Monday, January 20, 2014

Clumsy Oaf! Now Look What You've Done!

Ow ow ow! Last night I was slicing up stuff for my supper salad.

Then suddenly I was slicing the top of my left thumb half off. OW! Blood is flying.

I ran the tap over it. It kept bleeding. I wadded a paper towel over it. It kept bleeding. I cursed at it. It kept bleeding.

I lurched upstairs, washed my hands, dabbed Bacitracin onto the wound, wiped the blood spatters out of the sink with a reddening wad of paper towel over the thumb, wrapped the biggest Band-Aid I could find over it, and watched more blood seep out still. Yup, it's not going to stop with home remedies. Time to go visit the friendly folks at the emergency room. And here I am, already in my nightgown and robe for a quiet evening of supper munching and TV watching.

More cursing my clumsy stupidity as I rip off the nightclothes, struggle one-and-a-half-handed into going-to-the-hospital clothes, and stomp back downstairs and into the car. I drive to Beverly Hospital with my paper-towel-wadded left thumb sticking up mournfully from the steering wheel. At the hospital, the Misfortune Gods decide to take pity on me -- there's an open spot on the first level of the parking garage!

Once inside the hospital, things aren't too bad. I get the intake done by the triage nurse reasonably quickly, have time for several pages of reading on my phone's Kindle app back out in the waiting room, then get led off to an exam room where in decently short order a cheerful doctor helps me peel off the layers of protection I'd applied and examines the damaged appendage. By now it's stopped actively bleeding and is contenting itself with the occasional ooze, so after he cleans it he decides not to stitch it. Instead, he applies several coatings of surgical glue. I'm departing, instruction sheet stuffed in my purse and thumb held carefully aside, in about two hours from arrival.

By now it's too late to stop anywhere for something hot to eat (hey, it's 9:00 p.m. on a Sunday out here in the sticks; the few sidewalks are already rolled up for the night) other than a lone McDonald's, so I content myself when I get home with salty snacks and chocolate. I manage to find a gigantic Band-Aid, 3x4-inch, and get it folded over the thumb so that the fold sits just above the top of the digit while the bottom adheres below the first joint. Thumb armor! This makes life marginally more awkward than trying to remember Don't Touch Anything With That Thing, but works better. After a few hours of quietly mindless enjoyment before the TV, it's off to bed.

This morning, the damn thing is still prone to slight oozing if I happen to bump it on something but otherwise seems to be doing well. Looks awful, but I think I'll live. I'm supposed to avoid getting the thumb wet, lest it undo the surgical glue, so for feeding the cats and then cleaning their litter boxes I pulled on a pair of examining gloves. Worked fine. I've currently got a little latex finger cot on over it -- and yes, it does look silly, like I'm wearing the world's smallest Trojan over it, but it's less clumsy than going back to the mega-Band-Aid.

And I'm still pissed at myself. Clumsy oaf!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Ha! This morning I was schmoozing with Teddy in his cage through the side door by which I deposit his food dish on the second tier of the tower. Stanley got jealous, made his way onto the tower cage top, and squirmed on his belly toward Ted, trying to dibble his paws through the bars to smite his rival.

I dashed upstairs for the camera, sure that Stanley would have exited by the time I got back. But no! There he still was -- and here he is, with Ted oblivious to the menace above him -- or, more likely, unconcerned because Stanley can't get him, neener neener neener.

First photo I converted to black and white because it was taken without the flash, and upping the exposure enough to make things visible produced a messed-up color balance. Second shot is with the flash. There's no third shot because Stanley got down before I could go around to the side so I could shoot up through the side door to capture his belly fuzz sticking down through the bars.

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Saturday, January 11, 2014


Stopped by the farm where Ben used to board today, to do the away-all-day owners the favor of letting their dogs out for relief and feeding their horses, and I went into the barn, where the calves -- who have grown prodigiously in just a couple of months -- were spending the day inside what used to be Ben's stall.

The place reeked of bull crap. That stuff, it appears, is way more nastily redolent than horse manure.

If I'd had any thought of bringing Ben back for the summer there (which I've already decided isn't going to happen), that would have put the kibosh on it for damn sure. Yuck.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Pluses and Minuses

It's a plus and minus day.

On the minus side, I spent a horrible night in the ravages of a blossoming head cold, unable to sleep as it grew in strength until finally, around 3:00 a.m., I gave up, slithered out of bed, and went downstairs to the reading recliner. With a blanket and Schooner to keep me warm, I started into Antonia Fraser's history of the Gunpowder Plot -- well written but not the kind of exciting read that keeps one eagerly turning pages -- hoping that it would help me drift off to sleep. I did doze a bit, after an hour or two; then around 5:00 a.m. I got up to try taking yet another remedy, said the hell with it, and lurched back upstairs into my bed again. Mirabile dictu! I slept till the alarm woke me at 10:00, and after only a few snooze button punches and multiple Schooner harassments, I got up to feed the cats and start my stuffed-up, sneezing, snivelling day.

Around noon I headed out to the barn to give Ben his mash, not looking forward to seeing what the overnight rain continuing into today had done to the thick fluffy snow cover deposited on us over the weekend. What do I see as I turn down the unpaved driveway? Bare dirt! The whole plowed part of the barnyard is bare dirt! Sure, there's still lots of big snowpiles that will freeze rock-hard tonight when the Arctic front comes through, but the walking surfaces are BARE DIRT. Even Ben's paddock should be safe for him tomorrow, given how much old manure has been surfaced by the snow-melting rain and warmth. So it's a big plus, this rain -- the harsh freeze headed our way won't turn everything at Seven Acres into a bone-breaking skating rink.

And another thing -- yesterday I checked under Ben's blanket and discovered the big lug has gained back pretty much all the weight he'd lost. Now I can taper him off the daily mashes. He won't call that a plus, but I do.


Note from January 8:

Strange: That horrible no-good awful ack cold I started a couple of days ago? It's over already, or just about gone. I don't get colds very often (one benefit of being a semi-hermit), and in the last couple of years it seems that when I do get one, it runs its course in a day or two. I'm probably jinxing myself by saying this, but I can't recall the last time I had one of those drag-on-for-weeks colds. Maybe I've got a kickass immune system? Or I'm really really lucky.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Welcome to 2014

What's up this lovely morning in New England? An incipient blizzard, that's what! Well, maybe the blizzard itself will stay south of Boston, but right now it's 20-something degrees (I refuse to look at the outside thermometer, which isn't that reliable lately anyway, plus it's getting covered with wind-driven snow) here out on Cape Ann, where the slamming together of a gale-force Arctic blast and the storm rushing in from the southeast, sucking up even more power and moisture from the ocean as it (eventually) pulls out to sea, will give my little corner of the world well over a foot of snow before it's done toying with us sometime tomorrow.

We'll be headed into single digits tonight, and probably drop below zero by tomorrow morning.

But I don't have to go out for anything, the horse is safely tucked away in his big stall with lots of food and people to look after him onsite, and I intend to Get Stuff Done over the next couple of days.

Starting with making French toast! With gluten-free bread, Olivio fake butter, and The Amazing Egg egg-white fake batter. But at least the maple syrup will be real.


Sigh. Made the fake French toast and it was just as crappy as I'd expected. But at least the maple syrup was good, and there was plenty. You can drown out a lot of cooking sins with enough maple syrup.

So what do I do now for fun? Why, go over all the Medicare supplement come-ons the insurance companies have been sending me lately and try to figure out what I should do come February when I turn 65. At least, no matter what I pick, it should cost me less than the health insurance I have now.

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