Never Wear Flip-Flops When You Cut the Grass

Unlike the sensible chap in the above picture I decided to wear my flip-flops when I cut the grass yesterday. I know, I know, safety first! But I told myself, “Self you are no longer a “wet-behind-the-ears” youngster. You are not going to run the mower over your foot. Your foot won’t even fit under the mower. The garden is not on a slant or hill, so no worries there. I think that just for comfort alone, the flip-flops will be fine.”

I was so encouraged by this internal monologue that I decided to do all my gardening wearing the flip-flops. I should have paid attention to the warning signs.

While raking up some sort of miniature ‘devil’ clover that was growing every where, I stepped on not one but two slugs. Not with the sole of my flip-flop, but between my bare foot and the inside sole of my shoe.


I then had to stop and scrape the disgusting mess off my foot. I then kept tripping on every single raised part of the garden. Why? Because I’ve had all winter long to get ‘un-used’ to wearing the damn things. This was in the back garden. My back garden I should explain is flat. It has a lot of weeds (well it did until yesterday when my daughter and I pulled a lot of them out), a raised sun deck in the back, (all the better to catch the sun with), a shed and patio with a bark area next to it. No real challenge in the difficulty stakes of maintenance.

Then there’s the front garden and an area along the side of my house that runs parallel to our communal drive,  the area that I think of as “no man’s land.”

No man’s land is full of  weeds, small runty bushes, a tree and lots of pieces of bark and small rocks. Every time I cut the ‘weeds’ of no man’s land, I meticulously pick up  small boulders and bits of dead tree that have gravitated to that spot of the garden. It is amazing how many superfluous items wind up on that long strip of ground.

I once found a rather expensive looking ‘nerf’ gun there. As a lot of neighbourhood kids play around the area, I thought that perhaps one of them had dropped it. I left it out there for several weeks and waited to see if it would be picked up. I finally rescued it from the weeds that were threatening to make it one of their own and binned it.

Yesterday I looked quickly along the strip and I could not see any new rocks or bits of bark. If I had really thought about it properly, I would have put my glasses on before looking. I started cutting the weeds with my little electric mower. As is usual with cutting that bit of ground the mower made a few clunking noises as small bits of dross were shot out by the mower’s blades. Ninety-nine  point nine percent of the strip was cut. I was on the final point one percent when a very loud clunk came from the mower. Simultaneously I felt incredible pain in my left foot.


I immediately stopped and looked fearfully at my left foot. I was expecting to see a veritable fountain of blood gushing from my wounded appendage.  I was delighted to find nothing. Apart from a few sprigs of weed and the remains of the slugs, my foot was pristine

I went to bed last night and forgot all about it. Waking this morning, I remembered the incident with no difficulty. When I went to walk downstairs my foot felt twice it’s size. Looking at it I found that my big toe was much larger than normal and was sporting a lovely blood blister by the nail. It was then that I realized how lucky I had been. If the thing that struck my toe had been large, I could very well have broken my toe…or worse.

So never wear flip-flops when you cut the grass. No matter what your age, you are never too old for safety.

Happiness – A State of Mind or Pocketbook?

The weather turned today. Instead of dark, dank days full of clouds and cold winds blowing it actually felt like a summers day for a change. Taking advantage of the sunshine, my daughter and I did garden maintenance.Cutting the grass and trimming the hedges always puts me in a brilliant mood. Well, it does if the weather is nice. I am definitely a “fair weather” gardener. So today was an excellent opportunity to rev up the old energy level and get the garden sorted. Despite my back and legs signing Aye Marie while we were sorting things out, I did not mind the discomfort at all. I can put up with quite a lot of things if the sun is shining.

My daughter and I broke for lunch. We were both happy and relaxed. I then remembered the state of my finances and immediately started losing that feeling of well being. I said as much to my daughter. She just looked at me for a minute. “You know that this is a temporary situation,” she said. I replied that hopefully that was the case.  I then took a minute to moan about the time off I’ve had from work. I felt that this did not help our situation very much either. “It feels like it is taking forever to get the problem sorted,” I said. Again my daughter, the voice of reason, told me, “You know that it will get sorted, just keep exercising and walking, it will get sorted when it gets sorted.” I  allowed that she was again correct in her view. I then sat and listened to the quiet of the neighbourhood and relaxed.

I have been fighting the battle for happiness for about two years now. When I realised  that I could no longer live my life as I had been for over twenty-five years and struck out on my own, I felt nothing short of euphoric. Well it was euphoria tinged with a bit of panic. When I left, I took all the big bills with me along with the credit cards themselves. I knew I would need them to set up my new life.

It was costly.

Everything was expensive, even the cheap things. I will admit that I did go a bit mad with spending, but not by much. I was really banking on getting a bit of overtime to help defray the cost. What I did not count on was getting injured at work.  I am covered for six months at full pay, after that it drops down to half. While thats all well and good, it does not give any scope for overtime.

So the costs keep mounting and I slide further in debt while scrabbling to keep my credt rating up.


I am still happier than I have been for years. I am more settled and feel free. So I guess I would have to say that happiness is a state of mind. Because everytime I start to feel panic set in, I think of all the other things I have going for me. The main one being my freedom.

I also wonder when my daughter grew up and became so wise. I think it must have been when I was so busy worrying about everything. I do have a sneaky feeling, though, that she has been that way for a long time now.

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