Friday, April 21, 2017

All the yardwork

Well, not quite, but it felt like it.

We had several pretty rainy days recently, and it's been hot, so that means everything grows like crazy. My backyard looked bad and I kept thinking, "You have to find time to mow."

I budgeted that time yesterday afternoon, but also, when I came home, there was a "missed call" from the city. My heart sank: are they going to start harassing people by phone, now?

No message, though. So I called them back, figuring maybe I'd get someone who could either go, "Oh, it was a misdial" or who could actually tell me what was up.

(I was also slightly concerned it was a robo-call about some issue that never came through: before, when we were under a boil order, they robo-called us).

The woman on the other end - when I finally got through - had no idea. Slightly annoyed, I said, Well, I'm going out to mow my lawn NOW, so if they were calling to tell me my grass is too high, I know and I've been busy.

(I have begun operating under the idea that perhaps if they think I am slightly crazy maybe they will leave me alone)

So then I went out and mowed the backyard. I did as much of the former leaf-pile area with the mower as I could, but as there's an underlayment of sticks and uneven ground, the reel mower tends to hang up. And it was heavy going because everything had gotten so thick.

After that, I pulled out the weed-eater and ran it through the area....until I spotted poison ivy. Frack. Maybe THAT was what the call was going to be about, "noxious weeds."

I'm fearful I hit a couple plants with the weed-eater before I saw them - the grass was tall over them. I'm hoping I didn't spray myself with a fine mist of urushiol. (At any rate: I'm still alive this morning so I presume that means if there was a fine mist of urushiol, I didn't breathe it in. That's my big fear - being downwind of someone burning brush with  poison ivy on it; I know people who have had to go into the hospital after getting exposed to the chemical in smoke)

I took care of as much of the area as I could and then mowed the front yard, with plans to spray the poison ivy after I was all done with the other stuff. I don't LIKE using poison, but I can't cut or pull poison ivy without getting it, and I don't know of any service in the area you can hire to pull or cut it.

 I mowed the front, and cut a bunch of the leggy stuff on the bushes (including scratching myself up on the holly). Then I ran out  to the Lowe's, seeing as the sprayer was kaput on the old bottle of poison (these are battery-operated things. Hm. Built-in obsolescence; they don't last past a season. And now I have the problem of how to dispose of the leftover RoundUp in the non-functional sprayer)

I sprayed the poison ivy and the pokeweed coming in next to where it was.

And yeah, the brush in the alleyway has started back up and I suppose it's possible the call - if it wasn't just a misdial - could have been about that but you know? For that I think I'm gonna hire someone this time; I lack the energy to deal with that. (The city really should; they own the alleyway, not me)

It took me just a bit over 2 hours to do all that (I have a small lawn but mowing this time was an effort, especially in the backyard, because everything was so tall). I think I can count that as my "exercise time" for yesterday...


Also, I was just generally a "good adult" yesterday: I also went and had my annual mammogram. This is not so terrible, though maybe the fact that I've never gotten a result other than "nothing indicative of cancer" (which is their CYA for "There's nothing here to worry about"). Also, it's not an "invasive" test in the way that a regular gyn exam is, or it's not like lying in a dental chair having metal stuff poked in your mouth. (The dentist is the worst check-up for me, followed by an internal exam at the gyn...). Also, mammograms are kind of - perhaps "cosmically funny" is the best descriptor:

- here, they send a mobile unit - basically, an RV kitted out to do the process. It's nice because it comes to campus so it's incredibly convenient for us. (And our insurance pays 100% of it). But - they often send the older unit here, which doesn't have a big pink mural on the side, just a small logo near the entry door. So it totally looks "sketchy van!" which is kind of funny to contemplate - oh, yes, I'm going to go into an unmarked windowless RV and let someone look at my naked chest! Except when you go in you know it's a medical lab and it's the right place to be.

- Also, I don't know if there's some service that sells artwork to "women's clinics" but I swear they all have the same vaguely-impressionistic-style paintings of women, or women with small children, walking along a beach. I suppose it's meant to be soothing or something. (Back at her old office, my gyn used to have kitten and puppy posters on the ceilings of her exam rooms, which I think is kind of a nice touch. But her office also has the "woman on the beach" paintings....)

- They give you a paper top to wear (with the "opening in the front") but usually I wind up just taking it off because really? The important parts I want a top to cover up are going to be exposed anyway - getting them radiographed is the whole reason I'm there. (Also, the techs are all women, and they are all of an age to have gone through the procedure themselves, so it's like....there are no secrets here)

- Still, it is weird and awkward and strange to have another woman moving your boobs around so she can get them in optimal position for imaging. It's kind of hard not to crack up because it is so weird. Or maybe I find it weird because I tend to be naturally modest and touch-averse and it really does seem strange to me.

- Also, at least some places (here they do), they *tape bbs to your nipples* as an orienting device on the x-rays. That will never not be strange and funny to me. And once, I was in a hurry to get somewhere else and I forgot to remove them and when I undressed that night, I found them again.

I really don't find the process painful. I have heard that some women with, let's just say, less tissue there, have more discomfort but I've never found it anything other than slightly strange and awkward.

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