Bug Bites

Well, the dog may be happy and the garden is really thriving and my kitchen floor is spectacularly clean, but I can’t say that my lower legs are particularly flourishing with furlough and shelter-in-place. 

Two weeks ago I dropped my bow saw putting it away and it scrapped my leg below the knee, so I have seven ½” long wounds, nicely healing but still a bit pink.  I have a bruise just below my left knee – I really have no idea how I got that one.  I have a nice gash from a rock that whipped its way out of the lawn mower and at least five various pokes from crawling around on mulch while weeding.

The spot that’s bothering me is the bug bite that I got on Thursday – it actually looks like two bites right next to each other, so it probably happened when I kneeled on something, but it itches like the devil and is still red after a few days.  Lots of Benadryl gel helps some.  Neosporin and a bandaid felt good this morning but I figure I’ve got a couple more days until it’s healed up.

I’m not sure if I should just give up my lucrative leg modeling contract or start wearing long pants while I garden.

Any unintended consequences lately in your life?

66 thoughts on “Bug Bites”

  1. We had the unintended consequence of 2 adolescent robins getting caught in the strawberry netting this week. We got them loose, and decided to remove the netting. The berries were just about all done anyway.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Nora Kathleen, the 40 year old daughter of a friend from college, lives in Vermont. She’s a pathologist and works at the U of Vermont Medical Center, and also breeds Penkingese dogs. As if that isn’t enough, she’s an avid and ambitious gardener. Yesterday was not a good day for her. Here’s what she posted to her FB page: “Very very sad day here at Lu Shan gardens. Discovered mosaic virus on my tomatoes and had to make the decision to cull them all. 50+ heirloom varieties and cultivars.”
      I don’t know what that’s the consequence of, but I’m sure it was unintended, not to mention heartbreaking.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. That is a problem with heirloom tomatoes. They are more susceptible to disease. They have a way of making hybrids resistant to such things. I was out spraying our tomatoes and roses yesterday with fungicide to prevent blight. The roses already are showing signs of it, and I don’t want it to spread to the tomatoes. We have mainly hybrids this year, with a couple heirloom San Marzano”s.

        Liked by 4 people

        1. I try to plant the heirlooms and hybrids in an alternate pattern to restrain the various diseases.

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        2. It’s always been my understanding that the fungus can overwinter in the soil and that’s why it’s a good idea to rotate your tomatoes to a new area every year, if possible. Of course you have to have a big enough garden to allow that—it might not be possible with 50 plants.

          A couple of years ago, Robin was gardening in our back yard and something bit her on the toe. She thought it was possibly a ground wasp. The toe swelled up and discolored and after a day or two of soaking it in baking soda baths, it was apparent that it was getting worse, with the discoloration traveling up her foot. We went to the urgent care facility and they sent her to a walk-in clinic. The physician who saw her there speculated that it was a bite from a brown recluse spider, which can be necrotic, and put her on a course of antibiotics (and possibly steroids- I can’t remember). The toes on that foot were discolored for months. She doesn’t garden in sandals anymore.

          Liked by 3 people

        3. When I was home one summer from college, before I moved out, I got a funny trail of rash on my stomach that blistered and was awful. The young doctor in the practice was a little stymied; he called in the older doctor who laughed and said it was the brown recluse spider. It must have been on the shirt that I had laying over the chair while I was sunbathing. Antibiotics of course and trail on my stomach for a few months. The old doctor said I was lucky that the spider had only crawled all over me and not actually bitten me.

          Liked by 3 people

        4. Crop rotation is a big deal. Even though I have a relatively small garden space, I do that, planting different things in each raised bed every year.

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  2. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    My legs have scattered bug bites. Chiggers and No See-Ums have found us. Argh.

    Yesterday I jammed a toe on my cart at the grocery store, then a carton of grapefruit juice fell off the cart and hit my lower leg. I am a walking bruise during gardening season, however, these are not even the gardening knocks.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. OT note. I need to share something. My best friend in this senior citizen complex is very senior indeed. Anne is 98, with a keen mind and positive personality. Anne is failing now, in her room in hospice care. She and I last saw each other in March, just before this place went into lockdown mode to protect us from the virus.

    Anne’s departure will not be as sad as you might expect. We’ve all known this was coming. Last fall Anne and her daughter spent five days planning for her passing. I’m not allowed to visit, so I won’t see her again. I hear she is in good spirits and no serious pain. I was able to write a goodbye note that people have read for Anne.

    I’ll probably not be commenting much for a while.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry, Steve, for the impending loss of your friend. What, I wonder, could possibly be the unintended consequences of letting you visit her?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Anne’s health issue is the same as mine: heart failure. Nobody has explained the reasons for isolating her. She was hospitalized last week, so she was removed from the protections of this place. She is now probably being quarantined because she could have been exposed to the virus when she wasn’t here.

        I’ve not heard this explained. It seems sad that her daughter, who lives in Maryland, is not allowed to visit her. Anne’s son lives in St Paul, and I’m not even sure he can visit. The managers of this place are extremely careful, as they indeed have to be.

        I don’t myself need to visit. My letter to her said exactly what I needed to say.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Some time ago, Steve, you mentioned that Molly does your grocery shopping and visits on Sundays. Is she still able to do that? Or do you do Facetime or some such platform to stay in touch?

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        2. PJ: she still shops for me each week. She drops the grocery bags at the front door, and I usually get them to bring them to my room. Other than that, we email almost daily and talk on the phone often.

          A person who strictly avoids seeing his image in a mirror is not likely to have a web cam. 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

      1. It likely will be worse for you as you age and more of your friends begin dropping for one reason or another. I’m having a bad year. We lost Edith a year ago. I thought of her as my best friend then, as we wrote each other so often, usually chatting about photography.

        Odd that you mention losing public radio. Losing a friend is a lot like losing a radio show you liked. A source of smiles and shared stories suddenly goes silent, and it isn’t going to come back.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. `Over the years there have been many. Actually, the one I thought about the most was the podcast, “THe Hilarious World of Depression.” He did an excellent job on the podcast and it was so helpful to clients. MPR produced it. I did not like his show, “Wits,”. But this one was excellent.

          Chris Thole—loved the music. Did not like most of the comedy acts, and Tom Pappa drove me nuts—I think he was a good writer, but his bit on the show was irritating. I thought that show needed time to find itself and I do think cancelling this one is a mistake.

          Liked by 1 person

    2. How are you able to keep abreast of what’s happening with Anne, Steve? I’m assuming she’s not able to communicate with you herself.

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        1. No, PJ. I found I couldn’t write her day after day when she became unable to reply. Then I began phoning about once a month. I gave that up when I could tell she didn’t really remember me. She knew my name, but her sense of me had faded away. After that I have not been able to phone her again. She is alive today, and yet the person I used to know and love has gone away. It happens.

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      1. It is tricky, PJ. The people who know both of us here, the recreation staff members, could lose their jobs if they talked about one resident to another. Strict code against that. But they can offer cautious veiled hints at times. I mostly keep up with things by emailing Anne’s daughter, Pat.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I know how much your daily correspondence with Marilyn meant to you, so sorry that it’s no longer possible. And, yes I can also understand why there are strict rules for what your facility’s staff are permitted to talk about with the residents. I was wondering whether you were in close enough contact, say via email, with any other residents, to at least know how some of the folks you used to eat dinner with are faring? It must add significantly to your sense of isolation to have such limited possibilities for interacting with your neighbors.

          Even though I have extremely limited physical contact with anyone outside of this household, I’m in near constant contact via social media with a core group of friends. For me that’s a life saver and keeps me from wanting to do risky stuff.

          Liked by 2 people

        2. Your concern is kind, PJ. I used to dine with three women, one of whom is now in hospice and not able to talk of the phone. One of my friends has a lot of dementia. The third, also an Anne, is a delightful person. We occasionally talk on the phone, but we aren’t allowed to socialize here. I stay in my apartment, occasionally dealing with staff.

          My dirty little secret is that I’m such an introvert that being corked up in isolation feels better than being social. I’d like to return to a normal life again, even if it is more natural to be alone. I was a lonely kid who grew up keeping my own company. That’s what feels right now, so long as I have email and the internet. Today I have talked to six of my favorite people in the world . . . although they all live somewhere else.

          Liked by 2 people

  4. Yesterday we stopped at the local mall parking lot and got some cheese curds. Some of the food truck vendors that would normally spend all summer at the county fairs, have set up in parking lots.
    As we sat there eating both original and garlic cheese curds, we watched a couple that appear to be locked out of their vehicle. The guy was slapping the hood and gesturing to someone inside. Truck was running but all the windows were up. We could see a dog running back and forth. Thankfully, no baby inside, just the dog. Which had locked the doors. And no matter how much he gestured, the dog wasn’t coming back to unlock them for the guy. Course both their cell phones are in the truck.
    We ran the woman back to her house to pick up a spare key.
    It was really quite an enjoyable encounter and gave us both a good story.
    This woman had never eaten a corn dog before so she was excited to try one, and then didn’t get it because of all that. We hope he bought her another one after getting in the truck.
    We also explained she would have to try a Pronto Pup.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I have heard that some of the state fair food trucks have been sitting at setting up in places as well but I haven’t been out to find one yet.

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  5. If I’d thought ahead a bit, I would have seen this coming – we picked up the remnants from my mom’s room at the nursing home last Wednesday, and unloaded it temporarily in the garage. That day I was able to sort it into what to donate, what to keep, and what to ask my sister about before donating. Yesterday I filled a corner of the basement with a few boxes in the last two categories…

    We did a temporary house re-arrange to make room for two items – her electronic piano (Yes!) and a side table built by Mom’s dad. A more permanent room rearrange is needed up here, and then on the hot days I’ll spend time in the basement going through those boxes…

    Liked by 1 person

        1. Ain’t that the truth. Another complication for us is that we don’t have kids, so most of the people we know are people our age, and they don’t want to add anything to their already full households.

          Just as the virus was beginning to get a foothold here, Hans and I had a living trust drawn up. Among our belongings, that will eventually have to be disposed of somehow, are some really nice antiques. These are pieces we wouldn’t have been able to afford forty years ago, but which, at this point, we’d be hard pressed to even find a new home for. My inclination is to just tell Scott, who has agreed to be the executor of our estate, to just hire someone to do an estate sale and not worry about it. It seems sad to let several more than 150-year old pieces of furniture just be thrown on a junk heap, but realistically, that’s what is going to happen.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. The only difference between your own kids and metaphorical kids is that the metaphorical kids don’t have to pretend to be interested in your stuff.

          Liked by 4 people

      1. Yes! I’ll try to give the stuff to, first local charities, Goodwill as a last resort, since they’re no longer a non-profit. But I can’t imagine anyone wanting very much of these things… I’m taking the music and all the good stuff. : )

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        1. We have so many reasons to value Linda. She accepted a digital camera and a food processor from me, for which I’m deeply grateful. Now I need to find a home for a car . . .

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        2. Isn’t there a car donation program through a tech college? They rehab the car then provide the cars to low income folks

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  6. My Monday started with news that the ‘new’ music teacher at the college has accepted another job and won’t be back this fall. He had been here 2 years and was really good and I have been telling him he turned my life around because I don’t feel the need to be grumpy for the week of Holiday concerts nor the need to go home and drink every night and most importantly, I don’t feel that need to kill anyone involved anymore! 🙂
    And he had to do it on Monday morning first thing?? It’s all downhill from there.
    Now we have to train in another new guy. Doesn’t help that a some in admin don’t see the value in arts or music. They’ll look at this and think ‘Why bother hiring anyone new; just let the program go.’.
    Grrrrr.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Yeah. That’s certainly part of it. He was offered a job as elementary school principal. And he had said that was his long range goal. I just didn’t expect it so soon. Good for him of course.

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  7. I just got off a messaging session with a customer service rep for DHL. I’m trying to track a package which was promised delivered by last Friday. The online tracking link shows the package “tendered to delivery service provider” on Friday morning at 5:19 AM in Melrose, IL. Since then nothing, except this message which was posted yesterday: “Greetings: Your package experienced a delay while in transit to you. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience. Kindly allow an additional 24 – 48 hours for delivery. Thank you for your patience.” Next I tried their ASK service, where supposedly a live customer service person can help.

    Here’s a sampling of the responses: “Generally we only provide milestone tracking, so it can take some time between updates. Has it been more than 10 days since your expected delivery date?” to this I answered NO. To this came this reply; “There are a lot of variables in shipping, please give us a couple more days to get the package to you.” To this I responded that I’m not impressed with this vague response, and would like some indication of where my package is, and when I can expect it. That elicited this reply: “Sorry, I’m still learning and didn’t understand what you said. Would you try again, only say it a little differently?” My response: “What language would you like it in?” To this query I got this answer: “I’m struggling to understand; let me get you the number to someone who can help you…

    Here’s the number for DHL customer service: (317) 554-5191.”
    And they call this Customer Service. I have my doubts that there is a live person at the other end. Aargh!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Whenever I hear this my first thought is “if my calls are that important, you’d hire a couple more people to answer the phones!”

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    1. I’m totally sure that Hell is filled with telephones, but the only people you can call are customer service bozos who have been trained to not tell the truth. And, as Gary Larson once suggested, the coffee will be cold in Hell.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Don’t you just love the passive voice in “Your package experienced a delay while in transit to you.”? It’s as if they had nothing to do with it, and therefore shouldn’t be held accountable or expected to explain what happened.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. BiR – The goats in a tree are in Morocco. The Argan tree grows in a particular area of that country and no where else. The trees grow to about 20 feet. Goats like to eat the fruit so they climb up the trunk to get at the fruit. We saw goats in a tree on my trip to Morocco last October – later stopped at a women’s cooperative where they shell the fruit to get at the nut, then shell the nut to get the seed from which argan oil is pressed. It is a labor intensive process which is why genuine argan oil products are pricey. The argan oil products found at Target or Walmart have very little actual argan oil. BTW – some goatherders intentionally place some of their goats in these trees to entice visitors to stop for a photo op.

    Liked by 1 person

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