Feed me Seymour...

A pleasant surprise today as Boy and I exited the local grocery store: a clerk reached out and handed me a small bouquet of flowers. "Free today, ma'am," she said, smiling.

I am a sucker for cut flowers. I prefer the live ones, but they don't stay that way around me. I'm working on it. Man tends to mock me about this, because he likes to play fast and loose with his life.

These were exceptionally bright daisies, in colors practically neon-strong that rarely occur in nature - at least in daisies. I knew they'd been dyed, which I usually try to avoid, but hey - free. The white and red roses adorning my living room had become desiccated corpses by now, and I lacked the cash to replace them with something more pseudo-alive.

After putting the groceries away, I carried the dried-out roses to the sort-of compost pile in the yard, behind the trees. I cleaned the wedding vase and filled it with water and the little packet of preservative that came with the daisies. Then I set to cutting the stems.

That was my first clue. Beads of purplish liquid between the stems, and the leaves caught between them were deep red and soaked. I trimmed them off, and found more purplish liquid on my fingers.

So I rinsed off the daisies from stem to heads, hoping to shake off whatever remaining dye was still there.

Wow. Grocery people, what did you do to these daisies?

Floods of purple water, over and over, minute by minute and still it would not stop. I noticed the dye getting on the counter, on my fingers, on the scissors. Fortunately the scissors cleaned up fine, and the counter as well save for one small purplish dot. I shall have to get after that with bleach.

And once the daisies were in the vase, I saw my hands.

Scrubbing with soap has not done anything. I will try again after my shower tonight. My left hand got the worst of it, since it was holding the daisies; the right hand only has spots. But my left looks like I slammed it in a car door or possibly held it against a hot cast-iron pan.

Good thing I didn't pay for a manicure this week, eh?

In the meantime, I'm watching more dye slowly leak out of the flowers in the water of the vase. It's actually rather pretty to watch. But in the future, I'll remember why I skip the dyed flowers. And anyone who sees me at the signing on Sunday: I'm fine. I'm just fine.