Namo amitabha Buddhaya, y'all.
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Friday, June 27, 2008

St. Clement and Mrs. Clementine

Playing on the iPod: Steve Roach, something from "Light Fantastic"
Meters swum today: 1700

I found out yesterday that St. Clement is the patron saint of farriers. I also found out yesterday that a farrier is a person who takes care of horses and other quadrupeds. (In this case, Mammoth Jack donkeys.) Big secret: I'm afraid of horses. Well, not afraid of them exactly, but I like them better when they stay on their side of the fence. Yes, I know they're vegetarians and not likely to mistake my breasts for apples (watermelons, maybe.) It's something about their largeness and sharp hoofyness. I seem to have a phobia of being stepped on.

Anyway, one of my time-traveling neocraftsperson friends, Tracy, takes care of Nip and Tuck, the Mammoth Jack donkeys at Dallas Heritage Village. In 1893, her name is Mrs. Clementine and she's the village wagon master. She does a lot of heavy lifting, hauling of stuff, shouldering large bales of hay, 50-pound saddle tacks and stuff like that. To say nothing of shearing sheep, herding chickens, and doing hard physical labor in a general sense. So it kind of sucked when, about three months ago, she began having a series of medical problems that landed her in the hospital twice. I won't tell you what was going on because A. I'm not really sure and B. that's her business, anyway. But, I will say, that when the smoke cleared and the dust settled, she was stuck taking a drug that makes it very easy for her to bleed. A lot. This made a lot of the heavy lifting, hauling, sheep-shearing and stuff like that A Problem. Accidentally nick a sheep while shearing it and it will kick you in the chest and leave a hoof-shaped bruise somewhere unpleasant. (Bitter personal experience? Maybe.) Accidentally nick yourself while you're taking this stuff and you could bleed to death before the ambulance gets there. She's stuck taking the drug for at least six months, which kind of puts a damper on her, career-wise.

So we were all kind of worried that the village might fire her. They're a tiny nonprofit and who knew if they'd be able to hire somebody to do the heavy lifting, sheep shearing, etc. while she convalesced. At the same time we were getting righteously pissed off because if she was having a high risk pregnancy or something, if she'd fallen and broken her leg, or something like that, she wouldn't have had to worry about losing her job.

If there's a problem, I want to fix it. Even when it's not my problem, I still want to fix it. So I figured there must be a patron saint in somebody's pantheon somewhere that might be able to help. And I found one. St. Clement. Mrs. Clementine. Coincidence? Probably.

Anyway, last night I lit a candle for ol' Clement and recited one of those prayers that, being a Buddhist-former-Lutheran, I am not supposed to know. Joan apparently did likewise, and this morning we found out that Mrs. Clementine is not going to be sacked. At least not right away. They're going to re-evaluate the situation in December. Realistically, if she's stuck on this med for life she can't keep this job anyway, it's not safe--but it was awfully sporting of them to let events play things out and see what happens.

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