Sunday, September 21, 2014


"One man's poison ivy is another man's spinach."
~George Ade

Ah-the great outdoors. My favorite place is outside with nature, sunshine, furry creatures, vegetable gardens and blooming flowers. But nature decided to bite me in the ass this week, literally.

Two weeks ago we decided to tackle a huge weed area in our lovely "woodsy" backyard. It was a hot weekend so great for a tank top and shorts-last bit of sun before fall. Nothing looked like poison ivy....

Two days later driving a queen of a lady and her fair princess to a concert in Philadelphia I noticed the bumps. She asked if they were bug bites (I do get many) and I said yes, or a flesh eating virus.

Two nights after that, sitting at "back to school night" for my daughter it was very clear it was more than bugs. I hid my arms as best as I could, embarrassed.

Nature had another win, that night for the dog's last walk she found a skunk. Pepelepew was not in the mood for a romp and sprayed. There began  the long evening of trying, at 11:00 at night, to find something anti-skunk wash.

And then the itching started to take off.

We began living our own version of the Itchy and Scratchy show (The Simpson's) with a hope that a mouse with a cleaver might actually strip my skin off. And it just kept spreading. We washed everything many times in what we needed to wash it in but it never stopped. Forget water-boarding to get terrorist's to talk-give them a huge all-over poison ivy outbreak and tie their hands!

By Monday-after a week-a doctor's appointment. High dose steroids was the next adventure. Many side effects come with that but the main one for me was fuzzy brain. Driving quickly seemed not a good idea. People at work were talking to me and I couldn't put their words together, AND I was still itchy.

It's now been two weeks, finally it is going away.....slowly. Still on the 'roids" but the lowest dose now-loopy but manageable.

So the great outdoors....still love it. Still love my yard and all it requires. But it has humbled me and taught me a few lessons. Hazmat suits required for weeding and diligent flashlight use for late night dog walks.

The winter will be another adventure. My driveway is a black diamond ski slope. But have you seen the view?

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