Tuesday, January 7, 2014

For the love of gardening


This post contains gifs. I thought it'd be fair to warn you in case you find them to be extremely annoying.

I love gardening but it does come with a few issues.


For instance, rough hands.
(For those you not familiar with Buffy the Vampire Slayer (my second favorite show of all time, Supernatural being the first), the girl above is not a gardener with rough hands, but an Inca mummy girl that keeps reverting to her mummified state unless she kisses and draws the life out of someone else.)

Now that I have discovered the wonders of coconut oil for hair care, I'm going to use that on my hands too. Even using lotion, and lotion with soap, and lotion on top of that, doesn't help very much.


The dirt! The stuff in my hair -- twigs, berries, pieces of hay. I have never gotten as dirty doing anything as I have gardening. Not putting in fence posts or grooming a mud-covered horse can compare.

I've hidden from the mailman and the UPS man, among others.

FIRE ANTS. There were zero when we moved here and now they are everywhere. And very hard to get rid of. At one point in despair I thought the nuclear option was going to be the only viable one. I think it'd be great to shoot a rocket launcher at those buggers

but Amdro does seem to be keeping them in check. Or they are getting stealthier about relocating. They don't just live in mounds on the ground; they also inhabit our fencing (behind the boards where they are attached to the posts) and dead and fallen trees.


TICKS. They have been everywhere the last couple of years, with the wild winters and wet summers. It's truly horrifying. I'm surprised neither DH or I have gotten sick yet. I don't know if Lyme is present in Johnston County, but Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and other diseases certainly are. Lately once it's tick season you'd have to pay me to do any clearing in the wilder areas.

Naturally tick season is lasting 10-11 months out of the year. Thankfully temps got down to the teens earlier this month and they are gone for now.

Yes, it is cold here now too! Temps of around 12 were expected at the airport so it may have gotten down to below 10 here. The horses' water trough was frozen so thick that they couldn't break the ice, which is unusual; typically even in cold weather they keep it open by drinking frequently but it must have just gotten too cold. I had to take a hammer to the ice and then pour a couple of hot tea kettles of water in and will add more hot water tonight too. It's too cold to do more than take care of the horses and we're almost out of alfalfa cubes anyway, so I'm going to make a feed store run.

What issues do you gladly put up with for the love of gardening?

PS. Is anyone else having trouble loading pictures into Blogger? I use Picasa and all I've been getting for 2 days is a 503 error message.



23 comments:

  1. I think you are onto something with the coconut oil--I dab/smooth it around my eyes after I use my regular night-time moisturizer and it is very emollient. Hate GIFs but love Jensen Ackles :-) That GIF kinda made me want to watch some taped Supernatural episodes!

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    1. I love the whole show (Supernatural. Buffy too.) I watch a couple of episodes every day to bribe myself into cleaning the house whilst not grousing about it.

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  2. I hope you will feel better about your garden once spring comes. I also regret the state of my hands, but I would rather garden than sit inside... I think the weather always leaves something to be desired, here it is not cold (far from it) but we have not had any rain at all, for months now, and they are talking about water rationing again....

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    1. I don't regret the state of my hands, but I think DH is sometimes horrified by them! lol Sometimes I feel like I should wear white gloves or something when I leave the house.

      It's true, the weather does often leave something to be desired... this brief cold snap is nothing really, for us, not like it is up north where it's truly dangerous. I don't feel bad about the garden either, just the ticks. The fire ants aren't as bad as they have been. There for a while it seemed I was getting bitten/stung every day.

      I hope you get some rain soon.

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  3. My favorite garden hands remedy is Bag Balm. I initially got it for my dog, who has itchy skin, but now I use if for myself. I am hoping this recent freeze will reduce the bug population overall (and not just ticks) come spring. Am I being unrealistic?

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    1. I hope not. The ticks have been really bad. Snakes and spiders don't bother me, but ticks on the other hand... This was a bad year for mosquitos too, with all of the rain. Usually August evenings are prohibitive for gardening because the mosquitos are so numberous and bloodthirsty, but this year there seemed to be a more high steady stream of them. The rain helped the biting fly population too, so the horses hung out in their stalls more than they normally do.

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  4. Thank you for your light-hearted post, it's strangely uplifting despite the creepy-looking hands, etc ;) I have a tub of coconut oil in the pantry, my daughter talked me into buying it. So far I have not cooked/baked with it...I did try it on my hands and it was nice. Have not tried the hair or face but hey, not a bad idea! Will do that! OMG, ticks...please!! I've had lyme twice in the past couple of years. It's so discouraging/depressing. I just keep going, though. I spray Deep Woods Off all over me every time I garden. I'm sure it's terrible for my health. But it's the only thing that truly keeps them away. Happy New Year!

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    1. Lyme twice? That's terrible. I know you had to deal with a long term case in the past too.

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  5. I'm north of you so I don't have fire ants, thank god. No inca mummy girls, either. My biggest gripe is my sore back.

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    1. Inca mummy girls are a real bother.

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  6. Loved this funny post--has me smiling in the darkness of our winter. :)

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    1. I'm glad you liked it! It was supposed to be funny. :) I don't like most of what's on TV but I LOVE Buffy the Vampire Slayer (seasons 1-3, season 4 less so) and Supernatural (seasons 1-5).

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  7. Let's hope the extreme cold knocks the fire ant and tick population down a bit.

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    1. I hope so, although according to a scientist on Science Friday, ticks are very successful at finding warm microclimates. Here's hoping they did not!!

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  8. My hands are always dry, too, during gardening season, and my fingernails are disgusting--I can't seem to ever get the dirt out of them. The ticks and fire ants don't sound very pleasant, and I'm glad I don't have to deal with that. But there are a couple of ant colonies around some boulders in my garden. I always have to be careful weeding and planting there, but it seems like I always wind up with ants crawling into my garden gloves and up my arm--ick, makes me itchy just thinking about it! The things we are willing to endure to have a beautiful garden:)

    Hope it's warmed up for you; we're in the 30's and may make it up to 40 this weekend--a heat wave!

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    1. I have a hard time getting my fingernails clean too. I have to either use a high pressure spray from the hose outside or a scrub brush. I need to use more moisturizer when I wash my hands to try to get the dirt that gets under the first layer of skin, since dirt tattoos are not cool!

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  9. Great post, I concur on getting dirty. My husband always tells me he knows how much fun I've had by how dirty I am. I wear gloves constantly but still - my hands! I have these great nail brushes, very soft, for getting the worst out from under my nails. and a million different hand lotions but I haven't heard of coconut oil. May need to look into this, especially for the hair.

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    1. Margurerite those soft nail brushes sound wonderful. The one I use is rather harsh. Coconut oil is great for hair -- I slather it on, put it up for at least 2 hours, and then shampoo. Really helps my hair because even with conditioner it gets stripped too much of moisture.

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  10. Lots of surprise gifts and tremendous rewards! RE:hands I use shea butter but, my nails are a mess all the time!

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    1. I am glad I am not alone! Sometimes I think I am all cleaned up and then I look at my nails. lol

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  11. I saw the name of your blog on Galloping Garden and couldn't resist coming over. A lovely name. First impressions are important and I'm probably going to ruin it by my indelicacy. My major irritant when gardening is the need for a good bra.

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  12. We don't have issues with ticks in the garden( although in wilder fields or woods they may be an issue), but there are lots of mosquitoes and black flies. Speaking of vampires- black flies bite and then leave blood trickling down your neck. I always get a bad reaction and the bites swell like crazy. I suffer from dry hands, especially in winter, when I get little cracks on my thumb. They hurt like paper cuts! The only way I seem to get the dirt our from under my nails is to wash my hair so I end up doing that a lot! LOL

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