Day 55: Gratitude for my New Favorite Tool


Lately, my body has become petulant and stubborn in its unforgiving nature. This is particularly apparent when I garden. I am doing something rarely done and using muscles in a way, rarely used. The movements are intense. One may carry heavy bags of groceries or lug laundry upstairs. But, shoveling and hauling mulch requires a whole new level of endurance and strength.

Pruning is a real challenge. I can sit and write all day without complaint but pruning will trigger the carpal tunnel I was gifted from my mother. Tiny little tunnels in my bones that thread nerves from my hands to my brain. They are apparently too small and aggravated by certain activities. I don’t experience pain but my hands go numb, which is a pain of another sort. Of course, this limits writing after pruning.

ratcheting pruning shears

ratcheting pruning shears

I recently ordered a ratcheting pruner made by Fiskar for no other reason than my pruner is tired and Woot was offering a very good bargain price. They arrived this week and I was mildly curious. They looked like they would be heavy and probably more difficult to manage. I also have small hands, I am human who hovers slightly over five feet in height, my hands correspond to my height. I buy my gardening gloves in the Farm and Tractor store. Apparently, little boys require leather work gloves. Similar gloves in adult sizes are too big. I assumed the pruner would also be difficult to get a good squeeze since the open position is usually wider than my hands can manage.

Well wonder of wonders! These things work great! I noticed the cardinals were considering a new nest in the gardenia outside my window. This thing grows like a weed. It often ends up touching the house, something that plants can not do in a wooded area. Termites, ants and woodland roaches supposedly crawl up the branches, get onto the house or roof and invade. No problem, I am quite fond of turning all my shrubs into shapes best suited to bonsai dishes.

fully open, still able to get a good grip!

fully open, still able to get a good grip!

Yesterday the sun was shining, temps were over 60° and I decided it was a good time to trim the gardenia. That way the cardinals won’t be disturbed in their new nest. I am pretty sure this is why the shrub is so tall. I took my little step ladder and new ratcheting pruning shears and went a-snipping!

The shears have a multi-step cutting action that involves the ratchety-thing. Not sure about the how or why of the engineering and don’t really care. They cut through a one inch diameter like butter, okay hard butter for the thicker ones but completely doable. Also, better for the plants. Normally, thicker branches would get sawed and this was not necessary. So, the branch got a nice clean cut! And the cardinals were in the shrub as soon as I returned to my desk. They inspected and seemed to approve. I’ll put out some husky fur next and their babies will be born into luxury.

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