Monday, April 09, 2007

Day 99: Preplanning

I’ve been on the opening shift at Starbucks, which was part the reason behind my two-week hiatus. My schedule has revolved around this shift, my meals and everything moving up in the day to meet my 4 a.m. wake-up and 10 p.m. bedtime, with a half hour to hour-long nap in between. It hasn’t been going well working five days in a row like this. My natural tendency so far has been to fight the change, so some days I still stayed up until 11 or midnight and then felt like doo-doo the next a.m. So this last weekend, I thought we may have been going out of town and took a few days off. We ended up staying home, and it’s been glorious. Glorious is not an exaggeration. This is my last day of absolute freedom from Starbucks, and I spent it well, reading, writing a ton, cleaning a smidgeon, and searching for lost souls on myspace. I feel like a champ.

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I also took thirty minutes out of my busy day of planned slacking and thought about what I should make when I go back to my opening schedule, tomorrow, that I can grab and eat in the car on my way to work. It can’t be complicated, because at 4:15 a.m., I’m more likely to wear it than to eat it all. I settled on breakfast burritos, encased in a preserving sheath of saran wrap, and got down to the business of making them. Too lazy to add hash browns or fry up some tater tots, I stuck with the basics: eggs, onion, tomato, salsa, and a sprinkle of cheddar. All wrapped up in those mini-fajita shells, and it should be a nice small serving that won’t make me ill come morning. It was hard not to eat one of them as I wrapped up the six I made and shelved them carefully in the fridge. I’m pretty sure that George will be helping me consume them too, so I made a few extra.

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Summertime being just around the corner, I’ve decided to start my tomatoes slightly earlier this year. Last summer, the heirloom tomatoes were pulling the plant to the ground they were so plentiful and heavy. Then they froze. It was disappointing, but I think it could have been avoided if, like Floyd, I had started earlier. Floyd is the retired math teacher who lives directly behind us. His garden is umpteen times larger than mine and a billion times better. He has consultants and other garden and lawn-care professionals stamping into his yard several times per summer doing this and that, so it’s obvious he knows and cares for his yard far better than we. That said, he’s limited on variety in what he plants. Last year he was staggered to find that I was growing tomatoes he’d never heard of before. We swapped. But he has these weird blow-up things made of ballooned plastic and filled with water, much like you’d cart a goldfish home in, that surround his plants until danger of frost is over. I either plant things too early and they die, or too late and they die. It’s been great. This year, my friend Patricia gave me a gardening booklet. It not only has room for you to draw your ideal garden, along with what the thing actually looked like, but it shows you what to grow indoors, outdoors, from seed, from seedling, when to plant, and has lists in the back where you can write what worked, didn’t, to dos, etc. Exactly my kind of notebook. Taking notes from that, I’ve planted my tomatoes indoors and have already transplanted the romas once to larger containers. The heirlooms I planted on the second round (I have too few containers to do all at once), and they’re just now sprouting. I also planted zucchini and yellow squash, which are shooting up crazily already. I’m looking forward to spring this year so I can get them outside and not feel ashamed at Floyd’s abundant spread. Hooray!

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