Tuesday, July 09, 2013

A Little Help, Please

Stripes of cut hay, waiting to be baled
Feeling strong about the garden these days, confident about my knowledge growth but MAN, my body is taking a real beating. I am a walking meat-sicle to so many tiny, hungry beings right now; like a one-woman meat market.

Lately, I've been working my ass off in the garden, often until I can no longer see - which is past 10 p.m. In these hours, the mosquitoes are out in full force. The other night, the bugs finally figured out the once place where I do not apply repellent - my lips:

Take that, Nicole Kidman!
And just like that, I got the full collagen treatment for free, compliments of nature. These last few days, the skeeters have also discovered the blood-rich area that is my facial scar and that has been an itchy torture.

I'm now a snack food.
 Then, this morning, I awoke with two big bites right square at my throat, not unlike the fang marks of the undead. Being a vampire would actually be a big help, I thought to myself, then maybe I'd finally have time to get everything done.

Hay baling in my front yard
But the worst was last Friday, when I awoke to a throbbing right appendage. A horrible pain shot from my shoulder, down my arm, and I could barely lift it without severe pain. I replayed the day's physical tasks over in my mind, 'What could I have done to piss off my arm so much?' The only thing I could think of was carrying the heavy industrial extensions cords that run my new water tank - I'd done it with my right arm.

Could I really be that out of shape? Am I becoming delicate in my advancing years? What if I broke myself? I don't have time for that!

Garden progress - Western half
I'd been down this road before when I dislocated my right elbow after falling down a flight of stairs in San Francisco. I already knew what the two hardest tasks would be - bra on/off and the creation of my daily ponytail. (When it is 90 degrees and high humidity, the 'tail is mandatory.) I had no choice, I had to recruit Brent for the job. He's just lucky (unlucky, maybe?) he didn't get the bra job too.

Garden progress - Eastern half
I found him out near the shop, where he'd just introduced his grandsons to their new (meaning he bought them used and broken, then fixed 'em) 4-wheelers. Levi and Layne were beyond excited, Layne especially. (I caught him kissing it the other day.)

Layne and Levi, with Grandpa Brent
"Hi guys. Um, I know you're having manly bonding time and all but I need somebody to put a ponytail in my hair. I did something bad to my arm and I can't lift it. Brent?" 

Brent looked at me, terrified at the prospect, and stammered, "Well, um, I, don't have any idea how... my hands are dirty... I don't know..." 

I shuffled in front of him, shoved the elastic in his massive paw and gave him no option to refuse.

"Time to learn something new, Brent. Now, just gather up all the hair into a tube, kinda, then wrap the elastic thingy around it and..."

Lordy, I wish I'd had a video of Brent, with his big always-dirty hands, fumbling with a head of female hair and a tiny yellow piece of elastic. The man is known as a mechanical genius in these parts - he can assemble and reassemble any John Deere around - but had never before faced the complicated design of hair control.

Grandpa Brent, with Levi, at the Pembina Fair
The best part was when I tried to explain how to tighten it up the finished product, Levi (age 13) jumped in:

"No, grandpa. Like THIS. See, you take the ponytail and split it so the band goes up." 

Impressed, I asked Levi where he'd learned that trick. "I have friends with long hair," he said, like the worldly being he is quickly becoming.

With my battered mop secured for the day, I left the men to their machines. Brent, still stunned by the morning's unexpected lesson in hairdo creation, went back to the world that he knows, one without pesky, one-armed, puffy-lipped females with and their silly hair needs.


Anonymous said...

You never stop learning or teaching. (love) -val

Maria said...

Beautiful pictures! In awe. Also, chuckling. Don't break yourself!

Heather Clisby said...

Val - I love this comment. Makes me feel like an Info Recycler.

Maria - Thanks! Turns out, I'm quite bendable - even more than I thought.