Poison Ivy

May 24th, 2011 1 comment

I’ve got poison ivy. It’s on the top of my right foot, so when I go to sleep at night and turn over on my stomach, the sheets rub the sores. It’s on the backs of my calves, so no relief from flipping over onto my back. And it’s on my right hip, so I’m screwed on that side as well. It’s been a long few nights. And it’s going to go on for quite a while, because I am very sensitive to poison ivy. There is a reason for this.

When I was about seven or eight years old, I saw a big patch of green growing just on the other side of the chain link fence that bordered my day care playground. My eight year old brain had enough knowledge to know that it was poison ivy and that poison ivy made you red and itchy, but not enough experience to know just exactly how godawful it was to actually get poison ivy. And so, a plan was hatched.

I convinced another kid that we should get some of the poison ivy and rub it on ourselves. We’d get poison ivy and then we’d be able to stay home from school. It was the perfect plan. What could possibly go wrong?

So we reached through the fence, grabbed some leaves, and rubbed them all over ourselves. Part one: check! Later, we broke out in itchy red welts. Part two: check! Our parents were sympathetic… but we still had to go school. Nuts! So near, and yet so far.

My partner in crime, miserable and itchy, told his parents it had been all my idea. I steadfastly denied this. It wasn’t until it came up again a few years ago that I told my mother that yes, I was the ringleader in that boneheaded scheme. Fortunately 30 years had passed so I wasn’t sent to my room without supper.

No, my punishment was that the early massive exposure to poison ivy left me with a tremendous sensitivity which has only gotten worse as I’ve gotten older. I wasn’t barefoot this weekend. I didn’t crouch in a patch of it. Although I thoroughly washed my daughter’s soccer ball after it rolled near some, I’m pretty sure that’s how I was exposed. It got through my socks, I think. I must have brushed my legs and hip with my hand after touching the ball at some point, although my hand is just fine so far.

Meanwhile, my feet are swathed in bandages beneath my shoes because I cannot call in “miserable” to work. So I hide my red, weeping blisters and soldier on – and wish I had a time machine so that I could warn that kid that her brilliant plan won’t work.

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D&D Week 46: You will get wet, you may get soaked.

May 22nd, 2011 3 comments

Gooood morning! Time for another episode of Death for Dummies!

While we wait for Torkal to arrive, we talk about being on a pirate ship and going to Davy Jones’ locker, which naturally leads to a discussion of the Monkees. This leads us to a realization:

Veracity: I dunno, our adventuring group IS sort of like a DnD Monkees. Remember in their show how there were always those 60s rapid motion scurrying back and forth bits, usually being chased by something?
Veracity: ….that’s so us.
Palin: So you’re saying we’re not so much getting our asses kicked as we are playing out a montage.
GM Vaschon: This is more how I viewed your party. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtD4mn9CeH4&feature=related
Veracity: There you go. That’s the optimistic way to look at our proceedings.
Palin: Veracity does have kind of a witchiepoo vibe.
Torkal has joined this chat.
Palin: Hey, there’s H.R.!

Now that H.R. Pufnstuf… I mean, Torkal has joined us, we’re off!
Glub glub!

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May 21st, 2011 4 comments

blue manicure
I decided to finally use the Wonder Woman Spirit of Truth nail polish that I bought a while back on a whim. My daughter was keenly interested, so I let her apply it. As you may deduce from this pic, we don’t use a lot of cosmetics in our house.

Nevertheless, I definitely feel ready to fight evil. Villains beware.

Thanks, kiddo.

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Return of the Hornworms

May 21st, 2011 No comments

Remember how our tomatoes were ravaged by tobacco hornworms last summer? We thought we’d combat that this year by putting tomatoes in a different plot about 10 feet away. The eggplants were there last year, and the soil was turned over thoroughly. Maybe not THAT thoroughly, since we have an eggplant volunteer growing, but enough to get rid of pests, we thought.

Cut to this morning, when my husband is turning over the soil again now that we’re finally getting off our keisters to put some roma tomatoes in. This 2″ long monster came up in the shovel, moving its abdomen in lazy circles. It’s a tobacco hornworm pupa.

I thought we were rid of them. Sigh. Looks like we’ll have to keep a close eye on the tomatoes this year.

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1948 Real-form girdle

May 17th, 2011 1 comment

Real-form Girdle 1948
Real-form Girdle ad from Real Experience, April 1948

What gets me is that she’s already very slim AND wearing a girdle. Yet she looks so guilty at being discovered with the fridge door open.

Honey, it’s okay. Eat the drumstick. We’re not judging.

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Honk my nose, baby.

May 14th, 2011 3 comments

True Experience April 1948
I picked up this vintage magazine today.
So many questions raised by this cover.
So, so many questions.

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May 14th, 2011 No comments

tall flowers
I’m sure the neighbors hate our long grass, but until we get a chance to cut it, I’m really enjoying the flowers.

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Help me….. help meeeee….

May 8th, 2011 6 comments

butterfly_collection_jarA couple of weeks ago, I told my husband, “Just so you know, I am expecting a card for Mother’s Day. That’s something that should happen.”

“Good to know,” he replied.

Fast forward to today. Mother’s Day. And it’s been fantastic. I got breakfast in bed, messed around on the internet, did a little gardening… all in all, a stellar day.

A couple of hours ago, my husband walked into the room, shielding a mysterious package from my view.

“Um, so I did get you something for Mother’s Day.” So sweet. I wasn’t expecting a gift, just a card.

“And it looked great on the internet. But then when it got here… well…”

And with that, he unveiled a “Butterfly Collection Blue Morpho.”

I stared at the tiny dead-looking butterfly at the bottom of the jar. “Oh… honey, that’s very sweet!”

“On the internet, it looked like it was a light illusion or something, gently fluttering around. But then it got here, and we tried it out and… well…”

I pressed the demo button and literally jumped back in alarm.

And here, ladies and gentlemen, is where you need to see and more importantly HEAR the video to understand.


That’s right. It’s not so much a little butterfly gently fluttering around inside a jar. It’s more of a beautiful and terrified insect hurling itself against the glass walls of its prison, the rat-a-tat-tat of its wings tapping out ‘YOU ARE A MONSTER’ in Morse code.

All I want to do is open up the jar and set it free, but no, there is no escape for the poor desperate creature. It is doomed to beat its wings in futility. And I am doomed to listen to it.

“The video on the internet didn’t have any sound!” And he’s right, all the videos I saw just had soothing music and pictures of the jar on a kitchen counter, bathed in light, beside a bowl of apples and a copy of whatever Oprah’s book club pick is that week. There’s no way to know from that that it’s not restful, it’s actively stressful.

“I thought it could be something you could have on your desk at work, and it would be pretty and… and…”

I could not stop laughing. “This may be the most horrifying thing I’ve ever seen.” I told my husband. And because we are who we are, we both laughed until we could scarcely breathe. This was both the best and the worst gift I think I’ve ever received.

Fortunately, my daughter likes it. Unlike me, she clearly does not perceive its movements as a dance of death. So she can have it. I will just stay far, far away from her room when it’s on.

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Garden volunteers

April 30th, 2011 No comments

We’re a bit late getting started with the garden this year, and the center plot has taken matters into its own hands.

Parsley bolted
This is last year’s parsley. These two plants grew like a weed and bolted very quickly. I might just let them do their thing so they’ll self-seed for next year.

The basil has also come back. This isn’t unusual – last year we had the entire center plot full of basil, even after we thinned it out and gave away plants to our friends. It was great.

The dill seems to have returned as well. We had one plant that went to seed near the end of the season, and I see at least two little dill plants coming up.

I’m not sure what else we’ll plant in there, but we’ve got the makings of some good food already, and we haven’t really done any work.

The other plots will have tomatoes, eggplant, maybe some peppers, and whatever else we decide to plant on a whim. And who knows, maybe the veggies will come up again from the previous season’s seeds. That’s what happened last year.

Have at it, Mother Nature. Make us a meal!

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April 29th, 2011 1 comment

My beloved Siberian Irises are blooming.
Siberian Iris

They occupy a place next to the oregano, very near the poor doomed rosemary bush that we had to hack back so hard this year.

I’ve just discovered that there’s an iris variety called Towanda Red Flare. I think I need to plant some of these very soon.

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