Author: Jan Created: 6/22/2010 1:09 PM RssIcon
My mid-life musings.
By Jan Martin on 6/28/2010 4:30 PM

Diplacus (Monkey Flower)Yesterday, during our twice daily walk with the dogs, we noticed some native Diplacus (also known as Monkey Flower) growing on the hillside. Jim managed to fend off some sage-brush to obtain a nice branch of the lovely, dark-orange variety.

I kept the branch moist overnight, then this morning made multiple stem cuttings from the single branch.

This is my first attempt with Diplacus, and I'm sort of guessing that I'm working with soft-wood cuttings. First, I cut each specimen just below a node, stripped off the leaves (except for the tops), and dipped the bruised ends in honey before planting in moist cactus mix. I then placed the small pot of cuttings in a large zip-lock bag and placed it in the kitchen window for indirect sunlight.

I'll be keeping the cuttings warm and moist in the baggie. In three weeks I'll let you know if anything has rooted.

By Jan Martin on 6/23/2010 9:37 AM

“I don’t see much sense in that,” said Rabbit.

“No,” said Pooh humbly, “There isn’t. But there was going to be when I began it. It’s just that something happened to it along the way.”

I don't know whether or not there is such a thing as a mid-life crisis. I do know that I have been experiencing physical and mental changes that are contributing to my desire to make some changes in my way of living.

For the past ten years or so I've been working in the veterinary field. Much of my job duties have been physically tiring; standing on my feet for eight to ten hours a day, and lifting and bending to carry or restrain animals. Animal hospitals can also be very mentally stressful environments.

When I accepted the position at my last animal hospital, I was already attending school to obtain a degree as a Veterinary Technician. Along with the on-line and correspondence portion of the course, I needed hands-on training from a local animal hospital. I had hoped that I could work part-time and fulfill the clinical requirements for the course at the same time. But, something happened along the way.

The hospital was so close to my home that I could walk there, making travel time to and from work mere minutes. The interview went well, I passed the drug screening, and then realized that, alas, there was no part-time position available. I took the job anyway, thinking that I could handle the work and the homework. I did handle it, for awhile, but when the only classes I could actually attend were make-up classes (I was at work during the scheduled class time), I found myself getting further and further behind in my studies.

After I had exhausted my extensions for the semester, I had to face the fact that I could not continue to work full-time and complete my education. Since we needed the money more than I needed the degree, I ate the loss on the tuition and quit school.

Now, two years later,  I'm mentally and physically exhausted.  I'm not sure what my next job will be, but I'm rethinking my career choice while I return to the local community college this Fall for some Horticulture courses.

By Jan Martin on 6/22/2010 2:25 PM

"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"

"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"

"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully."It's the same thing," he said.

After some years without my own blog (Shades of Gray), and after much discontent with Facebook, I've decided to take another look at blogging.

I'm at a point in my life where I feel the need to return to creative and gratifying projects. The past several years have been filled with work; so much work that I've had little time or energy to focus on family, house, garden, entertainment, or self-improvement. That is all about to change.

Next week I will be unemployed. We will face some economic challenges until I can find some part-time work that will accomodate my desire to return to school.

My weekend gardening projects have started to bear fruit, and I'm remembering how much I learned from my mother's gardening expertise.  Besides my container garden of vegetables and fruit trees, I've been working on converting our backyard slope into a pollinator habitat of California Native plants.

I'm hoping to use this blog to chronicle my gardening efforts as well as my musings on life as an "over fifty" woman living in south Orange County, California.

Welcome to Petals & Fluff!

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