A few years ago after almost pruning off a finger, I made a resolution to always wear gloves while working in the garden. Isn't it funny that humans need more than a nudge when it comes to protecting ourselves out and about in nature.

Now I've added a few more necessities to the list: sunscreen and hat.

I've been trying to be good, heeding my daughter's pleas to slather on the stuff and shade my scalp too. But then I got one of those hard-to-ignore reminders...a quickly developing crusty bump near my hairline. The dermatologist joked that it was "the good kind" of skin cancer, but still you don't want to mess around with anything "c-wordish".

As Billy Crystal recently quipped, growing old often means getting barnacles off your hull.

After she lopped it off, she turned to my hands with her cannister of liquid nitrogen. Freezing almost a dozen "pre-cancers" left my hands looking like ground beef. Years of gardening, topped with a Southern California childhood full of sunshine had caught up with me. 

So join me in getting screened, greasing up and gearing up this gardening season. Remember your hats and sunscreen, not all skin cancers are "the good kind". 

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