them to the front porch, prematurely delighting in the mistaken assumption I had guided them through the toughest stretch. They were all promptly burnt to a crisp (literally--they were blackened), and I thought I (they? task #28?) was/were doomed for sure.

They've spent the remaining time since that ill-fated first warm-weather spate on our kitchen table. I feel like they are in an assisted-living plant ward--not too much sun, not any fresh air, no excitement. What do I do now? Continue to nurse them through a premature old age? Is that any life for a plant?

Maybe I'll plant them in our little shrub-bed in front of our front porch--this will give them the chance to flourish as they were meant to...and if it means they die, well, at least they'll die under the wild blue wonder of the great outdoors instead of cooped up in my kitchen.

Friday, July 11, 2008

I can't believe I forgot!

I can't believe I forgot to add these two stories to the post about our family reunion weekend.

We flew in and out of JFK. When we flew in, while we were waiting to pick up our bag, we were standing next to two girls and a guy who were all extraordinarily drunk and engaging in a fully clothed, very public threesome. Welcome to NYC!

On our way out, our flight was delayed 3-4 hours, so we sought refuge at the terminal bar/restaurant. When we walked up, a girl we assumed was the hostess walked up and grabbed a couple of menus. Alex said, "Two, please," to which she replied "Seat your own F-ing selves," and walked off to hand the menus to another table.

We were SO glad to get back to Texas! ;-)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Sea Kayaking, Clambakes, and Fireworks!

(Otherwise titled: #58: Visit my grandmother)

We spent the 4th of July weekend at a family reunion in Connecticut. We had an amazing time. There were more than 20 of us hanging out in my aunt's backyard at any given time, munching on burgers and steamed clams. We went sea kayaking and hunted for seashells and sea glass. There was an island off the beach that you could walk to when the tide went out. There we hunted for treasure, searched for birds, and made cairns on the rocky shore.

The fireworks were great, too! There was no official town show, so all the ba-gillionaires who have beach-front property band together and put on shows of their own. Imagine looking down the beach and seeing three or four full-blown fireworks shows going on at once! And they weren't the little dinky kind--they were big, grand, and expensive! And because they weren't official city shows, there was no buffer zone for the crowd. We got to see the fireworks explode directly over us (and even got hit by ash a couple of times)!

The best part was getting to spend three days with my family, whom I rarely get to see as we are spread all over the country (and the world! My cousins flew in from Lebanon for the event!). I hear the next one is going to be in two years at our house...I'd better start getting ready!

Happy 4th!


Thursday, July 3, 2008

#4 (Get a promotion) and #64 (Get a raise) -- Yippee!

After two years, three months, and 19 days, I am FINALLY are "real" employee of my company!

*****pause for the Happy Dance*****

I was originally hired on through a staffing agency for a one-year project and told that typically "project employees" are hired on permanently after the successful completion of their first project. Well, six months later, my company went up for sale and a hiring freeze went into action. It took a long, long, long time, but the sale is complete, the merger is complete, the reorganization is complete, and staffing has begun again!

A senior editor position opened up in the Adult Education group (GED and college prep work), and I got it!!! That's a three-step jump as far as promotions go, and a small raise, but a raise nonetheless. And I get paid vacations days! And sick days! And an office! And it's a management position, so I'm actually going to be in charge of stuff! I am also really looking forward to getting back to 6-12 grade material, which is what my certification is in. For the last couple of months I've been on a K-2 phonics and spelling program, and while it's been educational to say the least, I'd rather be working on material that I know and am good at.

Goodbye bottom of the totem pole!

Have a fantastic Fourth of July weekend! I'm off to celebrate!