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Worth the pain?

Hard work never hurt anybody… Now, I’m not sure who said that but I would guess they weren’t trying to set up a homestead.

First of all, we’re not young. With that bit of knowledge, you should know that everything starts to hurt after a while. The harder we work, the more aches we discover. It’s somewhat fascinating actually, everyday is a new discovery of a muscle that we didn’t realize would be effected by a simple turn or bend of the body; muscles we have never physically felt before.

I’ve always said that if you are physically aware of a part of your body while sitting still, then that’s not normal. What I mean is, I know my foot exists, but my foot does not have a physical sensation when I’m just sitting around. Stand on your feet in a pair of high heels for eight hours, and you will certainly become aware of the existence of your feet.

So, if I can “feel” a muscle or a body part, that’s not normally good.

Now, the property we purchased needs a TON of work, mainly clearing and clean-up. There is so much trash on this parcel that it’s simply hard to comprehend. With the little work we have been able to do so far, let me fill you in on our current injury report in 1 month of owning our new land.

Let’s start with the simple and some expected minor injuries.

The arms:

If you think bamboo is smooth and beautiful, you are mistaken. Until bamboo is cured, it has what appears to be tiny, splinter-like hairs all over. You don’t really notice it at first, but move a bunch of bamboo without a long-sleeve shirt and you will soon look like you picked a fight with a small kitten that played in poison ivy before using your arms as a scratching post. Sorry I missed getting a picture of this for you, but trust me – you want to wear long sleeves.

The bum:

We have had a LOT of rain for the last few months here. Add this to the fact that we have a great deal of clay. If you are unaware, clay is very slippery. I will just leave this one for you to only imagine how many times I have been thankful for the extra bit of padding I have. Still hurts though, and I’m grateful I haven’t cracked my tailbone.

The mysterious ones:

Have you ever looked down and noticed that you have a bruise, cut, or scrape and wonder “Hmm, wonder how I got that?” Yep, those are the mysterious ones. We actually have a great many of these – it’s a new surprise every day. The latest one being an aggie-marble size knot on Jeff’s shin with a hole in the middle of it. Well, that’s defiantly not normal! So glad we are up-to-date on our tetanus vaccinations.

Next, just a couple of non-minor injuries. I say non-minor because they weren’t major, but they were “work stopping” injuries.

The back:

I know “lift with your legs” has been taught to us all from an early age. However, it isn’t until most people hit around their mid-thirties that they actually practice this technique around the house. It normally takes an incident that reminds you of this safety tip. I, however, was fully aware of this when it came time to start clearing out “The Bus”, and Jeff and I were trying to move some carpet – I lifted with my legs. What I didn’t do though was focus on my turning. It’s hard to maneuver in a cramped area like that. So yes, I pulled a muscle in my upper back. I really have to pay better attention. Lesson Learned!

The foot:

Ah – bamboo: beautiful, serene, exotic, TOUGH AS NAILS! I saved this one for last because it has been the most painful injury I have had in years. I have been wearing my boots every time we have worked on the property. However, to be able to function, we had to clear a path from where we can park (thank goodness for good neighbors), and where we have set up our trailer. That path included clearing a great deal of bamboo. Bamboo as it happens, has a very tough root system that isn’t easily removed. For the purpose of getting our path, we cut the bamboo off as close to the ground as possible – but that leaves teeny, tiny, bamboo stumps. Most are flush to the ground – but leave it to me to find the one that wasn’t. Headed from the truck to the trailer to get my boots (and nobody as ever accused me of being graceful), my tennis shoe is ripped of by a rouge limb from a felled cedar tree, my foot came out of the shoe and my arch came straight down onto that one irritating bamboo stump.

I have never in my life bruised the underside of my foot. The most bizarre and painful feeling my feet have ever endured. This put me out of commission for a week!

With all that being said, I don’t think we’ve done too bad - no major injuries (knock on wood). We do have the typical sore, achy, tired, muscle aches and pains that come from hard work.

So is it worth the pain? Is it worth the time and energy?

Since it has been raining so much, foot pain, back pain, and we were sick all of last week, we haven’t been out there very much… but so far I can tell you that hard work UNDENIABLY can hurt you, but the pain is worth it completely!


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