Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Revenge of the grass

The grass is not vanquished yet. In fact it's difficult for me to type today, proving that it got its revenge on me last night. But first a word about our sponsor, my work, the paycheck which funds all of this.

We had visitors at work yesterday. One was a consultant that we hired (and I knew all the details because I do the contracts!) and the other was a guy from HQ. Both are really nice people and easy to work with. When we went to DC four years ago for an event, it was my first time there, so I stayed two extra days to look around. Two former co-workers, who have long since found other jobs and moved away, and I shared a hotel room for the two days. I like privacy but it was great (and fun!) to share a room in a strange city. The first day we walked our legs off on the National Mall and seeing momuments. The second day the guy from HQ, based in DC took us around in his car. He and his wife were wonderful hosts and we went places that would be difficult to go to using public transportation, even though Washington has a clean and easy to use subway system.

I've seen the guy from HQ a few times since then at corporate retreats and joint staff meetings. He, of course, noticed right away that I was moved and came up to me to ask about it. I put on a happy face and didn't tell him too much. But it was nice to be asked how I felt about it.

BZ is gone to a work event in Florida but favorite co-worker and the new person gave me lots and lots of work to make up for it! At least the day went by quickly. I was still sore from battling with the grass on Sunday and finishing the front garden. I just made a salad, put some cut up cooked chicken on top and poured raspberry dressing over it for dinner.

I had barely finished the salad and was watching the news when there was a knock at the door to the deck. It was a weird place to knock on the door, most people go to either the front or the back of the house. I peeked out and it was my gardening neighbor with a cigarette in one hand and a bag in the other!

The bag was full of fat cucumbers freshed picked from her garden. I invited her in (none of the neighbors have seen my house, there seems to be an unwritten rule to socialize only outside) and had to speak the invite twice. She admired the loft and the skylight, and was surprised how roomy the place is--most people are--it looks like a medium to smallish-sized house from the outside. Then she mentioned how nice the front garden looked now, so I showed her the garden tool. A co-worker had said it was probably a Garden Weasel, but I looked it up online and they have wheels. It looks more like a Garden Claw, but with stronger, stubbier prongs.

She said she'd tried one of those and couldn't do it, wasn't I sore? Oh yeah! But then she said that she thought the weeds in the largest garden in the back, the only one undone, might come out more easily since it had rained. Well, I had been planning to wait a couple of days before tackling the back garden, but couldn't turn down proffered assistance! So we went out and started pulling weeds, she on the right and me on the left. I was barefoot, and was wondering about the wisdom of that, especially when we found rusty old things buried in the garden.

We worked hard and reached the end of the garden where the weeds turned to grass and the pulling became very difficult. She said it would be better to wait until it rained again, lit a cigarette and left. I hated to quit the moment that she did, so continued on pulling grass. It was very slow going and I was sore and tired, but I really wanted to see the last and largest garden done.

"Hi Mom" came a voice, and my son had pulled into the driveway. He normally wouldn't get off work until after midnight but had gone in early and worked only half a shift. Sunday he and some friends had gone swimming in the big lake and had gotten burned, he worst of all because he'd had his shirt off. Even the tops of his feet were tomato-colored and he had been suffering chills and was kind of sick since then. Anyway, I looked up at the sound of his voice and loosened my grip on the tough tuft of grass I was pulling, but still slid my hand on it. Zip! The grass cut me across my right hand, at the first joint of my fingers. Instantly the blood was welling up and dripping, along with garden dirt, off my hand and into the garden. Fertilizer for the garden!

I was walking around to the back door when the other neighbor, whom I haven't met yet came up to me.

"The gardens look really nice. You know, they didn't do anything with them for four years. Oh, by the way I'm ____, my wife and I have two sons and run the family business from our garage."

He held out his hand, and I offered him my left hand instead, but showed him the gory bloody and dirty right hand.

"That looks bad." He said. I nodded and had to ask his name again, it was difficult to concentrate when dripping blood. It hurt too. So then I went inside to wash up in the basement bathroom. When I'd gotten the fingers to quit bleeding so much I went upstairs to clean the wound with antibacterial soap. The grass had sliced deeply, taking in dirt as it went. I had to soak my hand in warm soapy water to get the dirt out of the wound.

Soon after, son came upstairs with a new product and asked me to put it on his sun-scorched back. I was wondering how badly it was going to sting ME, but it didn't, actually made my hand feel better, too. Today I'm hurting in so many ways! My right hand is stiff like a claw. I tossed and turned and tried to get the kinks out of my back all night. But it rained last night too, and I'm going to take The Claw out tonight and kill that wicked grass!


Blogger Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

Wow! You sound like you need a break...just READING that made me tired (and a little queasy too!)

Hope your hand heals fast! :)

7:05 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

My body aches just reading you! I think i need to hit the sack. Hope your aches are gone by morning and the hand heals quickly :o)
So nice to hear you have decent neighbours.

7:29 AM  
Blogger Dale said...

You're a glutton for punishment, aren't you, PB? And in this dreadful heat!!!

10:39 AM  
Blogger Rainypete said...

That's right. It's personal now. Look out grass!!!

Just remember that nothing is too far.......it drew first blood.

11:00 AM  
Blogger Walker said...

ok the title had me thinkingt you got a bad batch of pot and were fereaking out running around the street naked.
Then I read the post. LOL
I used to have a prb le3m with all the weed in the lawn and the brown patches the grubs then then AAAAAAAAARRRRRGGGGG!
So I pulled it all out and planted weeds.

Have a nice day :)

3:38 PM  
Blogger Lorna said...

You need to rotate some latte into that new routine....

7:56 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Ouch, that grass cutting you sounds painful. In fact the whole damn lot sounds painful, no wonder your body's hurting!

I really like the sound of this new area you're living in. The neighbours seem so friendly and helpful. I think that's great.

Hope your hand heals really quick and your son's feeling better today. He's going to turn all peely and scaley isn't he? Poor sod. Lord, the pair of ya!

3:36 AM  
Blogger Magpie said...

damn that grass, you have far too much energy in an evening, i look at all the clutter i have piled up and just can't get motivated...

hope your hand feels better today...

and yes they call it a garden claw here too...


4:22 AM  
Blogger sumo said...

Hope the neighbors turn out to be really nice for you.

4:35 AM  

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