Monday, September 5, 2011

Why do I curl up in the fetal position, you ask?

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If that particular pose isn’t your thing, a primal scream is a good equivalent.  On several occasions in the past month, I’ve caught myself in the midst of a fervent wish to be: 1. locked in a padded, dark room, 2. myself, about two seconds earlier, before I’d seen/heard the horror, or 3. shopping for expensive leather goods. 

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The only feasible choice at the moment is rather impractical.  The attic is somewhat padded (I should know, I spent my birthday loading a hopper with cellulose insulation whilst the husband used the long hose to blow it all around the bottom of the attic.  Happy birthday to me!) and certainly dark.  I don’t have the energy to procure a ladder, boost the ceiling hatch, and fling myself into the void up there.  Though no doubt that would be something to write about and very entertaining to watch.

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Things I would have rather not seen, in no particular order:

1. the giant, gaping hole in my floor. And wall. And ceiling. And in that chasm, a leaking pipe from the kitchen sink that has probably been leaking for 25 years. The moisture and decaying food bits were supporting their own little ecosystem.  Strange looking flies lifted off en masse, mold flourished, and spiders scuttled out of sight.  What with the bamboo flooring ripped out, carelessly tossed into a pile of long sheaves and the stink emanating from the darkness below, it was too much for me.  I walked back the way I came in a haze and resolved never to respond to “Honey, I think you need to see this” ever in the course of my whole life.

2. those yellow leaves on the wild cottonwood (Populus balsamifera) trees.  At first, such infrequent sightings were forcefully brushed off as disease or a result of all the rain we’ve had in August.  Now there is no denying it: vandals are spray painting all the leaves around town a bright gold!  The nerve of some people.  A simple soul in the home dared bring up the word “autumn” and the result was just shy of apoplexy.  “Mommy, why are you clenching your teeth and tearing your hair like that?”

3. a story and X-ray of a gardening mishap so horrifying that I must caution you of feeble stomach not to visit this link.  To prepare you, a quote from one of the surgeons, Dr. Lynn Polonski: “It was wedged in there so tightly, you could not move it.  It was part of his face.” I will never look at, much less carry my felco hand pruners in quite the same way.  I say, he’s lucky to be alive and if his lady friend and team of surgeons ever let him garden again, I recommend a pair of child-sized safety scissors, welder’s shield, and ten-foot tongs to carry any gardening paraphernalia.

So in the last 30 days, I’ve had thrown in my face the awful fact that my basement is a smelly man trap supporting new, unnamed lower life forms, winter is coming in a week or so, and gardening can kill you.  Does curling up into a ball on the floor sound so bad?

*Pictures taken at the Alaska State Fair in Palmer last week.


What scares the pants off of you?


College Gardener said...

As always, your wonderful made me love out loud. I feel the same way about the impending approach of autumn; everytime someone says "Thank God the heat will soon be over" or something along those lines I want to smack them.

On the upside, the pictures for this post are really lovely.

Shirley @ The Gardening Life said...

Yikes! I promise to be ever so much more careful while carrying out my gardening duties! How I feel for you with the news of the man hole in your house! On the good side, now you can redecorate. Hope the fetal position isn't still beckoning you.

Christine B. said...

@College GardenerWe don't even get hot here in Anchorage, usually about 70, max. So less heat in the autumn is not a good thing. Luckily, I like wearing sweaters, so that's something to anticipate. Please don't smack me!

The Alaska State Fair always has extraordinary flowers and gardens. We also snapped a few pics of the giant pumpkins, cabbages, and zucchinis. A visit to the Fair is often the best garden tour I take all year.


Christine B. said...

@Shirley @ The Gardening LifeYes, now I have an even more compelling reason to paint the baby blue basement: I need to hide the evidence of our archeological dig site.

I should be fetal position-free til the first snowfall.


Sue@G.L. Allotments said...

Vandals spraying trees is certainly a new one - and I WAS too squeamish to follow the link!

Marguerite said...

oh dear, i shouldn't have clicked on that link. I'm going to be having nightmares about my pruners now. I think the same vandals hit our neighbourhood. On my drive into work today I saw a funny coloured maple tree. I presumed it must be sickly but perhaps vandals are at work.

Christine B. said...

@Sue@G.L. AllotmentsI'm glad you didn't check out the link. I fully expect to carry the x-ray image in my mind's eye for a lifetime. Oh, the horror!


Christine B. said...

@MargueriteNo, no, just assume it's sickly for as long as you can. I lasted a full two weeks before I grudgingly admitted vandalism might be the cause. Feigned ignorance is bliss.


Grace said...

I saw that deal on that, what? how old was he? 83? year old man who impaled himself with the pruning sheers. Sikes. I'm sorry your birthday wasn't exactly how you wanted it but your hubby probably thought getting stuff done around the house was the best gift he could give you. LOL Did you get the memo? Fall is holding off this year since we had such a late spring and summer. Apparently the vandals didn't get the memo either. Hang in there!

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Well, clearly I'm a glutton for punishment - that garden shear accident is just creepy. As for the rest of this mess... Argh, so sorry to read these woes. I'd be in a ball. Unless, of course, you had a bottle of rum handy... ;>) said...

I saw that x-ray on TV a few days ago. They interviewed they guy too. He was one lucky duck on that one. Your post title was amusing as was your story.

Christine B. said...

@GraceMy bd is an adventure every year. Perhaps next year will be marked with ripping out the lawn (I can hope....) or fixing the driveway.


Christine B. said...

@Kate/High Altitude GardeningI'm heading to Florida in October. The thought of warm weather in fall and sandy beaches is what's keeping me sane. For now.


Christine B. said...

@gardenwalkgardentalk.comDid he have an eye patch? Wish I'd seen the interview!


Pam's English Garden said...

Dear Christine, I have no intention of clicking on that link -- reading the comments was enough for squeamish me! What scares the pants off me? Anything that involves heights - I have vertigo. Fortunately, I have a tall husband to help with garden tasks that require a ladder. P. x

Christine B. said...

@Pam's English GardenHi Pam,

I'm normally a coward but my curiosity seems to have trumped even that in this case. I only have vertigo on the second story roof and at the top of the ski lift. Which would explain my dreadful downhill skiing attempts....



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