Encouraged by the success of changing a battery (that doesn’t sound so great when put that way), I tackled a few additional tasks. One might scoff at calling changing a light-bulb a challenge, but times and light-bulbs have gotten more complex. Even a basic change compounded by the need for a ladder can present its own set of problems. Not to mention there are myriad types of bulbs. Some can’t tolerate skin oils on their surfaces (or what–they will explode?) and must be handled with gloves or protective cloths. Others require that bulb and associated can must be extracted as a unit. Still others don’t have threaded ends, but little prongs that must be aligned to fit into another part. A pretty stupid idea in my opinion; screwing is much more user-friendly (ha). A corollary: the more delicate the bulb, the higher the price. So who’s scoffing now?
But indoor jobs seemed under control for the time being. Now for some yardwork. I’ve always enjoyed working outside, and I especially like pruning. Weeding not so much, but necessary for appearance’s sake. I have several types of pruning shears, from small nippers to long handled cutters to a device on a long pole with a sharp, curved blade attached. The blade is activated by pulling mightily on an attached cord, for those of you unfamiliar with the device. To do a job well, one needs the proper tools. I have been known to attack our 12-foot gardenia bush with such determination that the pile of guillotined branches is larger than the remaining plant. It is very sturdy, never gets discouraged, and comes back year after year.
Weeding is not so much fun. I used to use Round-Up, but I now abstain. I am fearful of developing malignant lymphoma, or, worse, activating lymphoma in my downstream neighbors. Knee pads strapped on tightly to cut off circulation in my lower legs, off I go, crab-walking along to pull/pry up offending weeds. Some weeds are way more offensive to me than others. I am made especially cross by two varieties of dandelion-like plants that can grow up to a foot in diameter.
I spotted a particularly large cluster of these pests about half way down a steep slope that formed the bank of a ravine. Horrors. This absolutely could not be tolerated. Imaging myself to be much younger than my chronological age, I looped one arm around a tree for anchorage and leaned down to grab the offenders. Things then took a turn for the worse. Apparently, my anchor-arm wasn’t up to the task and slipped from around the tree. I slid and bounced from rock to rock, leaving derrière (French for butt) skid marks in the intervening muddy stretches. When I came to rest, my mid-back really, really hurt. As in, I was unable to move hurt.
Now what. I did have my cell phone, but I couldn’t think of whom to call. Ghostbusters (sorry, I couldn’t resist)? Ambulance? No, I didn’t want to go to the hospital and catch something. Talk about going from bad to worse. Fire department? I think they have personnel that can get those that have fallen (and can’t get up!) back on their feet, even if the victim is fifteen feet down a hillside. Would ropes be needed? A stretcher? Seriously? One embarrassment after the next. And I might still end up on a trip to the hospital. Again, no. So, I began inching along, yelping mightily, and was able to get to some steps that led back up to the driveway. More struggling, more yelping, and I achieved the summit. I limped very slowly to the house, found a bag of frozen riced cauliflower and applied it to my back. A valuable lesson in how to act my age. Follow up: Compression fracture of T8. I’m much wiser now, and a bit shorter, having gotten my comeuppance.