Wednesday, September 9, 2009

If only my work sanctioned naps

My work let me spend a half day volunteering in a local garden that produces fresh food for a lot of needy families in the area; they don't have any paid staff, so the head volunteer told me and a few coworkers we'd be harvesting food (I thought, "yay!"), and then had us engage in the yucky work of stomping around in compost and raking in another layer of rotting vegetables (I saw a rotting piece of fish skin somewhere in there--smelled just delightful) onto the heap (a plot about 25'x8').

Throwing on a top of rotting leaves, I was standing on an embankment trying to stay away from the stuff I'd just been stomping in, and when I threw leaves, my feet slid out from under me. My left foot landed in a puddle of compost juice up to my ankle before my body slid down into it, covering my left side up to the hips. I walked around smelling of anything from fish and veggies to manure.

After finishing with the compost, we finally started in with the promised harvesting...of stew celery! Apparently, you don't cut the stalks at the bottom; rather, you need to get below the bulbous portion where the stalks overlap, into the roots, and tap off excess dirt, with the idea of saving time washing up in minty green bathtubs set up as vegetable washtubs. My job was to hose them off, taking care not to leave any little spiders and their nests intact, then drop them in the washtub full of water, then into a box to be stacked into the back of a truck and shipped out to a warehouse, there to be cut up, frozen, and stored for the winter. Needless to say, by the time I got home, I was stinky, sweaty and drenched, with my sneakers squishing every time I walked.

I didn't know how to explain it to my client when I showed up for my appointment a little late due to my having to stop home for a shower, so my attempt was more like, "Mrs. Customer, I'm SO sorry, I spent this morning working in a garden and I would have been here on time if I hadn't fallen into a rather large puddle of compost juice."

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Rated R

I have been having dreams of people being hacked by machetes or samurai swords for the last month, perhaps as a side effect of watching a higher than normal number of bloody movies (one of which was Alien vs Predator). Last night's specialty involved a cabin that doubled as an old, unattended church and parsonage at the top of one of the mountains on the Olympic Peninsula. For some reason, I and my family go out there to check up on things, and realize that the caretaker's gone, pretty recently, as evidenced by some still-fresh bananas on the kitchen counter. Another car pulls up, and it's this other family that I don't recognize, but apparently my family does, and they're there to help us clean things up. Only, toward the end of the cleaning-up of the place, I realize all the lights are off and I'm in this maze-like basement with nobody in the house, so I go to a casement window and see a spray of blood on the side of my family's car, and over by the other car, that family's dad is just finishing up whacking something off on one of my family's I'm trying to sneak out of the house--at which point I wake up.

The frightening part was that the dream continued once I returned to bed from a middle-of-the-night bathroom break, beginning with my escape that involved trying to get out of there by way of the bloodied family vehicle, seque-ing into another version in which a floorboard in the basement lifts (for some inexplicable reason, the basement has hard-wood floors), and as I peer in, a flurry of hands reach out quickly, slapping over my mouth to prevent screaming, and they pull me in, shutting the floorboard behind me...and I'm not afraid of THEM; I'm afraid of any noise it might have made, as some giant scary man, the leader of the other family, is standing in the basement now, holding a bloody machete. What if he realizes there's another way out?

The dream never did resolve itself, and I never did fully escape, although the escape routes became weirder and weirder as the night wore on.