Saturday, April 10
Yesterday was Furlough Friday. It almost wasn't. Maybe. The union and the Governor have been fighting in the courts pretty much since furloughs began. As March came to an end, a judge ruled that some state departments should not have been furloughed and that furloughs were to stop. Both Joseph's department (Consumer Affairs) and mind (Parks) were on the list. We didn't know until March 31 whether we would be furloughed on April 2. I would have taken it off on vacation anyway, as that was my day to shop for and prepare food for General Conference - breakfast croissantwiches for my family and lunch for my family and the missionaries. I spent all afternoon (with some help from Benjamin) making colored deviled eggs.
Furlough Fridays end at the end of the Fiscal Year anyway. So why waste time and money fighting it now?
We will miss the time! We are not assured of getting our full pay back, either. The word is that our wages will be cut 5% now and another 5% later (I am not sure how much later) and that another 5% will be taken out for retirement. So we will be working full-full time, but possibly take home even less than when we were furloughed as furlough was not quite 15%. Such a deal. I am not sure how much we have our union to thank for this. And of course the Governator.
I will have you know that although the jokes about state workers must be based on something, in the offices I have worked, we do meaningful work and work hard.
Anyway, yesterday was Furlough Friday.
I got some strawberries for the strawberry pot I picked up at the grocery store recently. And some tomato plants as our tomato seedlings are just not doing well. We planted one in a Topsy Turvy planter I bought somewhere and made two more upside down planters from buckets. So we have 3 upside down tomato plants. I planted another couple in right side up laundry buckets - one an Early Girl.
Our other seedlings that we planted out a couple of weeks ago are mostly holding their own. Most of them neither dying nor growing much. We lost a green bean plant, but still have 4. Some more still in the seedling cells in the house. We lost a transplanted squash, so I replaced it from one of those still in the house. I lost a couple of beets, but a couple in the house look like I can take them out. A cuke, as well. Lots of little seedlings left. I hope they hang in there until I get to them.
Today Lynda P is having a first garden enrichment group get together. She says they have a backyard farm, including chickens - here in our neighborhood! I am interested to see what and how. Lasagna garden, regular garden, raised beds, vermicompost bin (worm composting), fruit trees, grapes, rhubarb, berries, etc.
Which reminds me of an April Fools I saw that they did years ago - Spaghetti Trees in Italy. From Wikipedia:
The spaghetti tree hoax is a famous 3-minute hoax report broadcast on April Fools' Day 1957 by the BBC current affairs programme Panorama. It told a tale of a family in southern Switzerland harvesting spaghetti from the fictitious spaghetti tree, broadcast at a time when this Italian dish was not widely eaten in the UK and some Britons were unaware spaghetti is a pasta made from wheat flour and water. Hundreds of viewers phoned into the BBC, either to say the story was not true, or wondering about it, with some even asking how to grow their own spaghetti trees. Decades later CNN called this broadcast "the biggest hoax that any reputable news establishment ever pulled."
Panorama cameraman Charles de Jaeger dreamed up the story after remembering how teachers at his school in Austria teased his classmates for being so stupid, if they were told spaghetti grew on trees they would believe it.
The report was produced as an April Fools' Day joke in 1957, showing a family in the canton of Ticino in southern Switzerland as they gathered a bumper spaghetti harvest after a mild winter and "virtual disappearance of the spaghetti weevil". Footage of a traditional "Harvest Festival" was aired along with a discussion of the breeding necessary to develop a strain to produce the perfect length. Some scenes were filmed at the (now closed) Pasta Foods factory on London Road, St Albans in Hertfordshire and at a hotel in Castiglione, Switzerland.
The report was made more believable through its voiceover by respected broadcaster Richard Dimbleby. Pasta was not an everyday food in 1950s Britain, known mainly from tinned spaghetti in tomato sauce and considered by many to be an exotic delicacy.
At the time there were 7 million homes in Britain with television sets, out of a total of 15.8 million homes. An estimated 8 million people watched the programme on April 1 and hundreds phoned in the following day to question the authenticity of the story or ask for more information about spaghetti cultivation and how they could grow their own spaghetti trees. The BBC reportedly told them to "place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best".
The other exciting accomplishment yesterday was putting 'wood' contact paper on a laundry bucket for Benjamin's Pioneer Trek in June. Fun. Looks pretty good.