Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Gardening Without Gloves

I am bound and determined to finish my yard, garden bed by garden bed.  Bending and scooping and digging and pulling are tasks designed to aggravate my hip.  I have to take it in stages.  I have to remember to stop before I hurt, when the twinges are just beginning.  Last week I worked until I dropped, and drop I did.  

I am not looking to repeat that experience.  Filling the dishwasher required more mind over matter movements than I've had in a long long long long time.  The good news is that I was able to work hard enough to feel broken.  The bad news was feeling like my back and my hip were spiky corona viruses, poking and burrowing and otherwise annoying me.  

Advil and medical marijuana helped, but I woke up feeling only slightly less stiff.  I lost two days of sunshine and balmy winds.  I am going to try to avoid that situation in the future. 

Of course, I've said that to myself every year since I was perforated.  I don't ever seem to remember.

For example, I bought anemones and planted them in pots.

I worked on the irrigation, feeding the tubing through the bottom hole to minimize the disruption of the visual field.  That worked on one pot, but the other was being recalcitrant, refusing to accept the emitter and then refusing to spew water when I turned the system on manually, just to check.  I attempted to bend over to reevaluate the situation.  Bent over was as far as I got.  Using the pony wall nearby I managed to achieve a somewhat erect posture, hobbled through the front door, and fell onto the bed.  

Today, everything was working smoothly..... don't ask me why.  Feeling like the garden gods were smiling on me, I decided to walk the front yard, surveying the scene, planning upgrades and downgrades.  

The well established palo verde no longer needs irrigation.  It hurt my heart to dig up the carefully buried drip line surrounding the perimeter of the canopy, but that was the only thing that bothered me.  The rest of my body found that to be an enjoyable task.

Then, I started picking out dead fronds from the yucca.  That's a dangerous chore.  Sometimes they pull right out.  Sometimes they are stuck and the stiff, razor sharp xylem cuts through your palm like a hot knife through butter.  

I know that.  I've felt that.  And yet, today, I decided it would be a good idea to garden without gloves.

Never mind the jumping cholla that attached itself to my bare ankle. My ankle is fine,  My ankle is fine.  The fingers that tried to establish a hand hold to pull it out are another matter entirely. 

Those prickers are slick and sharp. Gaining traction to pull it out without sticking myself some more, without gloves or newspaper or anything to protect myself..... well, those are minutes I don't need to repeat any time soon.

And there was more.  Glochids, the tiny prickers on prickly pear cacti of all variety attacched themselves to my fingers.  This is just one of them which I removed, with tweezers, once I decided that enough was enough.

This is of unknown origin.  I found it when I reached for the door handle.  
You'd think it would hurt, and that I would have noticed it.

You would be wrong.  As I'm typing this report of my injuries, I'm finding tiny slivers of plant life which have embedded themselves in to my skin.  

Maybe next time I'll remember my gloves.


  1. I can fully relate to your stubborn determination to get things done, but next time use gloves. ;)

    1. I was so excited to be out there doing it....I may have to leave gloves outside!

  2. I worked in my garden yesterday and today, doing more than I should probably, but feeling good about my accomplishments. I did bend over too much and got poked by rosebushes when I pruned them, but my hip is fine. Now if only my back would loosen up.
    As you can see, I can relate.


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