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Monday, July 22, 2019

Keep a stiff upper lip

Skeeter welt onmy chest last year
For several years I have had severe allergic reaction to insect bites, welts, itching, all misery.  Spiders are the worst for me but the MN 'skeeters are almost as bad. So when I am outside working as is usual for me everyday here in good weather, I soray up with Deet types of repellant, to avoid tick bites especially and potential affliction of  Lyme disease.    Besides my OFF spray, I douse myself with Avon's repellant and with Buggs for gnats, recommended last year by a professional pest control technician and pat real vanilla extract around my eyes,nose and on my face.  We have our lawns and shrubs and garden areas professionally sprayed by a Pest Control Company with only commercially available chemicals to ward off mosquitoes, gnats and other pesty flying insects. It is worth the cost as bugs flourish here.  I love being outdoors and although it is hard work out there, I do not mind the workouts. I wish Jerry were able to help but since he cannot, I soldier on. I might grumble now and then about my aching muscles but it is all good for me and preferable to being confined inside or worse living communally in apartment or some place  without any yard, gardens to tend. 

Then again, I hear my heritage, I come from a family of workers, not whiners.   My late Aunt Jinx always said, " never complain about doing good hard physical work, it means you are strong enough to handle it.  Others cannot, sometimes they are sick, feeble, old or even lazy. Be glad you are not like them."  So I bend, stoop, and the range of motions working outside, doing everything I can. 
Some more of the back near mighty maple
 Besides it burns calories, free exercise.   I spent another couple hours yesterday gathering debris from winds against our mighty maple, limbs, self pruning.  And down below, a pine had dropped about 8ft. from its top down into the garden.  This was huge, but I managed to single handedly hoist it over the garden fence and then to use my heaviest pruners to cut off branches for the debris pile before dragging it downhill. Yes, I can do hard work.  Decent temperatures help.
Along one side of our home

Yesterday evening I made the mistake  of going out to the front rose garden at dusk, despite Jerry's adamant warnings to me about how bugs are more active then. But I was excited because in the morning  I'd harvested 6 cherry bomb tomatoes, first of the season, and I didn't want to miss any.  We enjoyed them,delicious and nutritious. 

Not  on this blog, but my FB  knows about my experiment this year, I impulsively planted 2 tomatoes and 1 jalapeno pepper plant in the rose garden.  These replaced the rose bushes that did not survive the winter.  With Jerry's recovery keeping us home this summer I figured I could grow a couple favorites.   
Tomatoes amid the roses out front 

Hundreds of little green marbles
The cherry tomato plant has grown immense and is loaded with  hundreds of green tomatoes. It has far outgrown 2 cages and now I have used all sorts of spikes and things to add support to the laden limbs.

So I went back out for evening patrol.  While there, I take along clippers to dead head and trim shrubs and flowers.  Just about the time I finished, I felt a sensation on my lip and in  the few moments it took me to go inside, my upper lip felt heated and almost like a cold sore had emerged.  Only it was not!  But in the mirror I saw a huge welts, bluster on the middle of my lip, and within seconds it swelled. 

My anti sting bite swabs
 I immediately applied one of my insect anti sting swabs, something I always have on hand but have never before used on my mouth,.  Because the welt or bluster was inside the lip  I dabbed the swab there too.  Not a pleasant taste, but the relief had to outweigh the bad taste of  menthol and benzocaine.  My upper lip swelled so much that there was not any evidence of the two points, normally marking my lip line.  I also applied ice.   Fortunately the misery was localised, no breathing problems, so I decided to take a Benadryl capsule too.  The antihistamine could only help.

Leary on the deck this morning
  It was very uncomfortable my upper  lip so stretched resembling the worst application of Botox.  I joked that it was a good thing I was never tempted to try the Botox lip enlargement treatments so many women went for.  On me it was grotesque.  This morning it is much improved but still slightly swollen.  So I am icing it and taking it very, very easy,for me.  I will skip working out today and instead just stay put.  No 10,000 steps tracked for me today, letting my body repair itself......this experience is surely not what is meant by, keep a stiff upper lip,😉
The morning after, residual swelling

Writing from my tablet sitting in the 4 season room,

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