Tag Archives: tick

Pushing On

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So, what is it now, that has kept me away from writing? I’ve been busy, sure, and tired. There have been a lot of things going on here on Beaver Island, and in my life.

Saturday, for instance. I worked at the hardware store. It was our busiest – by far – day this year. The side of the building has become a nursery, with stacking shelves arranged under a sun shade for perennials and shrubs, annual flowers, vegetables and herbs. Folks were flocking in to our store for necessities for lawn and garden plans as well as all the usual painting, plumbing and home repair projects.

I had started the day loading art work in the car, so that I could drop it off at the Beaver Island Gallery, on its first open day of the season. I did that in the early afternoon, just before running out to attend the memorial gathering to honor my friend, Roy. I then ran to the point, to attend the annual shareholder’s meeting of the Beaver Island Boat Company. Then, back to the hardware to finish my work day.

Home, I changed clothes, doused up with mosquito repellent, and headed for the garden. I’ve been forcing myself to get in at least an hour of work out there every evening, no matter how much I want to collapse. Saturday, I raked, dug stubborn weeds, hauled away another wheelbarrow full of roots, and assembled a raised bed for my strawberry plants, before coming in to shower. I ate dinner in my pajamas, and was in bed not long after.

In addition to long and busy days, I’ve had a few side-line inconveniences that have further complicated my life. I picked up a tick, while working in the garden, and didn’t discover it until it was firmly embedded in the skin of my inner thigh, and fairly well engorged with my blood. That was the most traumatic (and gross!) thing that has happened to me in quite some time! A trip to the medical center, a dose of strong antibiotic, a few instructions about prevention and how to handle it should it ever happen again, and I was on my way…though the nightmares continue.

My car is in the shop for repairs. That has caused me to be using vehicles that I’m not familiar with (Oh! No cup-holder? And where is the knob for windshield wipers?), changing one car for another, begging rides from here to there, and sometimes walking. It’s not a big deal. It will all be over soon, and I’ll have my own dusty, messy car back, with a nice fat repair bill to boot!

Next, my little dog, having worked herself into a frenzy over having her nails clipped, managed to get out of my grasp…andĀ bit me. By the next morning, redness and swelling made another trip to the medical center necessary. “It was an accident,” I explained, “she was trying to bite the vet.” My tetanus vaccine was still good; another dose of antibiotic, and I was finished. All dog bites have to be reported, so next came a visit from the deputy. My dogs are up to date on all of their shots. Still, according to standard protocol, Rosa Parks had to be placed in quarantine (“House arrest,” I told her) for ten days. No rides to visit the inland lakes; no walks down the Fox Lake Road. “That’s what you get,” I tell her, without sympathy.

Yesterday, it rained. That put all yard work on hold. After coming home from work, I took a lovely, long nap. I got up in time to feed the dogs and make my own supper, then went shortly right back to bed. Today, I feel rested, and like I just might make it. The sun is shining. The grass is desperately in need of being cut. The dogs and I could all use some outdoor time. That’s where I’ll be, then, for the rest of this day.

 

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Me, Getting Older

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The poppies burst into bloom two days ago, and have grown more spectacular each day.

In years past, I’ve been able to tell one grandchild or another, “They opened just for you…they’re so happy that you’re here!”

I still have hope that Patrick may make it to Beaver Island this summer, though he will have missed the poppies.

Madeline and Tommy will not be coming this year.

It’s always hard to coordinate, with their activities, their parent’s schedules and my obligations. When everything comes together, it’s wonderful. When it doesn’t…well, we must forge on.

Last night, I had a lovely visit over dinner with my sister, Cheryl, and her friend (my friend, too!), Joel.

The night before, I treated myself to a special dinner at home.

Once a week, my friend, Heidi, delivers me a nice round loaf of freshly baked sourdough bread. It’s absolutely delicious, and a great bargain, too. It’s a nice accompaniment to soup or salad, or toasted to dunk in fried egg. It makes the very best grilled cheese sandwich.

That’s what I made for myself, night before last. Grilled sourdough with sharp cheddar cheese, thin slices of heirloom tomato, a couple rounds of red onion and diced avocado. It was a large and messy sandwich, but I enjoyed it tremendously. I ate at the table, with a book as company.

I’m reading an author that is new to me, Donna Leon. Her mysteries are set in modern-day Venice. Her detective is a thoughtful “romantic” who walks the city – from crime scene to station to suspect – to take advantage of the sights and sounds of Venice. So far, very good summer reading.

After dinner, I moved up to the studio. I’m doing prep work for a series of larger collages, so mark-making, clipping and tearing papers, paint washes for possible backgrounds and other research was going on more than actual art-making.

At one point, I stroked my chin…and found something stuck there. I pulled it off. Between that moment and me then extending my hand so that I could examine it, this conversation went on in my head:

“A tick!!

Oh, gross, a TICK!

Sucking my blood!

Now I’ll have to watch for Lyme disease. I wonder what the symptoms are. I’ll have to “Google” it.

I hope I got it all. I heard they bury their head into your skin to suck your blood. Body, arms and legs are on the outside. I heard that sometimes the arms and legs wiggle.

Oh, I am SO grossed out!

Thank god I found it when I did! I wonder how long it has been there. Oh, yuck, what if someone else had noticed it first?!

Thank god for that chin whisker!

I hate that chin whisker so much…it grows so fast, and I forget about it sometimes until I’m somewhere without the right light, the magnifying mirror and a tweezers, so I can’t do anything about it, but I imagine it stands out for everyone else to notice, so then I’m self-conscious about it all day…but, if it weren’t for that chin whisker, I wouldn’t have formed the habit of rubbing my chin like that, and maybe I wouldn’t have found the tick for hours…and it would be fully engorged, more like the size of a raisin (I’ve seen them that size in theĀ  vet clinic) instead of like the size of a…tomato seed…”

And there it was…not a tick.

A tomato seed, from my messy dinner, stuck to my chin.

Crisis averted!

I may have let this pass as one more isolated incident…not anything to be concerned about.

Certainly not an indicator that I am becoming one of “those people” that walk around unaware of food or other matter clinging to hair, skin or clothing.

Until today, three hours in to my shift at the hardware store…when a customer asked why I was wearing a fabric softener sheet on my back.

Evidently, this is me, getting older.

From what I’ve seen so far, it’s not going to be pretty!