Monday, August 30, 2010

Transitions are hard...

Today I am learning apexes of leaves...today I am applying for jobs at nurseries...today I am applying to get licensed as a Certified Horticulturalist....today I'm trying to finish my first published article about tomatoes.  (Writing references correctly is a lot harder than I remember or maybe  I just really like to cut and paste.  Maybe I forget how to use the MLA handbook. Maybe I lost mine or more likely....my copy is outdated.)  Today I'm trying to imagine a holiday season filled with Poinsettias and potting soil instead of Tchaikovsky...Soon when people ask me if I 'dance' for the Washington Ballet, I will have to say, "I used to."  I can't get that to sit right with me.  Their eyes won't twinkle the way they do now.  No ones eye's twinkle when you say, "I'm a ballet teacher," at least not the way they do when they find out that you are actually someone who goes on stage, someone who 'goes on their toes.' Soon I will not be 'a ballerina.' That will be different.  In his book, The Chosen, Chaim Potok wrote, "Beginnings are hard."  Beginnings are hard, and so are endings. I'm not sure I'm ready.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Cancer? or Malaria?

I know it's been a while.  This will be the first in a series of short anecdotal posts about 'circumstances' that I find myself in (usually laughing).

First, when I came to work at the Arboretum, I was on a big soap box against DEET and other chemicals found in bug repellent.  My co-workers warned, "Well, you eventually you'll have to choose between cancer or malaria. It's really one or the other."  Meaning: malaria (Or West Nile) from the mosquito bites or cancer from the DEET.

So, I started at the Arboretum and endured a few days of bites, until the unfortunate episode when the bug bite developed a red line like an arrow of poison headed straight for my ticker...  After that, I caved and purchased some nice smelling bug repellent with  a low percentage of DEET that moderately deterred the bugs from eating me alive.  With or without it, I seem to get mosquito welts on average of three times a day. Of course I would wait to apply it each day until a point when it seemed like I really 'needed' it....There I am, zenfully weeding-- when suddenly I am ON FIRE! I run for the bug spray.  They totally warn you not to spray the stuff on scratches, or other bites, wounds, etc.  Still it seems to calm the burning so I spray away.  Then it starts feeling like this low grade repellent is actually like a honing device, drawing them to me.

So, today I caved and sprayed DEEP WOODS OFF (about 100% DEET) on every inch of exposed skin, and all over my clothes too because I'm convinced they bite me straight through,  I guess I'm going with cancer.