gardening nightmare

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I had my whole Friday planned out.  I had already finished a transcription job and started another, but wanted to take a break and get some fresh air.  My garden beds were in sore need of attention, so I hooked Abby up to her lead outside and began weeding and pruning.

The Rose of Sharon that is near our backdoor had grown out of control, and despite the fact that it’s about to bloom, I decided to take out the hedge trimmer and give it a good cut. Armed with gloves and my ladder I began the task of taking about 2 feet off the top. I was almost done when the trimmer got caught on a branch and began falling. I think I tried to catch it but I’m not sure how exactly it happened.

All I know is that in the next moment I watched my finger get mangled in the teeth of the still running blade. It was about 1:15. I calmly got down off the ladder, went inside the house and started running my hand under water. As I watched the blood pumping out and filling the sink, I knew I was in trouble. I grabbed paper towels and wrapped them around my fingers. I knew I had to go to the hospital. I called The Man who was at least an hour away and left a panicked voicemail. I put the cat in the living room, ran up to the third floor of the house with Abby panicked and following, closed all the puppy gates and bedrooms, grabbed my purse, gave her a treat, and drove to the hospital as the paper towels saturated through with blood.

The hospital is exactly a mile from our house but I swear it took forever to get there. There was no parking in the ER lot so I had to parallel park on the side of the building and walked in the wrong entrance. I calmly asked where the ER entrance was, not realizing I was shaking violently. The receptionist gasped and ushered me to the entrance of the ER.

The triage nurse kept telling me how brave I was as I told her I was going to pass out. My blood pressure was around 85/60, and that’s after that horrible cold, muffled feeling of passing out began to subside.

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I didn’t have to wait very long to see the PA, and it turns out I know her through my work at the university. I have to say seeing a friendly face put me at great ease. I even managed to take a “selfie” of my gauze wrapped fingers. I still hadn’t seen the damage. I knew my finger was still attached, but I didn’t know how bad it was, and the pain didn’t give any indication until fifteen minutes or so after getting into a room and the adrenaline of getting myself to the hospital started to wear off.

The Man arrived in record time, shaking his head, asking about nerve damage, and telling me I was never to touch a power tool again. It was then that I realized how terrified Abby must be, that my hand was covered in blood, and there were spurts of it on my shirt as well. The PA liberally numbed my fingers – in addition to lacerating my pointer, I had nicked my middle finger as well.

The good news is I didn’t get the bone, and probably missed the tendon. I did need four stitches, though, because as she washed the wound out, according to The Man, the skin was flapping. Armed with a bandage, splint, tetanus shot, and scripts for antibiotics and pain killers, I went home. I have to follow up with my primary care, and see a hand specialist. I still can’t feel half the finger and can’t reach for anything with my whole hand or I get a searing, electric pain shooting through the finger.

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But I’m lucky.  The weekend I had so many plans for has been spent trying to avoid anything involving my hand, which is unfortunately my dominant hand. I’m terrified about permanent damage, and feel mostly helpless. I can barely fold laundry, have to eat and drink left handed (which is amusing), and can’t start my car. If I don’t get feeling back, I’m not sure how well I’ll ever be able to crochet again. But at least I still have my finger at all. My advice? Pretty common sense…  Don’t be rushed or careless with tools. Don’t wear damp gloves while using tools. And don’t try to catch a hedge trimmer.

Keep me in your thoughts, dear readers.

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why you shouldn’t let me have spray paint

If I had known about spray paint as a teenager I could have gotten into so much more DIY trouble. I’m more than happy to make up with it now, though! And tis the season to spray paint!

I don’t have my “spray paint studio” set up in the garage anymore, but I was able to make due with the use of cardboard protection on the lawn (because I really don’t need multi-colored grass). What was I spray painting? Well, this year we switched out my mom’s old, tired, plastic, terracotta colored planters for new, bright, and shiny ones. Most were in okay shape structurally (nothing a little hidden duct tape couldn’t fix) but they were ridiculously faded. Solution? I take them and see how well spray paint works on them!

one of the victims

one of the victims

I had never spray painted plastic before, but I figured it can’t be that hard, right? I prepped the pots by scrubbing them with Mrs. Meyers Surface Scrub and letting them dry in the sun for almost an hour. Then began the fun part: prime and paint!

the weapons of choice

the weapons of choice

I’ve become a devotee of all things Valpsar from Lowe’s after using it to paint our dining room, upstairs hall, and guest room, so I figured I’d give their spray paint a try. It was, as a plus, much cheaper than other products I had used in the past. Although some of their colors say that they’re fine to use directly on plastic, I decided to prime all the boxes with two to three coats anyway. I had a few different places that the boxes were going, so I chose two different colors: Tropical Oasis and Sumptuous Purple.

Tropical Oasis

Tropical Oasis

I could not be happier with the way the boxes turned out! I probably did three to four coats on each box. Both colors came out bright and cheerful. Two of the Tropical Oasis boxes sit in a very shady bed behind Hostas under our cherry tree, and one holds a plant on our driveway.

The Sumptuous Purple boxes came out equally brilliant. Because they’re going along the side of our lawn and sitting directly in the garden beds which are filled with ivy and can get quite soggy, I wanted to make sure they had plenty of drainage, but also weren’t too heavy. Solution?

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Pine cones! Doesn’t everyone have a tote full of pine cones just sitting in their garage? Well, this girl has TWO totes full. Over a year ago, I spent all fall picking up the myriads of pine cones that fall from our huge tree because we learned the hard way that if you leave them through the winter, they create horrible divots in the lawn. I can’t walk without tripping on a good day, so my personal mission became collecting them. I figured we’d use them in our fire pit, but they burn so quickly they’re not very helpful. Finally, though, they have a purpose!

Sumptuous Purple

Sumptuous Purple

I filled the bottom third with the pine cones and then added soil on top. I only planted Impatients in the boxes so they don’t have terribly deep roots to worry about. So far, they’re thriving! Now I just had to figure out what to do with the leftover spray paint… but NO WORRIES!

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sad chair is sad

We inherited five of these sad looking folding chairs when we moved into the house. They were covered in rust. The first summer we lived in the house, I had spray painted a few tiny clay pots a beautiful lime green, and with paint leftover, I had sanded all five chairs and intended to paint them the same. Only two of the chairs got painted, though, but no worries!

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Now we have two more folding chairs to add to our collection for when we entertain! I love how cheerful these chairs are now and can’t wait until we have our first summer BBQ to pull them out.

Today was certainly a dismal, rainy, gray day, but I’m so thrilled with all the things I’ve gotten done so far! Anyone need anything spray painted!?