Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The cutting edge

A few months back, I read on Stephanie's blog that she had cut back her desert roses  severely because they had become long and lanky. Last Month,  I took the plunge and cut a few of mine back as well. Hubby complained that  I had cut too much off. Well  here it is now and flowering nicely too.

Two weeks ago, I had this Ficus tree at the front entrance trimmed after it was left ragged by Hurricane Tomas at the end of October.  I rented a cherry picker lift and hired two men with a truck to do the rest. It was not cheap but it had to be done.
On December 22nd  2010,  I was mowing the grass, it was wet and the chute was blocking up every now and again. I decided to give a helping hand. I disengaged the blade, raised the deck of the drive mower and got off to remove some grass. I lifted the cover and flicked some grass that was stuck on the corner of the deck with my finger. The blade had not come to a complete stop and it nearly took my finger off. I stared down at my bloody hand in disbelief, I said oh Sh!&%#. I turned off the mower and ran to the house where I shouted to Chuck that I had cut my finger with the mower and that I had to go to the emergency room. I rinsed my hand in cold water and wrapped it in some paper towels. I then went back to where I had left the mower( across the field) started it up and took it back into the shed where it was housed.  It was around  5.30pm when hubby drove me to the ER , it was the longest drive I had ever taken. Under normal circumstances it would have taken 15-20 minutes. Being Christmas the roads were jammed or there was some accident along the way. We had to take a detour and finally arrived at the ER around 6.30 pm.  The nail remains were removed after getting two stabs (between the middle finger) with a long needle  filled with  anesthetic to numb the area . It was awful to look at. Luckily the blade shaved the finger tip bone and missed the joint.  X-rays were taken and I got a few stitches. I was told to see the orthopedic surgeon the next day. He told me that it was an open fracture and that it will heal in about a month to six weeks. He said that the nail may grow back but it will not  be a smooth one because the nail bed was badly damaged. He said that I was very lucky. 
The dressing has to be changed every two days and luckily for me, my neighbour is a retired nurse and she has been doing that for me. I was told by a friend not use a lawn mower blade to cut my nails anymore. 
I am having an infestation of the frangipani moth caterpillars. They are devouring all the leaves of my frangipani trees and my allamandas. Many of my plants looks like they have been trimmed bare.

We have been having very heavy rain, very unusual since this is the start of our dry season. I had to cancel my Boxing day brunch due to heavy rainfall (and my finger). The day after my injury I was back on the mower finishing the job. This was a very painful lesson for me, I got too friendly with my mower, it is neither a friend nor a pet. I will respect it and fear it.


  1. Oh. My. Goodness, Helen. I'm so sorry for your finger. Not a nice Christmas gift. Yes, blades are to be respected. But often we are in a hurry and don't take the necessary precautions since we get comfortable with our equipent. I knew you'd get right back on it... good for you.

    Those caterpillars are doing some damage and they look huge on the stems.

    Hugs and love for a very Happy New Year, friend.

  2. Wow! Cutting edge, indeed! What a nasty injury. Hope your finger recovers fully. Sounds like you were really lucky.

    I find your frangipani caterpillar very striking, and so huge! Fortunately, I've never seen one in my garden (knock on wood!).

  3. Helen! You do believe in living dangerously, don't you? Please be careful, my friend.

  4. OMG I am so sorry but also thankful it wasn't worse. Take good care of yourself and hope it heals well.

  5. I am so sorry about your finger Helen, but even with it you still have the courage to do the rest of the mowing!!! That is what we call (pardon the word) "stubborn", an endearment word only for you, hehe. I hope it heals nicely even if the dr says not. Those black larvae look scary, so big. I wonder if they will become beautiful butterflies, i hope they do! That white frangipani is beautiful too. You have a wide garden, please ask for help to do the mowing and just pay for it. Happy New Year.

  6. Helen, I'm so sorry to know about this accident. Doing the rest of the mowing with that injured finger...what guts!

    Your desert rose is looking good! We're enjoying our pleasant winter days...there was a slight drizzle after midnight but no rain.

    Wishing you a wonderful 2011! I'll always treasure your friendship!
    Happy New Year!

  7. Oh, Helen! That was so scary. I'm so sorry about your injured finger. Thank goodness, it was ok, and will heal soon. Many times, when I am doing routine jobs, eg. cutting meat in the kitchen, I accidentally cut/chop on my fingers, sometimes quite deep, maybe it was my absent mindedness or too deep in thought. Wishing you Happy New Year 2011 and a smooth and complete recovery!

  8. Oh my, I hope your finger heals quickly! I have never liked anything about mowers and now I know why! Sorry to see your frangipani being devoured but I must say those caterpillars are kind of pretty. Are they pretty butterflies/moths? Hope you have a great 2011!

  9. aloha helen,

    those pictures are distressing..what an experience and then to be topped off by those bugger caterpillars yikes...thank god we don't have those in hawaii - i would be totally distressed especially when you see how big and wormy they any case have a wonderful gardening new year i enjoy visiting your corner of the world tremendously.

  10. So glad to see your DR is blooming for you so soon! What a wonderful sight :-D I bet your hubby is so relieved by this new wonderful appearance of the plant.

    Gosh sorry about your finger. I can imagine the PAIN you endured! I accompanied someone to the hospital with a tip of his finger cut and packed in a ice bag before.... very long journey indeed! Nonetheless, I hope speedy recovery for you and look forward to see a nice finger later ;-)

    It just rained heavily in the late morning and afternoon. Funny thing is that it is bright and sunny now (late afternoon) :-D

  11. Dear Helen,
    I hope your finger has healed now. I hadn't seen your post earlier as I was enjoying my daughter's visit during the holidays. One of my friends cut her fingers with a liquidiser.You are right, the tools are neither friends nor pets.
    Wish you and your family a happy and healthy New Year.

  12. Thank you all for your caring and kind comments. The finger is healing, the bandages are off and now it has to air dry. It is still painful when touched so I will have to try and take it easy for now. The frangipani caterpillars are all gone, some of them grounded into the ground for fertilizer by my garden helper. I do hope that they never return. So take care and have a great weekend!

  13. Glad to know your finger is recovering well ;-)


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