We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
For my birthday last year my son got me a pair of heavy, but very pliable leather gloves that go to the elbow. They make it possible to wade through the briars without a scratch. I heartily recommend them.
My folks have around 16 rose bushes along the front walk and porch of their house. Red, yellow, and what we called peace roses which are a wonderful blend of both colors. Most of them have been there for 50+ years. My dad has taken meticulous care of them and they bloom from late May to late August every year. Sadly, his health may prevent him from caring for them this year.
I saw an educational film in elementary school that I've never been able to get out of my mind, showing a woman who punctured her finger with a rose thorn and got tetanus. It sure made me careful to keep my immunizations up to date. I get puncture wounds in the garden all the time. If one of them blows up on me, I know it's not tetanus, but I take care of it anyway, with antibiotics if necessary. Infections are no joke. Around here, we have vibrio outbreaks.