Proud Volunteers

These lovely little plum tomatoes grew out of my compost bin. 

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Yes, I know it makes it obvious that I don’t turn my pile over as often as I should, but when we saw tomato plants growing from the holes in the bin we made the decision to let them be and see what happened.  There are more waiting to ripen.  At least I know my compost is “composting” underneath the top layers somewhere.  We continue to add material to the bin and we’ll turn it when the veggies are done.

Also found in my garden is this small, but beautiful caterpiller. 

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I need to look him up to see what he is….probably something that eats my veggies, but then, maybe he’ll be an equally gorgeous butterfly and grace my garden with his wings.  I’ll check it out.  I deliberately grow plants that attract butterflies, so I can’t really complain if the juveniles eat some vegetation, now can I?  Well, I can, but it wouldn’t make much sense.

I thrifted these this weekend:

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The large, square platter is handmade, signed and dated and matches my kitchen so well.  The blue saucepan and baking dish are enameled and very heavy weighted, quality pieces that also match my kitchen.  I didn’t “need” them, but they will be used one way or another– maybe  given to someone in the family who DOES need them or take the place of others that I’ll give away, or maybe just used for flower pots or such.  Anyhow, the two pots AND the handmade plate were a total of $5.  Can’t beat that, can ya?  I went back to the same vendor a bit later and bought a large square linen cloth marked for embroidery with a holiday design.  Sheesh, it was only $1 and I’ll eventually work on it when I’m in the right mood.

There’s a somber, nervous mood in my workplace.  The state of MD is having huge budget deficits, as are most of the states, and the state employees are faced with furloughs and lay-off, to-be-announced.  Being in the lower half of the salary ranges, I get 5 unpaid furlough days, all of which are days that the state offices will be closed in conjuction with major holidays.  The first 3 will be unpaid and the last two I can choose to use any type of leave time I have available or take the loss of pay.  I don’t have to decide that till the last ones roll around (the last being next Memorial Day.)  Lay-offs make everyone edgy, because in the state, there are “bumping rights.”  It’s a seniority thing.  Since I’ve been there 20 years, all of which are with the same program, I have more seniority than most of the clerical staff in our health dept., but that doesn’t mean I can’t be bumped out of MY position by someone from another local state agency.  It’s complicated, but my coworkers were eyeing me suspiciously today and that’s rather uncomfortable.  If I’m “bumped” by someone, I can choose to bump someone else that has less seniority.  No one wants to be put in that position.  I’m trying not to think about it….just deal with what IS and not worry about what “could” happen.

Even if I don’t get bumped or laid off myself, we could lose other positions in our dept. and that makes us all work harder.  They rarely reduce services, just staffing to provide them.  And at a time when we need all hands on deck for the onslaught of flu shot season….and this year the addition of H1N1 vaccine….it could be a really rough time in my workplace.  Yuk.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jen
    Sep 07, 2009 @ 01:05:17

    I work for the State of Ohio and we have the same thing. Not good at all!

  2. Lynnanne
    Sep 08, 2009 @ 02:03:38

    Hi, I caught your comment off of ColdAntler… so thought I’d visit your site. Your garden visitor is called a Saddleback Caterpillar. It turns in to a not-so-pretty moth. In this caterpiller stage, this little cutie has the ability to sting you… leaving a pretty nice burning area on your skin. So be forewarned… look, but don’t touch!

    I work for the State of Indiana.. kinda strange that we (you and the other comment) work for the states.

    Hope you had a wonderful weekend.
    lf

  3. chickadeeworkshop
    Sep 08, 2009 @ 11:11:32

    Thanks for the useful info, Lynnanne. I hadn’t been able to find him in my online searches. I will definitely not try to get up close and personal with the saddleback. He is pretty, though. Moth…oh well.

    Hope your weekend was good, too. I am working today but then on vacation through next Wednesday, because my daughter is coming home and we haven’t seen her in 3 years. I’m very excited, but I have soooo much to get done at work today.

    Thanks for visiting and commenting.

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