Spring-chronicity

DSC00871A few weeks ago I became a student in a local comedy class. It’s always been a terrifying fantasy of mine to try stand-up, and since I’m turning 60 this year I figured now to be as good a time as any to get on it.

We’re now in week #7 of class, with our “Graduation Show” coming up this Saturday. I am prepared and yes, duly terrified.

Early on in the writing of the material to be presented in the final presentation, I’d included a bit about how much I love and appreciate gardening. Aside from the emotional benefits of playing in the dirt and creating beauty, it is truly amazing how much fruit a single tomato or bean seed can yield.

With this thought in mind, I’d written something like,

“It’s so satisfying to toss a few seeds into the dirt and get results months later. I threw a dozen eggs into the garden last fall and I’m really looking forward to having chickens this spring.”

That bit got ditched — I have much better stuff now for the final show! But, an interesting thing happened today.

It was the first day in the garden since last fall. The garden gate had to be pried loose from the ice pack holding it shut, but once I was in, it was heaven.

Steady March sun warmed me and the earth as I worked to clear a place for the peas. (It’s a personal tradition dating back to childhood to plant peas on Good Friday, whenever on the calendar that day might occur.) Even though snow had to be shoved around, green shoots of onion and strawberry were ready to take off their winter coats.

Although this is the 6th year I’ve tilled this particular garden plot, new and foreign “stuff” still shows up in the dirt. Last year I found an intact glass bottle from a well-established local pharmacy, and there’s always more shards and rocks and marbles and nails that have wiggled their way up, around, and about to the surface of the soil.

GardenChicken

But lordy, look what I found today! The thing is metal, about 2” high, probably from the 50’s or 60’s given the style of painting:

All I can say is, someone has a sense of humor.

 

Jeanne Fiorini loves it when nature conspires to amaze and amuse.

TarotWorks http://www.tarotworks.com
She’s NEAT http://shesneat.com

Advertisements

Yard Sale Documentation Project: 11-10- 2012

Let’s see, where did we leave off?

October 20th

Rained out. Just as well, I was feeling uninspired i.e. lazy.

October 27th

We’re at the point in the season where the “just wander around and look for signs” approach is no longer effective. This is now a targeted effort. And while the number of sales in the classifieds for this Saturday is down to a mere 22, there are some tempting listings.

Although there was quite a bit of stuff out there today, I didn’t come home with much, and for two very good reasons:

1.  The “I really don’t need that even though it’s totally cute” mantra that still is cycling through my head.
2.  Severe price delusions by young’un’s who think granny’s stuff is valuable just because it’s old. They’ll get the message when the end of the day comes and they’re faced with a mountain of old pine and rusty tools and outdated junk.

But I did score a new stick vac (I don’t need a sincere vacuum since I only have throw rugs at my house) and a set of “Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf” finger puppets for little Ms. Vera.

Total outlay: $6, plus I was home in time to ready the house for hurricane Sandy who is supposed to show up on Monday. We had an earthquake here in Maine a few weeks ago; what gives, Mother Nature?


November 3rd
I worked this day, co-facilitating a Jung and Tarot workshop. A great group of inspiring and enthusiastic participants made it so that I only thought a couple of times about what I might be missing in YardSale Land on this sunny Saturday.

November 10th

The Portland Press Herald’s classified section declared on Friday that the yard sale season has ended.

I beg to differ. Despite clumps of snow and chilly temps, people were selling and people were buying on this second weekend in November. And, by some sort of fortuitous yard sale telepathy, several decent sales were clustered around a well-to-do area in neighboring Scarborough.

This “well-to-do” aspect can work in your favor and sometimes it bites you in the butt. Sometimes it means there’s high quality bargains in them thar hills; sometimes it’s a pre-cognition of the relativity of money and that the realization that the word “bargain” means different things to different people.

Kate and I operate under “the 10% rule.” If the yard sale price is 10% (or less) of what the item would cost new, a purchase is worth considering. Much more over that constitutes price delusion and we’re apt to be headed toward the car mumbling and grumbling.

It was amusing to me, but not surprising, to see again those same young’un’s referred to on October 27th, still tied to their imagined value of grannie’s junk. I picked up a pair of dessert dishes, marked $2, and asked the girl if she’d take $1 for them.

“Yes, $1 each,” with a glare she replied.

I could have done without the attitude. Back on the shelf they went, and I hope she enjoyed packing them up at the end of the day.

At a different sale, I observed a man drop $100 cash on two different piles of art prints. Both the seller and the buyer were thrilled with the transaction, and I have no doubt that the buyer got a good deal there; the prints were authentic and lovely.

As I said, money means different things to different people.

When it was all said and done, and it was done fairly quickly today, an eclectic and useful mix of things did come home with me. Here’s the tally:

1. Two funky cookbooks (I love that title, Lode of Vittles!) for my brother Bill who owns a B&B in the Adirondack Mountains, white Pfaltzgraff bowl, and two small notepads …. from the “Free” pile
2. Fisherman’s cross-stitch for my other brother Mike    …..$2
3. Five pieces of arty-crafty materials, always useful for my New Year’s Intention Map Workshop and the upcoming “Make your Own Holiday Ornament” event …..$1
4. Tall glass vase and Waverly Garden mug ……$1
5. Garden Scissors and heavy brass pine cone (from a coo-coo clock?) ….. $1
6. Three yards of burlap… any gardener knows you can always use burlap. …..   $1
7. Biographical fiction about the life of the Renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli, dated 1914 …..$1

Total expenses for the day: $7

Stay tuned for the final installment of the 2012 Yard Sale Documentation Project coming soon, where the full season’s accounting will be posted!

How much did she spend? What did she buy? Was it worth the time and effort? Does this woman need a new hobby? Does she need an intervention?

See you next time when you can decide for yourself.

 

Jeanne Fiorini is a Tarot professional and a yard sale addict who can stop any time she wants. Visit the TarotWorks website to see what Jeanne does when she’s not rummaging through other people’s stuff.

Around The Bean Pole

Here’s a photo of the bean plant that grew in my garden this year. When posted on Facebook back in August, the caption was something like, “I get it now about Jack and that bean stalk.” Nine feet tall is a modest estimate, and you can see the tendrils attempting to reach even higher.

There are baggies of beans in the freezer and the thing is still producing fruit even though we’re now into the second week of October. Along with providing the daily requirements of Vitamins A, C, K, iron, and fiber, picking beans from this plant taught me something that I already knew but about which I apparently needed a reminder: It’s all about perspective.

From the kitchen window I see the beans hanging from the vines and think, “Oh, better go out and get those before they get too big and become tough and woody.” Out I go with a bowl to cull what might be ripe for the picking.

Round the pole we go, gathering beans up and down as we spin around the circumference of the beast. Retracing steps in the other direction, it’s amazing to find fat and ready beans that were missed first time around. What was under a leaf coming from the northwest corner is in full view from the southeast vantage point. What was “too far down and out of sight” is at eye level once you scootch yourself closer to the dirt.

Back around we go for a third time, invariably discovering more and more fruit that went unnoticed in previous passes. How did these go undetected? How could I have missed this one? Why didn’t I think to look at the very bottom of the plant, almost into the soil, where the vines are doing exactly what they’re doing at the top of the plant: stretching, reaching, sprouting, growing.

This is great news for the dinner table and the pantry, but for the reflective person I can’t help being, it brings up concerns about what else I may be missing, what else I am not seeing: work opportunities, potential friends and lovers, essential information regarding health and wellbeing, not to mention useful blog ideas and bargains at the grocery store.

The bean pole teaches me that the best I can do is to keep my eyes open and try to look at things from as many perspectives as possible. “Bend your neck, move your head, shift your posture, use your eyeballs to really see what is there, and not just perceive what you expect to see.”

That last one is the hardest of all. When I catch myself being guilt of this sin, of not seeing what is there because of what I expected to see instead, I say to myself, “Silly human.”

I doubt other animals do this to themselves; they don’t have the luxury of being able to misperceive reality.

%d bloggers like this: