Coffee/Iced Tea Chat: The Itching Season

Now isn't that pretty?  Well, you'll not have fancy cookies with me here, but we've banana bread and peanut butter and crackers and some lovely chilled slices of orange to snack upon.  You can take your choice of coffee or tea in  this weather, which is middling cool and a tiny bit muggy.  Pull up a chair, take a bite to eat and let's talk, okay?

Pardon my odd blotchy appearance.  Poison Ivy.  I get one spot to settle down and stop itching and another starts up.  I have it from chin to mid-thigh and heaven help me I really don't know how that is possible since it was the most covered parts of me.  None on my hands or arms which were completely exposed.  I'd love to say I got it during my weeding, but the lack of poison on my arms and hands belies that.  I'm kind of laying odds it came off doggy paws, as he was steadily putting his paws all over my chest while I was trying to pet his great big self.  That is a 'grand' puppy, belonging to my son and his family.  He's part pit bull and has a lovely black and white tuxedo and white spats.  He's a little intimidating but really was just longing for love and wanting to climb into my lap where he didn't fit, not in the least.  But in the meantime, I was thoroughly pawed and so I suppose it was he who gave me poison, though I can't say for sure.  I told Samuel that my skin really burned and itched after petting him and we were putting it down to my pet allergies.

Anyway, regardless of the original source, it's misery and I mean that sincerely.  Adding to the overall misery is the need to be terribly careful that John doesn't get exposed to it, as my allergy is mild despite the current appearance and when he is exposed, his allergy requires weeks of steroids.  So no hugs or little kisses and no snuggling in bed!  I've only allowed him to kiss my forehead this week which isn't very satisfactory.

The young Florida family was in over the weekend.  I was caught out in a way.  I had written on my calendar that they'd be up this week.  John had checked his calendar and marked it on his in the same way.  So I was a bit surprised to see Bess post on Facebook they were packing to come up on Thursday night.   Never mind, no panic.  I easily prepared foods ahead, we ran a long errand to town and then we were home and waiting.  They are not hard company to have and as it went I barely saw anyone except grandson Josh.    They didn't arrive here until midnight on Thursday and left right after breakfast to drive three or four hours away to begin the house hunt.  They came back that night about 9p just in time to see Josh off to bed and then were out again the next morning at 5am and not back until just about 5pm.  They left Sunday morning and drove back to south Florida.  All I can say it is good they are young but I'll bet this weekend wore them down.  Bess will be back this weekend to house hunt on her own and I really don't expect to see anymore of her than I did this past weekend.

I was so happy to have Josh left with me.  I felt sure he'd have been utterly miserable if he'd spent hours on end in a car seat.  Here he could wander about and play or sit on my lap and cuddle.  He's a great cuddler, that boy.  The sweetest moment was Friday evening when we had Shabat.  Josh joined us at the table and watched every single thing we did very carefully, from lighting the candles to closing our eyes to pray.  He mimicked John and said 'men' when John ended the prayer.  But the sweetest moment of all was when he partook of the kiddish (communion) bread and grape juice with us.  Josh's favorite thing of all to say is "No" especially if it regards food or drink, so I was shocked when I offered him a sip of grape juice and he took it and just as surprised when he took the piece of bread and held it high for the blessing.  His eyes shone through out the whole service, which we kept short and when we'd had our final sip of grape juice, and John ended his prayer with 'Shabat Shalom!' as he always does, Josh's face lit with a huge smile and he said to us "Sh'om!"   Honestly if you want to be moved by communion, just watch the innocent child take it and obviously feel the importance of it!

Josh was sweet as could be for me, all weekend long.  He took his naps, he ate bites of food from his plate, he was patience and sweetness the whole while.  He even chuckled gratifyingly at all of Grampa's jokes.  But gracious goodness, when his parents returned Saturday afternoon he had a meltdown to end all other meltdowns.  Hysterical crying and screeches filled the house until he went to bed.  I felt sorry for him and sorrier for his parents who were frustrated for not only not knowing how to soothe him but because they were afraid he was disturbing us.  John and I have a secret: we don't mind a crying grandchild in the least.  We figure it's the parents issue to deal with and let 'em, lol.  It's amazing how calming it is to know you haven't a thing to do to soothe the savage child!

Maddie and Misu endured the weekend.  Sam brought along his dog, who obviously could not be left at home alone, being nowhere near as self-sufficient as the cats.  Marley is a lovely big puppy, but he's a bit of  an intimidation.  His size is not huge though he's a biggish dog but his size is outmatched by his HUGE enthusiasm for every one whom he meets.  He bounces about a bit like a bull in the a china shop in his desire to meet and greet and Misu and Maddie both found it off putting.  Maddie spent the whole weekend snarling madly and driving him away.  Misu growled deeply in her throat and sat atop the dog house with bristling fur.  The weekend was anything but peaceful with the constant threats of war outdoors.  Misu finally got off the porch and went who knows where for 36 hours or so.  I was some relieved Monday evening to hear her 'thump' as she jumped off the porch rail, a normal sound that had been missing the previous three days.  Maddie went nowhere.  She just moved from one spot to another and snarked and snarled and threatened all weekend long.

Maddie, a sweetheart really, with a secret.  She's the really sweet girl everyone likes who can't hold a fellow.  You discover too late that she's  a very needy sort who must be first and foremost and forever the only one in your attentions.  It's a bit of a shock to realize what she's really like.  Her dislike of Blossom was difficult enough but her dislike of Marley never saw anything resembling truce. 

I was grateful Sunday that I had a couple of hours of Samuel to myself.  I love all my children but I cherish the moments I get to spend one on one with them, because once they are grown that time is so rare.  We talked of this and that and nothing much but it's still an opportunity to have an insight into who my children are at this stage of their lives.  I like what I see in them, I do really.  I don't always agree with all they think or do, but I do like to see the adults they have become, all of them.

I felt I'd had a lovely weekend overall with a long phone conversation with Virginia.  Katie checked in a few times.  I saw fresh photos on Facebook from my oldest son.  Amie was silent enough but she did post videos of two of the grandchildren this  week at their school program.  What a joy to see my oldest grandson dancing away even while his classmates stood still!  I don't get to see much of his personality as he has a speech defect that has been stubborn, so to get to see him express himself in a way that is unrestricted was a pleasure.

I was messing about on Facebook earlier this week and stumbled upon a conversation between Amie, Bess and Virginia.  Bess had mentioned that Sam was the most calming person she knew.  He does indeed have a peace about him that draws people in.  Virginia joined in and agreed and then mentioned that she finds John and I  are the same sorts.  How gratifying to read Amie's opinion that they are what they are because we are what we are.  Isn't it funny how we come to value our children's good opinion of us once the unrelenting years of full time hands on parenting are done?

You know what else I was grateful or this weekend?  Time alone.  John went off to work Sunday morning, the kids packed up and left just before lunch and I had the blessed house all to myself.  I didn't knock myself out trying to clear up, either.  For one thing, the kids did a lot of the tasks before they left but I did light housework and read and weeded more and folded laundry which is something I seldom get to do since John tends to laundry.  I like folding laundry and find it very soothing.  I love making neat stacks of smoothly folded sheets and towels and shirts.

Monday was just as quiet but I was less happy with that day.  I really missed John if you want to know truth about it.  We'd barely had a waking moment of our own since Thursday and I missed him quite a lot by Monday.  However, the day was busy enough.  I finished the weeding and vacuumed the entire house and worked on bills getting them ready for our pay day.  I filled the afternoon with errands out of the house, buying what I hoped would be a quick remedy for the poison, banks, mailing off bills, taking off trash, etc.  I always try to accomplish a great deal when I'm out of the house, which is what made today, Thursday, so rare.  I simply got in the car and left home.  I did bring along a bag of things to put in the booth but I really didn't plan anything more than to get a hair cut and to work on the booth.

I will say that as I worked on the booth today, I felt satisfied overall.  True, it needed a good clean and a rearrange but all in all, the quality of what I have in the booth is consistent.  I marked down many items but ran out of stickers.  I'll take another set of stickers with me first of next month and consider marking down more.  I don't really have room in my booth for anything more at present but I hope that simply rearranging items will give fresh eyes to those who've been in routinely and perhaps will better catch the eye of newcomers with some item they really want.  I did much as I do here at home, grouping like things, or juxtaposing colors that go well together to try and create a cohesive look.  The annual Strawberry Festival is next weekend, so the cleaning and rearranging is my nod to that hopefully big sales weekend.  I don't have space to put anything more in the booth and what I have must look it's best.

John had two days off between shifts and suggested that we start our usual grocery day with breakfast out.  We were both up very early that morning, and I watched the loveliest sunrise...which is great because by the time we walked out of the door two hours later it was foggy and cloudy and we never saw another bit of sun!

We went to a pancake house to eat our morning meal and it was nice.  It's been ages since I was 'out to breakfast' and it always seems more indulgent to me than even a steak dinner with all the fixings.
As we went to the register to pay our bill, the phone behind the desk began to ring.  An older man, who appeared to be in his 80's came up, stepped behind the desk and answered the phone.  The hostess, who was hurrying as quick as she could to get there was startled.  Well it was all good.  It turned out the old gentlemen was actually her grandfather who came in to see her that morning and have breakfast.  I guess he was concerned she'd get in trouble if the phone kept ringing. It kind of made our day to watch him pick up that phone and say the restaurant's name, lol.

I really enjoyed our morning out.  We started our day's shopping at Aldi where I discovered that as limited as floor space is they managed to cram in quite a lot of outdoor items.  I bought a new umbrella for the patio table.  I've got to rig up a weight of some sort to hold the umbrella in place.  Too often the wind has snatched up my umbrella and sent it wheeling across the yard, which is why I so needed a new one.  Broken spans made it necessary!    I saw a bench I really liked but John asked me to wait on that.  I wish he hadn't but that was just one of several temptations.  Rose bushes and trellises and cushions and ferns.  I told John I never dreamt when we started shopping at Aldi for our groceries that we'd gradually find ourselves getting a lot of our home and garden items there as well.

It felt odd to come home at noon time.  I puzzled my brain over what to cook for dinner since I'd bought nothing easily prepared and all I had at home was frozen.  Fortunately I was able to get frozen burgers from the freezer here at home and those cooked slowly in a covered pan while I unloaded and put away groceries.  It was one of only two meals I'd cooked this week thus far.  Two!  And no, we haven't eaten out a lot this week, we just haven't had need of making a regular meal.  I am sure that will change over the weekend.

Well, I do realize it's been a short chat but it's all I have in me at the moment.  I truly am sick of this itching season and every time I check I've a new spot here or there.  I may end up seeing my doctor if there isn't marked improvement by Monday.  I think I shall grab an ice pack and let the cool compress do it's work.  We'll chat again before this month is over.  In the meantime, let me know which of the new recipes you've tried.  Talk to you again soon!


Anonymous said...

You are itching and I'm coughing. I started about 2 weeks ago and like you, I'm so done with this! So I went to the clinic once again and it's as I suspected, bronchitis. The sad thing is, now they don't want you to stop coughing. They want to give you something to loosen the junk and then let you cough it out. Sigh!! The PA said 5 more days of coughing. But at least an end is now in sight I guess. Can they give steroids to help stop the itch? I honestly think I'd check. Hope you find relief soon!! Pam

Anonymous said...

The last two weeks I have found "goodies" at Aldi. A very soft pretty throw which goes perfect in my living room and then this week I bought a bird bath. I haven't opened it yet but the price was right. I guess I will have to pay more attention to their specials, or not, and keep my money. Hope your poison ivy is gone soon. I imagine with a lot of land it is hard to find and get rid of. My sister in law had it one time. She used her kitchen gloves to get rid of some by a tree, then took off her gloves and washed them and of course, it was all over the gloves which transferred to her hands and arms. She was really miserable. Glad Josh was such a good little guy. Wonderful memories! Gramma D

Debbie said...

I'm so sorry you got hit with poison ivy. I have never gotten into it but one of my sons and his MIL both found some on the edge of the riverbank when they were all out fishing. Oh they were miserable. I am glad though that you got to have that precious time with your grandson. :) What a blessing. Funny how the grandkids can be so good for us but the moment they see their parents they either meltdown of go nuts. ;) Been there numerous times with mine.

Be blessed!

Lana said...

I am so sorry about the poison ivy. I believe you have mentioned having lavender essential oil on hand. You might try that but you should dilute it in a carrier like olive or coconut oil. It may work by putting some in a sparay bottle of water and spraying it on the skin, too. SHake well before spraying. We use lavender hydrosol for any skin issues and it is a miracle worker. It is the water that is a byproduct of the production of essential oils. It is inexpensive and worth keeping on hand for anything from insect stings to sunburns or any skin irritation. I was stung by a wasp and applied it quickly and the sting was okay in minutes. Ordering a roller ball bottle would be good too and makes it so easy to apply.

Angela said...

Hi Terri, Can you please tell me the name of the nail transformer product? I can't find anything like it on Amazon. It would be great to use some of the polish I already own. Your nail polish is making me want to be more daring! I ordered a pretty spring color, Tulip by Zoya, this morning. It is a pretty coral color- can't wait for it to arrive! Did you know that if you let water as hot as you can stand it run on your poison ivy it will greatly reduce the itching for a time. It itches intensely while the water is running but then it is MUCH better. Angela

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