Tag Archive | life

The Super-Duper Moon of November 14, 2016

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This illustration from NASA might clear it up, scientifically.

The moon turns precisely full on November 14, 2016 at 13:52 UTC. That will be at 8:52 AM my time, however the night before will have to do for me in the Midwest.

This is the second in a triad of super moons this year. Last October’s Hunter’s moon was super, and December’s Cold moon will be super also. However, this November’s Beaver moon will be SUPER DUPER! Why? Because the moon will become full within two hours of the perigee, much closer than the other two.

Because the moon’s orbit is elliptical, one side is about 30,000 miles closer (perigee) to the Earth than the other (apogee). When the Earth, Sun and Moon align, it’s called syzygy. Before super moon, these alignments were called, perigee-syzygy moons, however that just doesn’t roll off the tongue so well!

Sadly, there won’t be a super moon in 2017 because the full moon and perigee won’t realign again until January 2, 2018.

Because the moon has recurring cycles, we can count on the full moon and perigee to come in concert in periods of about one year, one month and 18 days. Here is a well done chart that identifies super moons of the future. If all holds true to the schedule, I’ll see a super moon on my birthday January 7, 2080.

Now if astrology is your thang, the super moon in Taurus and the Sun in Scorpio, brings about grounding and sloughing off what you don’t need. This mix also brings about decision making capabilities that can help you make a change that will make your heart happy. Hmmm, are the stars trying to tell me something?

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

A Letter to the Person I Fired Yesterday.

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Dear Ex-coworker,

Three weeks ago, our boss hired you to be a maintenance account representative. I’ve heard stories about the past people he chose to hire without consulting the other higher ups… One came in on her first day with purple hair. He rubbed his eyes and swore it wasn’t that color when he hired her. The next one thought it was OK to run 3 other businesses from her cell phone while on the clock here. After those fails, he asked his sister-in-law, the other maintenance account representative, to interview the next two employees who turned out fine. Those two employees were my predecessor and me.
I know you’re thinking that he was the only one at your interview… And that you told me you like to dye your hair purple sometimes.
I also remember the look on your face when I told you we planted invasive species like pears, burning bush and gooseneck loosetrife… And the lack of interest while I explained one of the many Excel spreadsheets that are used at the company.
I read your resume after the boss told me he had hired you and you were coming aboard in two weeks. Although you did have a degree, it was in botany. Botanist’s and horticulturist butt heads IMO, but that’s off the subject. You really had no landscaping or customer service experience. Your last job was working in the hothouses in an annual nursery. Ironically, that really didn’t set off any alarms, as just because you don’t have experience in something, doesn’t mean that you don’t have the potential to be trained to do it.
The first few days, you were super excited to work for us. Your starting date corresponded with the beginning of our spring color program, which meant going out and planting containers with annuals. Who wouldn’t enjoy that? It would be an awesome job description to have! However, that was only a small portion of your job description. You were only going to be aiding in the color program, not running it like you dreamed-up. Sadly for you, as the incoming employee, you were going to be getting the brunt of the paperwork. No one likes paperwork, however everyone from a McDonald’s manager to Donald Trump has to do paperwork.
After the annuals were completed, you began to spend the next few days in the office with me. I began training you on how work orders flow, horticultural schedules are set and where to find things. Although you took notes, you were constantly checking your personal phone. Then, while explaining the maintenance billing spreadsheet that you were completely not picking up, you huffed and asked why the owner’s wife, who only does the accounting, can’t do this for herself. I explained that she is an accountant, not an account representative that knows what services were performed on the client’s properties. This is part of your job, not hers.
While training you, you didn’t seem to understand that I have a job to do also. I work in construction. Yes, much of the paperwork I was doing was maintenance related. However, by hiring you, it freed me up to quote and process more construction jobs, which are more lucrative than maintenance. I did show you many things that weren’t going to be part of your job because I needed to complete them such as permitting, estimating, designing and how we construct common landscape elements. If you were the ‘go-getter’ my boss had hoped you were, you would have absorbed this free insight and educated yourself in case I ever left, thus opening a promotion to you.
Bits of the information I was sharing did pertain to your job. You were going to need to learn how to read a blueprint, understand how scales work and planting offsets. When I asked you if you had any experience with this, you replied yes. It wasn’t a test to see what you knew, I simply wanted to know if I needed to explain it or not. After two phone checks, a coffee run and to start munching on a banana, you sat back down and asked me if there were more than one scale. Um, yes. You wouldn’t have asked me this if you knew what you said you knew.
At this point, I admit I was frustrated and needed to complete my quote, so I sent you out to water the flowers, which you were more than happy to do. Perfect.
When you came back into the office with your phone blaring music, you continued up to your office and stayed up there for ten minutes with a music volume that could clearly be heard in my downstairs office. As you have no other duties aside from what I was giving you to do, I wondered just what you were doing up there. Your answer of looking into health insurance plans online was not the right answer on company time. I asked that you sum it up and that I don’t mind you having music on, but it can’t be heard downstairs. You said a huffy “fine” and turned it completely off. As I descended the stairs, I heard your office door slam. The accountant-boss’s-wife asked me if that just happened and I said yes.
The next few days were unbearable for all of us. From your attitude, we knew you weren’t happy with the amount of paperwork / days in the office you were required to do. It was not hidden during the interview that this was not a drive-around-in-a-truck 40 hour job. Even on the days that you were out with the other account rep, you showed no motivation to learn any of the things you’d need to know to do your job. We also started to learn that you had no customer service skills whatsoever and you seemed to be missing many basic social manners as well. Such as:

  • How to answer a phone. “Good morning/afternoon, Company Name. Yes, she is here, can I ask who’s calling?” Hold button. You just answered “Hello, just a minute” and didn’t put the client on hold, but put the handset on the desk.
  • Music volume. Be courteous. Client’s or coworkers shouldn’t be hearing it in the background.
  • After showing you a cabinet you can put your food in, you thought it was OK to just take a banana from my cabinet without asking. Your welcome for the yogurt, also.
  • Patchouli perfume has connotations. You also used too much, which only amplified our thoughts as to why you wore it. The oil lingers everywhere you’ve been or touched. Bleeeech!!
  • Sleeping in the truck on the drive back to the shop is unacceptable.
  • No, tank tops and shorts are not acceptable, even if it’s hot out.
  • When asked to go to the counter of a nursery for a pick-up, you asked, “What am I supposed to say? I’m here for roses?”. No try, “Hello, I’m Your Name, from Company Name, here to pick-up our order.” Then after being asked to stay and wait for the order, while your coworker uses the Ladies.. She returns to the meeting spot and you are nowhere to be found. She waits for the order, pays for it and loads it into the truck, all the while wondering where you were. After ten minutes of looking for you, she finds you wandering the isles. You stated you got bored waiting and wanted to wander awhile.
  • Your interest in the crews was not what we felt was acceptable in a managerial position. You asked us too many personal questions, like who was single and also spent too much time chatting with them at jobsites about their personal lives.
  • Yes, there is a broom in the closet for when you track mud all over the office. It amazed me the 6 boot cleaners at the door didn’t tip you off.
  • Even tho we warned you many of our clients have security cameras, you still thought selfie’s were acceptable. We feared you were posting these to Facebook with our company logo on your shirt.

Although you would have thought this was enough for us to part ways, the clincher was when you told me, within listening distance of accountant-boss’s-wife, that you didn’t need to learn how to file, because it wasn’t part of your job, walked away to your office and shut the door.

That afternoon, without the boss, the three of us employees decided that dealing with your ‘tude wasn’t worth the lessening of our workload or stress. You were creating more stress and worse, we thought you would bring shame to our company.

I will remember the morning the accountant-boss’s-wife and I fired you for a long time. We had discussed what we would say. We didn’t want to hurt you, however we had to be prepared with answers when you asked us why we had to let you go. We told you that you didn’t seem happy to be working in the office. You seemed to remember being told you were going to be in a truck all day, working with client’s, crews and flowers. Clearly a delusion. You then said answering the phones, filing and paperwork are not for you, as you have a college degree. That I should be doing it as I wasn’t educated. You seemed pretty surprised when I told you I had a degree also, let alone 3 certificates, an arborist license and countless other endorsements. Since you’re not working for us anymore, I can now tell you I also make twice as much as your educated ass.

It took you almost a half an hour to pack-up all the stuff you managed to move into your office in the three weeks you were here. I had the pleasure (not) of standing in your office to be sure you didn’t pack any proprietary information or delete files on the computer. You mumbled the whole time, I tried not to listen and read work emails on my phone. I also tried not to laugh when you said that we didn’t know how to run a business, that we’d miss you and that I didn’t know how to train people.

I wish you the best. I hope that you can learn from this experience, although I’m shocked that in your 35 years on this planet, you seemed to have picked up little in the common sense/courtesy department.

Signed,

Your gratefully ex-coworker.

 

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How I felt the day before I fired you.

Treat Time!

imageDog spelled backwards is god.

I did not get my first dog until I was 17.

I was first trusted with the guppies I found in the nearby pond. Then, goldfish. Next, I had hamsters and a lone guinea pig, but had missed out on the companionship of a canine. My parents loved dogs. My mother grew-up with a train of chihuahuas, all named Pepe. My dad didn’t have a pet directly, but his aunt’s chow-chow was next door most of his childhood.

When I was a child, my dad worked for United Airlines and we did have lots of opportunity to travel. He didn’t want to have to kennel a dog and my mom really didn’t want to get stuck taking care of it either.

imageNow after having Breck & Oreo in my life, I seriously cannot live without them. They are so fulfilling to be around. Oreo isn’t the brightest bulb in the box, but he sure is full of gumption. Breck is a very smart boy. However, he only learns things for his own benefit.

He has my Monday through Friday routine down pat. He learned it by learning each step, backwards, from the time I gave him the treat. He knows I open the curtains directly before going to the treat door. Previous to that, I’ve put my coffee cup in the dishwasher, after brushing my teeth. While I’m brushing my teeth, he’s dancing with his tail swinging wide. Fwap, fwap, fwap! (Any other activity at the sink is ignored). Before that I was fixing my hair and dressing. Preceding that I showered. Breck loves the fact I use coconut oil before I dry off. He loves it. I have to wipe it on his paws so he doesn’t lick me. He’s usually wandered off to lick off the coconut and leaves me alone to dry off and dress.

Weekends are a whole nother schedule. He still gets confused, however knows how to work the system pretty well and still get what he wants.

 

© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

1 Down – 632,764,231,897,752 To Go!

imageGoodness!

It is March 14th, 2016 and I just killed a mosquito that was going to snack on me. Here is what was left of the bitch after I got through with her. Makes you want to think twice about messing with me 😉

She is a pretty powerful beast and I’m not tooting my own horn here, however she is considered one of the most deadly animals in the world! (Most likely just under human). She can transmit infections such as malaria, yellow feverwest Nile virus, Chikungunya, dengue fever, filariasis, Zika virus and other arboviruses.

I’m sure our recent bout with over 50F degree temps woke her up from her hibernation. Yes, these bitches hibernate.

Those bloodsuckers can smell their dinner from a distance of up to 100 yards via carbon dioxide. Other things that tend to attract them include:

  • People with high concentrations of steroids or cholesterol on their skin attract mosquitoes. That doesn’t mean that these dive-bombers prey on people with higher, internal levels of cholesterol, but those people who have more of the byproducts of processing cholesterol, which remain on the skin’s surface.
  • People who produce a higher amount of certain acids, such as uric acid, can trigger a skeeters olfactory glands, luring them in.
  • So can Uncle Bob and his application of a half a bottle of Old Spice.
  • People wearing darker clothing.
  • People with type O Blood tend to get snacked on more, followed by B, with A coming in last.
  • People moving around and sweating, compared to the folks lounging on chaises.
  • The Drunks will get attacked more over the Sobers as alcohol raises temperatures and causes more flailing of the arms 😉
  • That being said about the sweating above, more specifically, these whores like old sweat. Bacteria on your skin will change odor after it has been snacking on chemicals in your sweat. So, if you had a rough day of activities, then slow down for a seat at the campfire that evening without showering, you’re essentially screaming ‘Bite Me!’.
  • Another fav smell of the incarnates of evil are smelly feet! It’s the double-latte-three-shot-espresso version of old sweat. You may not attract any human females with that stench, but the mozzie females will go nuts. Don’t eat Limburger cheese either. Did you know it was the same bacteria that makes your feet smell. Eauuuu!
  • Stop eating bananas, the added potassium makes you more attractive to bite.  Eat more garlic and vitamin B1 instead.

I wish you the best in the upcoming season of itch.

© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Monarch Butterflies

I love monarch butterflies! Butterflies in general are so whimsical and make me feel 12 again. I was lurking through my media files and happened upon this folder labeled ‘fall walk’. Well, that was a pretty uneventful title for a nice set of pretty flutter-bys!! I’m not even sure where these were taken, but who cares 😉 Just enjoy them.

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imageThey like the late season bonanza found on Joe Pye Weed and the Queen Anne’s Lace make nice landing pads.

The origin of names has always fascinated me. So, who was Joe Pye? I found a website/blog that did quite a large amount of research on the topic. You can read the full post here at: Prairie Works – Land Stewardship & Ecological Restoration. However, if you want the Cliff’s Notes version:

Joseph Pye of Stockbridge could have had an ancestor from Salem who treated colonists for typhus thereby making his “fame and fortune,” or his name might have been a corruption from a hypothetical Indian word for typhus or some similar disease.  But I ask: Why not embrace the hard evidence that Joseph Pye was a Mohegan sachem who lived in western Massachusetts precisely where Eaton tells us that “Joe Pye’s Weed” was in “common use” as a treatment for typhus; that he lived his notable life there just a few decades before Eaton remarks on Joe Pye’s Weed; that the president of the college where Eaton lectured believed that he successfully treated his fever with a tea made from Joe Pye’s Weed; that Joseph Pye was educated by Samson Occam, himself an herbalist?  All this is substantiated and frankly I believe makes a better story than any borne of speculation.

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Of course, monarchs love milkweed. If everyone could just plant a few of these in their yard, we would truly be able to help their populations.

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© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

40 Days and 40 Nights Without Amazon.com

imageI’ve never really ‘given-up’ anything for Lent. I was raised Lutheran/Christian, which doesn’t require you to sacrifice any sweets, T.V. or other bad habits. I call Lent, “New Year’s Light”, as you’re not abstaining from something forever (Resolution), you’re only giving it up for 40 days… Not including Sundays. Hmm. I smell a loop-hole! Does that mean you can cheat on Sundays*?

I’ve also recently decided that Christianity wasn’t a good fit for me and have recently decided that Druidism fits my vibe. Druids don’t do Lent.

There is a good use for Lent though. Testing your willpower. I have become pretty dependent on Amazon.com… I’m even a Prime Member! Amazon contains a plethora of things to make me happy =-) There are very few things that I can’t find on Amazon, however I’m not afraid of eBay, Etsy or even Walmart has an app now. Why should I waste my time driving to a store, dealing with wacky people and possibly getting sick when I can have it delivered to my door after hitting a few buttons? Duh. (coughDemophobiacough)

The UPS and USPS delivery folks bring packages to my home at least 3 times a week. I basically buy everything online, aside from my groceries. I think the only other store I go to regularly is a hardware store.

Then, why have I decided to not order from Amazon for the next 40 days? Because I feel like I need to see if I can. It isn’t a monetary thing, my Amazon credit card has a limit of $500. They keep trying to raise my limit, but I keep telling them no. My sacrifice is strictly to see if I can pull this off. Wish me luck!

Is anyone else observing Lent or just testing their willpower?

*So for realsies… Can I cheat on Sundays???

© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

I’ve Been Qualified!!

2012-06-23 13.26.23Good day Dear Followers!!

I wanted to share my excitement of passing my exam for becoming a Qualified Tree Risk Assessment Arborist!! The test wasn’t horrible, passing was 75% and I pulled off an 89%. I had studied hard with my study-buddies. =-)

And just to add on to the excitement of the day, it’s National Dress Your Pet Day! I can’t say that I dress by guys in anything but necessary wear (coats), however I have had some times reading about poor Choppy and what her Mom dresses her in!!

Enjoy your day & I’ll see you in the reader =-)

 

 

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