Friday, September 26, 2014

Squirrels and facial rashes

Again, much time has passed since I last blogged. Shannon is doing the October 31 Days challenge again; I’m not officially signing up but I’m going to try to jumpstart my blogging by writing something every day anyway. I don’t feel 100% committed so if I miss a few days, go check out Shannon’s blog. She will not disappoint.

We are now fully immersed in our busy fall schedule. Sunday is our only day of rest from activities. Unless you count church. I dislike being so busy, but the children are all doing activities they really enjoy. Luckily, all activities are within a small radius of our home – and even then, carpooling is usually involved - so I can’t complain too much. No one ever needs to be at a hockey rink in Transcona by 7:00 a.m. and for that I am grateful.

I am also grateful for a beautiful, warm week. #Septemberisstillsummer all the way! My disdain for fall is lessening slightly, although I wish the leaves would resist changing colour and keep clinging to their branches for dear life. One big problem with fall: squirrels busily gathering food for winter. If I was Siobhan’s mother, I would be in heaven (not literally). But sometimes I feel like I’m in the opposite place. Those buggers are everywhere (literally). I was THIS close to stepping on one on my run the other day. They scamper to the top of our big evergreens and gnaw at the pinecones until they fall to the ground. Our front yard was completely covered in pine cones. We had to rake them every day. Last weekend when all the pinecones were finally off the tree, Dale and the kids bagged them all up and took them to the back yard where they’re still sitting until yard waste pick-up day. The squirrels seem upset about us taking away their hard-earned food for the winter. They keep climbing on the bags, trying to get into the rolled-up openings. They haven’t succeeded yet, which is weird. They can chew through drywall and Rubbermaids, but somehow brown paper bags are an impenetrable fortress.  For no other reason than the fact I hate them so much, I took some squirrel pictures. I’m sorry if you love squirrels and find my words too harsh. Maybe these delightful candid squirrel photos will make up for that.

A waste of a perfectly good apple that I could have used for apple crisp

He got a pine cone, but it's not from the bag.

I am a freaky rodent and I will pounce on you

I went to a retreat last weekend with a bunch of women from my church. I don’t normally love that sort of thing, but it was way better than I thought it would be. It was very relaxed and unstructured, other than several short sessions with interesting speakers and singing, there was lots of time for talking and hanging out with my good friends Kristin and Corinna (and others) and hot tubbing and doing yoga and having a dance party and playing games and going for walks. And getting poison ivy, apparently. I started developing a rash on my face on Wednesday. When I woke up this morning, one side of my face was so puffy that my eye couldn’t open all the way. I went to the walk-in clinic after dropping off the kids at school and the doctor asked how I got it. I told him I didn’t know, but I had been to the lake on the weekend and went for a walk in the woods. He sort of brushed that information aside and went for a different angle. He has a thick accent which is sometimes hard to understand, but this is how our conversation went.

“Your children – do they play with branches?”
“Pardon? With what?”
“Branches. From a tree.”
“Oh. No, my children are older.”
“How old?”
I have no idea what the connection is between my children’s ages and having poison ivy on my face, but I answer anyway, “Age nine to sixteen.”
He shrugs, like a-ha! “Then they could still play with branches. Do they wave them in your face?”
“Um, no. They haven’t waved branches in my face.” It’s not like it’s Palm Sunday or anything.

That stumps him. I don’t mention my walk in the woods again. I also don’t mention the picture Corinna sent to me earlier this morning when I expressed confusion about getting poison ivy on my nose. It’s a picture of me doing a show-off yoga crow pose with my face very close to the ground. Ah, I forgot about that. Oh well, at this point I feel like the cause maybe isn’t as important as the treatment going forward.

The doctor asked if it was itchy (yes), painful (no), anywhere else on my body (no). He then said it could be shingles, although shingles aren’t itchy, they are painful, and they usually don’t appear on the face first. Yet inexplicably, he couldn’t rule it out. So he prescribed some topical cream that will hopefully get rid of the poison ivy/poison oak/shingles. I’ve made the doctor sound incompetent, but I’ve taken Chloe to see him before and I actually really like him. I love that walk-in clinic; it’s right near us and they get us in and out very quickly. I'm just pretty positive that he's wrong about shingles.

I really do need to blog more often; this post is getting way too long. I’ll finish off with a few pictures from Wednesday evening, when some of us made a very short notice trip to Bird’s Hill to visit my parents while they camped there. It was a lovely evening - we had a wiener roast, went for a bike ride and sat by the fire. The only problem was that the second the sun slipped below the horizon, it was pitch black and felt like the middle of the night but it was really only 8:15. Maybe I should change my beloved hashtag to Septemberisstillsortofsummer. But as long as the words summer and September go together, I'm happy.

Lexie on Bailey's long board

Gazing at the hole where the lake once stood (sat? lay?). They are building a bigger lake and have drained the existing one during the construction period.

Bailey looking concerned about her wiener roasting duties.

Ending with a sunset pose always seems like the right thing to do.


Rose said...

I don't want to freak you out or anything but shingles can be very itchy. And, you can get shingles in your eye which is a serious thing. Usual course of treatment for shingles is a week of anti-viral pills. Been there. Done that. Not fun.

Daniel said...

Awww, look at the cute little rodent!

Love little Lexie on the board!!! Bird's Hill trees are beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Eek to Rose's comment!!

I laughed out loud all the way through this. I am supposed to be working, but blog reading was way more fun.

In 4 days I don't have a job so maybe I should blog more.

But I probably won't.


Anonymous said...

I HATE SQUIRRELS. 3 things make them not enduring:
1. They bury peanuts in my garden when I have a kid with a peanut allergy. This same kid works in my garden and eats food from my garden.
2. They are not endangered and have very few natural predators in the city.
3. They are sometimes aggressive towards small pets and even small children.
okay...there are more than 3 things:
4. They can destroy your house exterior and eat through your electrical wires...and that, my friends, can be a fire risk. (Stupid squirrels).
5. They steal bird food from bird feeders (not that Ellen would care because she hates birds...but birds are the lesser of 2 evils).

Okay, I'll stop there. I think you should speak to Corinna's MIL. She traps squirrels and drowns them. I respect her. :)

But hey, squirrels are people too. Well actually, no, but they are a valuable part to our ecosystem and if there weren't any, I'd be sad...a little.


Anonymous said...

hahahah! oh, Sheri-Lee!

hey - remember the days when we would all have a comment party on Ellen's blog? we should do that again.

xo Sio

Daniel said...

How's your face doing, L?!