Retirement, Feral Kittens and Prickly Pear Cactus
Thursday, July 21, 2016
I retired May 31st. My lovely 92 year old neighbor, Rita, passed away June 2nd.
The late arrival of spring weather this year put me behind in getting my gardening done on time - so I'm still at it. Been trying to do at least 1/2 hour of cardio dancing or jazzercize pretty much first thing, right after I clean litter boxes and feed the critters. Then I go work in the yard and gardens until it gets too hot to be outside. Then I come in and work on getting rid of stuff I no longer need or want and reorganize my house and my files and such. It is a lot of work and VERY time consuming.
I'm helping a friend socialize 5 feral kittens she trapped. I love doing that, but one escaped from the extra bathroom where she is keeping them and of course, I went after him. Caught him, but got a few good clawed up places I'm still keeping triple antibiotic ointment on. No sign of swelling or inflammation after 2 days, so I guess I'm okay on that.
This morning my garden project was to get rid of the prickly pear cactus in a flower bed out front. About 20 years ago I gave a small cactus in a 2 inch pot to my then next door neighbor. Sometime in the following months she planted it under my tree in my front yard and it took off. The tree was removed about 7 years ago and I dug out a lot of grass and created a flower bed, leaving the prickly pear cactus at one end. It LOVES the location and has multiplied to the point that I have a large area I can't weed or work near because of all the spines on the cactus. I finally decided it needs to go bye-bye.
Of course, my compost bin was nearly full and gets picked up tomorrow morning, but I went out front and brought the bin and shovels and wore heavy gloves - and shorts and a tee shirt. BIG MISTAKE! I forgot that those cactus have little tiny spines AND the big spines. The tiny ones shoot off like little missals when you irritate the plant. I was digging and discovered there are also spines on the roots! I picked up the plants with pliers to throw in the compost bin and thought I was doing okay - until I came in and realized I had the tiny thorns/spines in my tee shirt and my arms. Most are too tiny to see and pull out with tweezers, so I used duct tape to get out some. Found on the internet that you can use old nylons to rub on your skin and pull out some spines - and that helped. Still have more cactus to remove tomorrow, after my compost bin is empty again. Hope I can do that with no more spines in my skin. Then I can go play with kittens.