Monday, May 29, 2017

It's Monday! Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day folks.

It's going to be a quiet Memorial Day for me.  I'm not in the best physical shape to go out in public.

In other words, I'm covered in poison ivy rashes.

Yup, I've got the dreaded poison ivy.  Last week I took down the vines that were infiltrating my tree and my flowerbeds.  I thought I was being careful with my long-sleeved flannel and my gloves (which I also washed btw, and I took a shower afterwards), but I was wearing shorts and I also got touched behind the ear by some over-hanging vines.

I thought I was in the clear when a rash didn't show up over the next couple of days.  I thought that I either did everything right or I wasn't allergic to it anymore.

.....Guess I was wrong.

This past Thursday night, I started developing what at first looked like itchy bug bites.  The next morning the "bites" got bigger and spread out into an itchy rash, especially behind my ear.  Apparently a rash can indeed break out a week later after contact with poison ivy.  I tried a couple anti-itch creams that sorta-kinda helped, but I figured I was seeing the worst of it.


Saturday morning, I woke with some nasty boils on my wrists and legs, surrounded by even bigger rashes, and my left ear and jaw line was swollen.  At that point I decided a visit to a walk-in clinic would be in order.  They didn't believe me when I said the rash developed a week late (I swear that's what happened though), but they gave me steroid and anti-itch medication, along with some good advice on some home remedies that I could try.

So now I'm sitting around covered in calamine lotion and trying not to scratch my arms and legs.  The rash looks blotchy but the boils are down and the itch is feeling a little better.  I think I've perfected the technique for reducing the itch:

1) take an oatmeal bath (I used Aveeno's prepared packets)
2) scrub down with a Fels Naptha soap bar (it's in the laundry aisle at grocery stores)
3) once fully dry, cover the rash(es) with calamine lotion (I used the CVS brand that's in a pink bottle)
4) use a cold compress periodically throughout the day to help out

So, good news is that I destroyed this year's poison ivy invasion in my yard.  Bad news is that I am indeed allergic and I need to use a haz-mat suit next time.  What's funny is that when I tell my dance students that I have poison ivy, they all say "welcome to home-ownership".  Apparently this happens to a lot of homeowners so I'm not alone.  Thank God!

What's also nice is that because I can't move around too much, I've been able to spend some more time reading.  Yay!  I'm making good progress on a couple of books, and I finished an audiobook this past week.  Here it is:

His Majesty's Dragon (Temeraire #1), by Naomi Novik

This was a re-read because I was in the mood to read about dragons. It passed the re-read test and is now officially a favorite! I really loved the historical fiction aspect of this fantasy, and I loved how Naomi Novik created this "what-if" situation. The book was both interesting and exciting, and the characters are ones you can fall in love with easily. Plus, there are a few strong female characters, something I really appreciate.

Aaaand here are the books I'm reading now:

Throne Of Jade (Temeraire #2), by Naomi Novik

This is my audiobook read. Figured I'd go through this series again for the fun of it. So far I'm making slow progress because I haven't been driving as much.

Nobody's Fool, by Richard Russo

I really enjoyed his memoir about his mother, and because my book club really praised his work, I decided to try another one of his books. So far, this I'm enjoying it.

Uncle Tom's Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe

Yup. Still working on it. It's a difficult read because of the content, but I'm determined to finish it, especially since it's for the family book club. I'm hoping to finish 2 chapters today.

Well, that's enough blogging for me.  I think I'm going to take another bath.  Happy Memorial Day everyone.

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