Thursday, June 03, 2010

Jill of All Trades, Master of None

Mom's Bearded Iris

Jill of All Trades, Master of None -- that be me. During the frenzied month of May... I laid ceramic tile, hardwood floors, painted, sawed, pounded nails (and my thumb,) installed new doors, toted that proverbial barge and lifted the bale, too. 

Surprised to hear I can do all this stuff? Real world friends would be equally surprised since I never confess these skills. That's because I think there's something wrong with me.

Johnson's Blue (though, they look purple to me) Perennial Geraniums

I started out somewhat normal. In my previous life, I earned my keep at a big advertising agency in one of those super-sexy sky scraper type buildings. Working on t.v. commercials. The kind of job that makes other people jealous, though I never understood why.

It took me 8 short weeks to realize how much I hated it. And, five long years to extract myself from it. I found it hard to breath in that stifling, corporate environment.

Perennial Canterbury Bells

When we jumped ship and ran away to Utah, we spent every penny we had on 3 rental units and I became a not-so evil landlady. Instead of sitting in board meetings, debating the dumbest of things, I now spend a good bit of time working with my hands. And, loving every minute of it.

So, why don't I like to talk about that? Beats me. I guess I just don't feel my friends, with normal office jobs, could ever understand.

Columbines

With one set of long-term renters heading out the door and a new pair anxious to move in, we had 4 short weeks to accomplish a miracle ~ as in a complete re-do on the most adorable of the 3 rentals - surrounded by an English Garden!

My poor, sweet daughter handled all the painting. (She's destined for a fine job in middle management, though, as she delegated most of those chores to her cute as a button boyfriend. :)

As of today this work is done.

And, now? With that joint, once again, deserving of a Better Homes and Gardens sign... my lonesome hammock is begging for attention.

Drifts of Perennial Geraniums

51 comments:

sweet bay said...

That is so wonderful that you've found something that you love to do. And I love your flowers!

Melospiza said...

I think hands-on jobs are the best!

Which is why, uh, I work in an office. :)

Titanium said...

I actually *gasped* at that first photo... these irises of yours are spectacular.

Somehow, it doesn't surprise me that you are capable, strong, independent and a Jill of All Trades. I would venture that you are indeed a master of many, many things, too.

Just sayin'... *grins*

Kate said...

Thx, Sweet Bay;
I'm super thrilled over these blossoms, which were photographed in my first garden - the English Garden, where we used to live and now rent to people who, hopefully, love flowers! :)

Kate said...

Hi, Melospiza;
When you tire of that corporate culture you can come visit me and pound nails. :)

Kate said...

Thx for the vote of confidence, Titanium;

Glad we got a gasp out of you! I snitched those Irises from my Mother's gardens. I think they're older than me.

Snowcatcher said...

Ha! You're a master of MANY trades! For one, you're a mother. That kind of says it all.

My irises have finally started to bloom!!! I think I like your color better, though...

Kate said...

Good point, Snowcatcher!

Plus, daughter and I like each other lots so that's a positive. :D

I will happily send you some purty purple irises when I divide them later this year.

Priscilla said...

Lovely shades of lavender in your garden! I have several varieties of Violas I need to transplant, have you ever cared for them and have any advice? I try to keep them away from too much sun, they don't seem to like it. I interned as a Graphic Designer in a corporate office, and it's not all that great. I'm sure you're doing what you love! :)

donna said...

Joint? Did you say joint? lol

It's about time you tooted your own horn. It seems to me that you're talented in so many ways and funny, too.

That's the most amazing Columbine photo I've ever seen.

Hope your new renters turn out to be keepers.

donna

Town Mouse said...

I'm impressed. I can sort of do a lot of those things, but then they don't quite come out -- and almost right isn't great under those circumstances. Regardless, enjoy your well-deserved rest.

Amy said...

Kate, That columbine shot blew me away. It's interesting that you gave up the citified life for a simpler way of living. We did the same thing basically in the early 80's. It was the proverbial fork in the road and we took the down and dirty way. Owning our own business (a retail nursery), learning all aspects including the botanical, and then working 7 days a week to make it hum. I think, as a result, my girls learned a strong work ethic and I had the best of the situation. I could work at the nursery when they were at school and I did all the accounting, website etc at night. There's something to be said for the less complicated route, that's for sure.

I'm happy for you - finishing that big project. Your daughter sounds like she learned that ethic too!

Jean said...

Nice story Kate. When you mentioned sitting in meetings discussing inane things, I had a flood of memories. I too, have had that corporate career, only much longer than you. The garden's the place to be now (except that I have a full time job now at a very small company). Love your photos. They were stunning.

joey said...

Many of us have been there and nestled in ... enough to say, a hammock lover, so enjoyed hearing your voice!

Max-e said...

Looks like a beautiful garden you have there Kate.
You sound just lile my wife with your projects. She is forever getting stuck into renovations and building projects.
I like you three little neighbours.

Max-e said...

Looks like a beautiful garden you have there Kate.
You sound just lile my wife with your projects. She is forever getting stuck into renovations and building projects.
I like you three little neighbours.

Grace Peterson said...

Hi Kate~~ Years ago during my corporate phase, I along with all my coworkers dreamed of the lower tech, hands-on world. No reason to be ashamed. They envy us! :)

Love your garden photos.

Costea said...

Your beautiful flower pictures :).
I will stick to the blogroll and come back another time...

GardenJoy4Me said...

Kate girl : )
Sorry it has been a while since I have come for a chat .. life keeps getting in the way ? wink wink
Some how it does NOT surprise me you are that kind of a gal .. many many talents underneath the service that few have any idea of !
I applaud every bit of knowledge and drive you have girl .. you could almost be an army wife ? ;-)
Seriously Kate you are a heck of a gal and then add the Halloween element to it .. well girl .. you are darn near perfect !! .. oops .. add the garden part too !
You also have Morden Sunrise right ? .. these are beauties in your garden today : ) which reminds me .. I have so much work I will be up to my eyes in a thousand jobs routine for the garden to breath happily again .. and me flat out on the floor again ? LOL
I loved hearing about your adventures Kate .. come on over and help me with my painting and fixing too please ? : )
Joy

Rosey said...

Isn't it nice that deer and elk don't eat Iris? That is the one thing I can count on. Yours are gorgeous.
Enjoyed reading about your "previous life" and I am glad you are happier now with your profession.

Kiki said...

Super super gorgeous...stunning blooms...yay! i feel inspired!
Gorgeous!!Have a wonderful wkd!
Kiki~

Kate said...

Hi, Priscilla;
Yes, I do grow a lot of violas. They're such dainty little bloomers. They like cool weather -- so if you can find a spot where they're shaded from the hot afternoon sun they'll probably be very happy. :)

Kate said...

Thx, Donna!
That Columbine color is my hands down fave. I take far too many pictures of that pretty gal... :)

Kate said...

Hi, Town Mouse;
Well... I'm no pro but it's fun to try. Plus, as time goes on I find all sorts of ways to neatly cover up my mistakes. :)

Kate said...

You're living my dream life, Amy. I would dearly love to own a retail nursery. :)

Kate said...

Hi, Jean;
I still do freelance writing and web work to pay the bills. That is, until I win the lottery - ha! But, I don't struggle with that type of work. I just never had the patience for the slow pace of corporate decision making...

Kate said...

Thx, Joey -- And, I have greatly enjoyed viewing your 'trip down memory lane' with the anniversary photos. :)

Kate said...

Max-e ~ That's another reason why I don't 'advertise' my fixer upper skills. Don't need to get dragged into any more projects! :D

Kate said...

Hi, Grace;
That's actually how I ended up in Utah. The company I worked for had a private library. I'd sneak down there when I needed an escape and drool over the magazines featuring outdoor life in UT. Finally decided to see for myself and once I visited I knew this place was 'home.'

Kate said...

Hi, Joy;
Please don't apologize! I've been the worst blog visitor imaginable. Too much to do and too busy to think. Yes, I have the roses! And, they seem quite happy in their new home. Can't wait to see them in full bloom!!

Kate said...

Hi, Rosey;
Anything that deer and elk avoid are planted in abundance around this joint... :))

fairegarden said...

You are so wise to have figured out where you belonged in life early on. Maybe you don't tell people because they would try to hire you! I know I would! Hanging doors, now that is impressive. :-)
Frances

Melanie said...

I'm not surprised Kate, you seem very capable. I think it is great you are doing what you truly love. Enjoy the hammock:)

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Thanks for sharing this story. I worked in corporate America (though not a sexy job anyone envied) or over 20 years. I hated it after maybe 5, but a gal has to earn a living. The worst part is, as I grew to hate it more, my ex-husband (a perfect, perfect middle manager) loved it more, and I started feeling worse and worse for not feeling the same. When my dad died before being able tor entire a good while ago, I really started looking at my life and wanted to have more time... I started working part-time (still with health insurance and decent money) about 10 years ago... conveniently right before my divorce. Did gardening work to supplement income. Other details boring except that ended up being my worst job ever (academia--talk about people arguing about stupid things). After finally getting full-time hours, I saved for two years, living VEY frugally, and saved enough money to quit in Feb. 09, taking a sabbatical on y own terms. Money is lasting way better than I thought but not having health insurance sucks. My gardening-related income is not a long-term viable life support, so I will have to go back to working soon and... I feel a big, big know in my stomach about it. (Sorry so long.) I also do a lot of the things you mentioned, because when I was married, the hubby had NO interest in ANY kinds of hands-on work, and I did, and now because I have no hubby.

Rose said...

What a talented lady you are, Kate! I'm all thumbs when it comes to anything to do with tools:) Some lucky renter is going to be thrilled to find a home with an English garden.

Beth said...

Hi Kate:
I still live in that corporate world of marketing/advertising and manage to slice a little bit of time for this thing called gardening. Some days I would love to walk away from it all and then I look at my young girls and their future college tuition and then I shut up and go back to work!

Your flowers are surroundings are beautiful! I look forward to reading more of your posts ...

Kate said...

Hi, Monica;
Like you, I fret a little about the 'next chapter,' but I think I'll drag this self-employed existence out as long as I can. (I still do a little freelance to balance the budget.) You're a talented gal and I know it will all work out well for you. The hubby thing. Well, I no longer have one of those either. And, that's okay. Except for the days when it's time to mow the lawn. :D

Kate said...

Thx, Rose - notice that I didn't show pics of the end results? I can do this stuff but that doesn't necessarily mean I can do it well! :))

Wendy said...

What a dream come true. How wonderful that you were able to take the plunge and accomplish this, especially since it was such a big change.

Noelle said...

Oh Kate,

I totally get it. I left my high-pressure job as a landscape designer and love working as a landscape consultant on my own :-) Life is too short to spend it being miserable.

Kate said...

Hi, Beth;
I guess it's a little bit of a timing thing. I was a young mom so felt a lot bolder to take risks once my daughter graduated from college. :)

Kate said...

Hi, Frances;
I would happily do chores in trade for some of your fabulous perennials! :D

Kate said...

Thx, Wendy;
I just don't think I ever was - or ever will be - cut out for corporate life. :)

Kate said...

Hi, Noelle;
I agree! It's so great that you follow your bliss in consulting. I absolutely love being self-employed and glad to hear you do, too.

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

Such versatility you have! Not only a great gardener, but handy around the house, too. I don't think there's anything wrong with you at all for figuring out what was not working in your life and changing it. I'm quite proud of you for having had the courage to do that before it took the soul out of you. Wish that more would do such things.

Spice said...

So pretty. Lavender is my fave color!

jan said...

I imagine that it is great hammock weather, too! Love the iris! But, you know I love all iris!

Kate said...

Hi, Jodi;
Thanks for this and especially for using the word courage. It's kind of scary walking away from a sure thing. Even if it does make you miserable...

Kate said...

Hi, Spice, aka Soccer Mom Extraordinaire!

Good to meet another who loves the color purple. I clearly over did it on purple in my gardens and I'm secretly happy I did... :D

Kate said...

Dearest Jan!!
I'm heading to Vegas this weekend! Might you be free for some java? :))

Shelle said...

wow you really are high up, stunning views and scenery...how can skyscrapers & fake commercials compare with that.

those wildflowers are pretty amazing too...esp growing out of the dirt & rocks.