Monday, March 24, 2008

Did you know?

Okay, so this is probably more than you ever wanted to know about bluebonnets, but I found it interesting.

While I was looking for bluebonnet pictures to put in my last post, I discovered a few facts about bluebonnets I didn't know. Since it is Texas trivia, I found it interesting. You see, Texas has not one, but five state flowers. They're all bluebonnets, but different species.

In March, 1901, the state legislature made the buffalo clover (Lupinus subcarnosis) the state flower.

Another species, Texas bluebonnets, (Lupinus texensis) was more popular with Texans.
So, in 1971, the Texas legislature cleared up any doubt about what the state flower is (or created more confusion depending on your point of view) by making any species of bluebonnet officially the state flower.

There are five species of bluebonnets. The other three are:

Lupinus argenteus Lupinus concinnus (Bajada Lupine or Scarlet Lupine)

Lupinus havardii (Big Bend Bluebonnet)
Okay, so this is really just an excuse to put more bluebonnets in my blog because they are pretty and they make me smile.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Happy First Day of Spring!

There is something about this time of year that just makes me happy. Maybe it's the fact that there is more sunshine. Maybe it is getting warmer outside and I don't feel the need to hibernate any longer. Or maybe, just maybe, it's the wildflowers that are starting to bloom. It could be some combination of all of them. I think the thing that always make me smile the biggest is when I first start to see bluebonnets growing along the highways.

I was 18 years old when I saw bluebonnets growing wild for the first time. They're the State Flower of Texas (all five varieties, officially) and every spring they bloom with wild abandon along roadsides thanks in large part to Lady Bird Johnson. It is a big deal to those of use who live where they grow.

Every year parents park along the highways and byways (no matter how busy the highway is) and plop their children into patches to get pictures. It's the annual tradition of Buttprints in the Bluebonnets... No, seriously. Photographers (professional and amature alike) stake out the best places to take that perfect kid picture. It is so much a tradition, that the Texas DPS has a webpage about it and how to take pictures of your kids safely and legally. They even warn about another springtime tradition. Fireants. They're nasty little buggers! But they are another post.

Anyway back to the first time I ever saw bluebonnets growing wild...I was driving with a friend from college to see her parents (it was college and they were buying dinner!) and I saw these blue-purple blooms along the road. Suddenly it dawned on me that those were bluebonnets. I got so excited that I pointed out just about every bloom I saw. She thought I had lost my mind. You see, she'd grown up where bluebonnets were common. In the Panhandle, they don't grow wild.

So, it's actually now officially spring. I made it through the doldrums of winter and even winter's last death throes of snow and ice last week. And now I plan to take my own pictures of bluebonnets. I might even find a way to take my picture in them this year. I've never done that. Hmmm... I'll have to think on that one. Maybe they'll be in bloom when C gets here in a couple of weeks.

Wait, upon further reflection, we did take our pictures last year in the bluebonnets. It was during Girl's Weekend! See... (and yes, it was a bit windy that day.)

I also am going to put them in my planters on my patio this spring. That way, all I have to do is look out my patio door to see springtime happiness.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

37 Years ago today...

I was born.

It's my birthday.... oh, yeah! It's a party...

Okay, maybe not so much a party, but I did wear a tiara all day and a button that says "Birthday Girl" all day while I was at work. I got to come home early from work, so that was nice.

I had planned to take the day off of work tomorrow to go to the Botanical Gardens, but since it's supposed to be rainy all day tomorrow, I think I'll just go ahead and go to work. My sister C is coming the last week of March and I'll take the Friday she's here off instead. That is always fun.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A day in the life of...

You know that day at the office where you have little or nothing to do? It's the kind of day where you have finished all you have to do and it isn't time to start the next big project. A day that's uncluttered and unbusy. It feels refreshing and a bit naughty when you can just look busy for the day but actually accomplish very little, right? Now imagine that all day, every day. When that lack of productivity defines your job, it can really wear on you and make you feel useless.

I have always prided myself in doing a good job and being known for doing a good job. I like making my bosses look good by creating the best presentation or planning the best meeting with all the little touches that make it one step above what is expected. The problem is, now I don't have a good job to do but I still have to come to the office every day and pretend. I have a few things that I do everyday. It's just basic busy work that makes the office run smoothly, but with the new system in place, I am not necessary at all, really. That realization kind of messes with my perception of who I am as an employee. I want to be busy. I need to be needed at work.

Now, I don't define myself by my job and I don't get my self-worth from it, either. Still, my parents instilled in me a certain work ethic. That work ethic states that you work for what you earn and you always give 100%. The problem now is there is nothing for me to give that 100% to. It bothers me that I have time to kill most all day every day. I feel guilty, honestly, that I am here, getting paid for being a warm body in my chair.

I have been with this company for eight years so I do feel a sense of loyalty to them. They are an amazing company to work for. They're not perfect, but as far as how they treat employees overall, most people have no major complaints. That includes me. I feel sad that my time with them is coming to an end. I guess I should look at this year is kind of my farewell tour. Let's just hope it's not like the never-ending Cher Farewell Tour where by the end people are just saying "get out, already!"

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow.... again

Yep, it snowed pretty much all day today. Well, that isn't exactly true, it rained and sleeted, too. It was pretty much yucky all day and even though I left work a little early (like an hour and a half) I only got home about 20 minutes early. Ugh. The roads were awful but thankfully folks were taking it easy and the majority of them were going the opposite way frome me!! But, I had fun at work because I kept going outside taking pictures of the snow. I'm sure the folks in the surrounding offices thought I was nuts.

Oh well! I continued the trend of people thinking I'm nuts by building my snowman on my patio.
I so need a life!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...

The weather outside isn't frightful today, but we actually had snow last night. Honest to goodness, big, wet flakes. There was about 2-3 inches of accumulation! We started the day with spring-like thunderstorms and tornado watches/warnings and ended the day with winter weather and snow.

But, knowing the fickle weather of North Texas, I got out last night after school to catch the snow on 'film' (as it were). Here's a few of the shots I got!

Besides snow season (aka that one day in March), it's election season. I love politics, really, I do, but I like it much better when I'm not inundated with political ads. I mean, I really think it's sad that so many people will base their entire vote on 30 second spots on TV and the soundbites from the news. Those things don't say anything other than a slogan that means little or nothing. There are big issues at stake and too many Americans are ill informed at best and flat out too lazy to research their issues at worst. Too many people are going to vote on emotion rather than issues. I know it is generally that way, but still, that is sad!

Since I think so many are too lazy to do the research, I'll help. Here are some great sites I've found that ask questions of candidates on issues. Granted, it isn't perfect, but it's better than a 30 second soundbite. On the Issues, Free Market Foundation Both sites ask politicians the same questions and give their answers with as little bias as can be expected in today's society. (Is anything really unbiased?)

But still, I voted this morning. I voted my conscience in the Primary and will probably vote for a lesser of two evils in the General Election in November. But hey, I'll make an informed decision and vote for the person who most closely believes as I do and if "my person" doesn't win, I've got bitchin' rights for four years!!