The last two weeks I have been as busy as ever. As I mentioned in the last blog post I found work helping an older woman in her garden, and throw a birthday party. It was a little intense but fun. The party was on Sunday but we began preparations on Friday. I drove her all around our little village to buy food and supplies at grocery stores and markets.
Saturday we made a short visit to the Cold Spring Farmers Market and purchased some last minute items; some beautiful plump mushrooms, brightly colored winter squash, fresh baked bread. All day long she cooked while I prepped. She handed me vegetables to chop, dice, peel, eggs to whisk, oranges to slice and juice, and glasses of sangria to taste. We made big batches of red and white sangria with slices of oranges, orange juice, wine, and cointreau. Every few hours we took a tiny ladle of the sangria we made to check the flavor, it was initially too tart so we added honey to each batch.
The day proceeded with praise and scolding. "Good, good. No! What are you doing?" That was good for chopping the tomatoes nicely. Bad because I like to rinse things like my knife or bowls under running water without a container underneath to catch it. She has this obsession with saving water (not a bad thing especially if you live in the desert) but she lives alone, has a well, and lives next to a stream. But at the end of the day we got a lot accomplished and we get along very well.
Sunday is party time. Most of the food was cooked the day before but there was still last minute things to prepare, steamed bok choy, stratas, and croissant sandwiches stuffed with smoked salmon. The party was from 3pm until 10pm. She planned to serve lunch and supper, buffet style. I was given strict instructions that dishes are hidden away and not left around or put in the dishwasher. I was to put them under the sink or in her laundry room. As the party progressed the urge for me to do the dishes grew stronger and stronger especially when we were running out of utensils, plates and glasses. (around 8pm I couldn't take it anymore and when she was out of the kitchen I put a load of dishes on.) At 9pm, I had been there for 12 hours and I was tired. My cue to leave was when I dropped a bottle of Champagne, while trying to open it, on the floor in front of all her guests. She was a good sport about it, no doubt my prize winning pie, I brought two that disappeared in minutes, had helped.
After a long weekend I was ready to rest, but Monday morning I found myself with a shovel digging up plants known as Obedient. I had been asked to help another woman in her garden. So Monday and Tuesday I spent a few hours helping dig up plants, finding homes for those plants, and planting bulbs of alliums, tulips and narcissus.
While digging, the neighbor of the woman I was helping came over and chatted with us. He asked me if this garden work was something I was looking to do regularly. Sure, I thought. Why not? The wheels were turning in my head, maybe my next job is to help people in their gardens. I can call myself the Personal Garden Assistant.