Keep Those Green Fingers Healthy With Gardening Safety Tips

Nothing can ruin a day of gardening faster than a trip to the ER – which happened to me once when I had a minor run-in with a hedge trimmer.  I’ll spare you the details, but I will say that I am very happy to share this guest post since it addresses an important topic:  Safety in the garden.

The following is a contributed post.   For more on my contributed posts, please see this page.

Keep Those Green Fingers Healthy With Gardening Safety Tips

As relaxing and slow-paced a hobby as gardening can be, it might be difficult to imagine it as anything other than the safest pastime out there. However, there are health and safety risks to just about anything if you do it often enough, and gardening is no exception.

Here, we’re going to look at a few tips to make sure that you stay healthy and safe when you’re out there trying to create a gorgeous-looking garden.

The Right PPE is Priority Number One

The vast majority of accidents in the garden involve your hands and your fingers. They typically involve accidents such as injuring your hands with your own tools or accidentally getting irritants on your hand (such as moss killer.) For that reason, you must always ensure that you’re wearing good gardening gloves, as you can see at this site. Good leather gloves also protect against insect bites.

If you’re clipping, mowing, or trimming in the garden, then it’s a good idea to make sure that you’re wearing safety goggles as well. These can protect you from the risk of gardening debris flying into your face and injuring your eye.  If you’re using a loud power tool, such as a leaf blower, noise-blocking earmuffs are also a good idea.  (Just be aware of your surroundings when you’re wearing them since you won’t be able to hear things like approaching cars.)

Visibility is a Key Concern

When you’re gardening with tools, you need to make sure that you’re able to see what you’re doing so you don’t end up clipping your fingers. For that reason, it’s best to garden during the day when it’s visible out. However, if you are taking care of chores in the evening, or just have a dark garden, you should use lighting to brighten it up.

Similarly, you should visit this website to make sure you have a spare pair of glasses on you at all times. If your visibility is compromised, not only can you hurt yourself with tools, but you can end up more vulnerable to the slip, trip, and fall hazards in your landscaping like patios and decking steps.

Mind the Sun

Just as not having enough natural light can be a health risk due to the effects on visibility, you should also be wary of spending too much time in the sun. If your garden gets plenty of access to the light, then you should try to garden in a long-sleeved shirt while using a broad hat to stop the sun from getting directly into your eyes.

 

Otherwise, make sure that you’re choosing an effective sunscreen, picking one that offers at least 30 SPF and guarantees protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Many sunscreens only protect against one or the other, but both kinds of rays can cause damage to your skin, including a very real risk of skin cancer. Don’t take that risk with your skin.

Take Care of Your Joints

It’s important not to push yourself too hard out there, but you might not know what damage you’re doing to your body until you’re done for the day, only to find a burning pain in your knees or your back. Gardening often involves spending a lot of time in a single position, working away. If you’re kneeling down or bending down, however, you can injure your back and joints. Be sure to do some stretches between tasks, as seen here, and try to find a way to work with better posture. For instance, instead of hunching down on your knees, you can make sure you’re kneeling at the right height with a gardening stool that offers some support.

Be Ready to Deal With Any Emergencies

Even though you might assume that gardening is relatively safe, especially with the tips above in mind, you should always be ready to deal with any injuries if and when they happen. As such, it’s a good idea to keep a first aid kit nearby, such as in the shed, so you can quickly clean, treat, and dress any wounds as and when they happen.

Try to let someone know that you’re going out to the garden so that they can check in on you throughout the day. Keep a phone nearby. Take frequent breaks when gardening, and make sure that you have water on hand – both to keep you hydrated and to wash any wounds or contact with irritants ASAP.

Hopefully, the tips above will help you stay safe and allow you to garden without worrying about any aches, pains, or injuries along the way.  But if you do hurt yourself, but sure to act on it quickly, as the bacteria you deal with when gardening can make injuries just a little riskier than usual.

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.

 

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Survival Sewing – Cloth Face Masks and A Paper Towel Substitute

How have you been faring during these strange days?  Locally, our mandate to shelter in place has just been extended into May.  Ever since the mandate began, I’ve been telling myself that now I have absolutely no excuse not to start deep cleaning and getting organized.

But then my neighbor rescued me.

Sewing Face Masks

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She got me into sewing face masks to donate to hospitals from kits and instructions that Joann Fabrics and Crafts was handing out.  The kit I received from Joann was well put together, but still a bit lacking in supplies – possibly because of a growing scarcity in local stores of things like elastic.  But since I already had some supplies at home, I was able to complete the masks. (Note:  At this writing, Amazon still appears to have plenty of elastic cord .)

 

 

I found this video to be very helpful. The masks were so simple to make that the hardest part for me was actually sitting still to watch the video.

Then, with my own fabric, I made a few for myself and family.

 

But the whole time I wondered:  Are these masks even effective?

Do Cloth Masks Even Work?

There has been a dizzying amount of information circulating about whether or not we should wear masks in public, which masks are effective, and which method and fabrics are best for sewing a DIY face mask.

But now the CDC is actually recommending that the public use cloth masks as another measure to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

This link will take you to information from the CDC about making, wearing, and caring for, a cloth face mask.

I’m not a medical expert, a mask-making expert, or even a particularly good seamstress.  But today I thought I’d share a few things that I learned while making my masks.

 

Things to Consider When Making A DIY Cloth Mask

Washability

A mask used time and again without being properly cleaned will eventually do more harm than good.  So to me, the best thing about a cloth mask is that it is washable.  I made sure that everything I used in the making of my masks could survive repeated trips through the washing machine.

I wash my mask after every single use. And when making masks for others, I launder the masks before giving them away and only handle them with clean hands.

Contrast

After wearing my mask once to the grocery store, taking it off in the car, then trying to reapply it at the gas station, I realized that I could not keep track of which side of the mask had been against my face and which side had been facing the big, scary world.  I’d sewn both sides with identical fabric.

So when I made a few more masks for family members, I decided to use contrasting fabrics for the front and back of each mask.

DIY cloth face masks
Mask fronts

 

DIY cloth face masks
Mask backs

The small mask fits a preschooler who loves cats.  Although I used the same fabric for both sides, the cats are different on each side.

I doubt she’ll be going out much, but if she does she will look stylish.

Which leads me to . . .

Pretty But Still Practical

We’re using words now that we never thought we’d need:  Pandemic; shelter in place; social distancing.  The world has become quite a bit heavier lately, so I like to lighten things up by using pretty fabrics for these masks.

After all, if I’m going to wear a mask in public, I might as well make it a fashion statement – up to a point.

I’m still using practical, washable fabrics and a mask style that is comfortable to wear.  I’m using non-woven washable interfacing between the fabric for an extra layer of protection.

And, no matter how tempting, I’m not embellishing these masks with things like buttons or notions on the theory that sewing on embellishments might create little holes for the virus to get through.

But most importantly, I’m not letting my mask give me a false sense of security.  I’m still mostly staying home.  And when I do go out, I’m still using social distancing, sanitizing, and hand washing to stay safe.

 

A Paper Towel Substitute

Sometimes it’s the small things that make a difference in our daily lives.  When this all started, we had three rolls of paper towels in the house, and there were none left on store shelves.  Since I was constantly sanitizing at home, I was going through a lot of paper towels.

So I decided to cut old cotton kitchen towels into six pieces and quickly hem each piece so the fabric wouldn’t fray.

Now these little cloths sit in a bowl on the kitchen countertop, and I can reach for them instead of paper towels.  Since they’re more durable than paper towels, I’m actually starting to prefer them.

Paper towel substitute

 

Like paper towels, the cloths are meant for single-use jobs.  Whenever I do laundry, which seems to be pretty frequently during this pandemic, I just throw the soiled cloths into the machine with the rest of the load.

It’s been working well, and I have yet to run out of clean cloths – even though I use them almost constantly.

 

 

I hope you are still managing to find beauty where you can in this strange new world.  Stay safe, friends!

 

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.

 

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Good Night, Great Morning

I never truly understood how frustrating it can be to have trouble sleeping.  But just recently, I’ve started to notice that it’s not as easy as it used to be for me to get a good night’s sleep.

I have found that getting enough exercise during the day usually helps, but that doesn’t always work with my schedule.  So I’m looking forward to trying a few of these tips brought to me by a guest writer.

The following is a contributed post.  For more information on my contributed posts, please click here.

Good Night, Great Morning

Getting a good night’s sleep can be a challenge for so many people. With our busy, connected lives, we’re often rushing around and fall into bed exhausted at the end of a long day – yet unable to switch off.

The problem might be environmental, physical, or simply a poor routine. In this guide, we take a look at what you can do to get your best night’s sleep ever.

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Get Ready

Cut out the caffeine after midday and stick to water and non-caffeinated drinks. Some people are more sensitive to caffeine than others, so it might be worth experimenting and going without to see if that makes a difference.

Even as much as two hours before you normally hit the hay, think about powering down your body. Keep your ambient lighting turned way down to help rest your eyes and let your body know that bedtime is right around the corner. While many people fall straight to sleep after drinking alcohol, very often that sleep is poor quality and they wake up in the middle of the night feeling thirsty, so try to avoid excessive alcohol before you go to sleep.

Make sure that the television, tablet, or mobile phone is switched off at least one hour before bedtime – even earlier if you can. This helps your brain to slow down and stop processing information. The blue light of a mobile phone is known to trigger brain activity, so make a rule for yourself that you won’t take your phone up to bed with you but rather leave it off, silent in another room.

Think Bed

If there’s one thing worth investing in for your home it’s a great bed with a mattress that’s just the right size and firmness. Find a mattress size guide to determine which size bed is best for you.  And always buy the best quality that you can afford. You spend a lot of time on your mattress, so choosing a good one will go a long way toward getting a great night’s sleep.

Your pillow is also important, so figure out if you need one or two for a more comfortable position and then buy good quality ones – hypoallergenic if necessary.

Create a Restful Atmosphere

When you’ve got your bed ready, the light blocked out with lined curtains, and the heat turned down to warm rather than hot, you’re ready to go and get the rest your body deserves. If you need to, use earplugs, eye covers, or whatever helps you block out any excessive noise and light from your room.

Getting rest and restoring your brain and body is exactly what you need to take on the challenges of a new day. Make sure that you make sleep a priority so you’ll be functioning at your very best the next day. Get your head down for a good night and prepare for a great morning.

 

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.

 

Here you’ll find seasonal goodies, my current decor obsessions, and more!

 

Want to see more? Browse my photo gallery or check out these categories:

Our Kitchen Remodel Series
Our Master Bath Remodel Series
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