Monday, April 9, 2012

A Branch is a Terrible Thing to Waste

It all started last fall when the town told the manager of the apartments on the corner of Butler Avenue and 14th Street that they had to cut back the branches of a huge cottonwood tree that were hanging over the road.  I pass that apartment and that tree every day and when I saw the beautiful old tree pruned back the way it was, I nearly cried.  But there was a silver lining…

The branches that were cut from the cottonwood were bucked up into firewood and left stacked at the base of the tree.  I figured that someone would come and haul the wood away eventually.  No one did.  All winter long the wood stayed there, unused and un-pilfered.  More than once I thought about sneaking over in the middle of the night and correcting that mistake, but I am not a thief and so did not succumb to the temptation.  I did, however, determine to find a number for the manager and ask what they planned to do with it all.

Facebook came to my rescue.  As I was perusing the postings on the Houston BC Buy ‘n’ Sell page, I noticed a request by someone looking for a one-bedroom apartment.  The manager of the very apartments where the wood was stacked answered the request and so I shot off a quick private message to her inquiring about the wood.  She told me to help myself!  (for $20.00)

And so I did.  With the help from my beloved daughter.

Our day had been planned out quite nicely.  Bizz and I were looking forward to spending the morning at her house drinking coffee and working on a secret project we have on the go.  The wood offer, though, put the first damper on our plans.  We decided to get the wood first and then settle in and work on our project later.  Then I got word that out of town guests were going to be stopping by on their way through to Smithers in the morning.  No problem!  Bizz would come to my house, we’d work on the project while we waited for the guests to arrive, visit with them and then go and get the wood. 

Before we tucked into the project work, I asked Bizz for her help in getting the bed out of the spare room so that I can finally get the carpet out and – hopefully – start making some progress on that wee project as well (before the snow is completely gone and the yard takes over my life).   As we were moving the box spring, it slipped and landed on Bizz’s toe.  She hopped around in minor agony for a few minutes until the initial shock wore off and she deemed her foot usable. 

Once the box spring was downstairs, I took the frame that it sat on and started down into the basement with it while Bizz brought the playpen down behind me.  About a third of the way down, my slipper slipped off my foot, causing me to lose my balance and stumble on the steps.  I grabbed for the railing to keep from falling, but kept my eyes on the frame I was carrying.  Instead of wrapping neatly and safely around the railing, my hand came down thumb first onto it, very hard and very painfully. 

I managed to keep my footing somehow.  Thank goodness!  The shooting pain from my obviously sprained thumb spread across my hand and up into my wrist.  A few choice words escaped my lips as I gripped the railing and kicked off my slippers.  I really should have known better than to wear them while I was carrying something so awkward down the steps.  Usually, I do take them off.  They may be comfy and they may be warm, but they are a clear and present danger on stairs!

With the bed finally moved, we attempted to get started on our project work.  Bizz dove right in, but I found myself distracted by several little details that I needed to get out of the way before a) I could relax and enjoy the project work; and b) feel like the house was presentable for the pending guests.  By the time I sat down, the guests had arrived.  A brief, but happy visit ensued.
When my guests left, it was time to go and get the wood.  My thumb was throbbing and when I pulled Gracie up next to the pile, it seemed to have at least doubled in size.  It wasn’t going to toss itself into the van, so I pushed the pain out of my mind and started loading my firewood.

We quickly realized that Gracie was not going to hold much and that it was going to take several trips to get the wood home.  Bizz offered the use of her Kia and I accepted.  The Kia cut our loads down from probably six or seven to a mere two more.  In the process of putting the wood into the Kia, I somehow managed to smash the second phalange of my middle finger between two logs.  A lovely blue bump rose immediately on my aching digit.  I refrained from swearing, but did the ouchie dance for a while before carrying on.

A short while later, I managed to repeat the finger smashing, this time it was the third phalange of my ring finger, which now sports a bright red bump with a scab for a centre piece.  (That’s three, right?)  My pinkie and index fingers remain unscathed! 

My right hand is aching.  I can still type, but only barely.  Any pressure on my thumb reminds me of my near miss.  It isn’t swollen and I can bend it – though it prefers that I don’t.  My middle and ring fingers are tender and no longer care much for hot water or soap or any other potential irritant.  I would like to massage some much needed lotion into my hands, but I fear that it would only exacerbate the painful state my hand is in at the moment.

On the upside…  I got wood! 

This should keep the fire pit warm this summer!
Let the fire pit gatherings begin!   

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