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"Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful."
- Unknown

"That which does not kill you, makes you stronger."
- Handed down through the ages.

"Life's tough. It's even tougher when you're stupid."
- John Wayne

17 July 2007

It's an early morning today. My bladder woke me up at 5:15 followed by Tucker at 5:30. Miss Kitty and Maisy followed. So, the coffee was brewing by 6:00 this morning. Fortunately, we all went to bed earlier than usual last night, so the unusually early wake-up call wasn't TOO painful.

But, since we're on the subject of painful . . . .

My early-to-bed status was precipitated by a stinging (pun intended) event I experienced last night!

For some strange reason, the grass that we planted last year
in the chicken yard (and which was THICK by last fall) has REFUSED to return this year. Now, the enclosed area is so large that I know that the problem is not over-crowding (of the chickens in the space). So, I don't know if the lack of greenery is due to the drought we were experiencing this spring or what! All I know is that the chicken yard looks like the Kansas Dust Bowl during the Depression.

Anyway, point being, my chickens need some greens. So, it dawned on me the other day to put the collection bag onto the lawn mower and get busy! But, where was the collection bag? We've never used it before. Turns out the collection bag is on the bottom of the bed of the old pickup . . . which is full of firewood! Not a problem: I just had some firewood to move before I could get to it.

Now, to properly tell the story, I need to rewind a few days.

In anticipation of the sawmill delivery that Tom and one of our best friends went into collusion on building together, I went to move the old pickup one day a week or so ago. I only had one leg in before I noticed the wasp/hornet (what's the difference?) nest neatly hanging from the roof of the cab! Okaaaaay . . . not gonna try moving the truck! So, that became another item on poor Tom's continual "To Do" list.

So, back to (forward to?) yesterday: I am in the bed of the truck moving the firewood in order to get down to the lawn mower collection bag. I see one hornet/wasp flying out from the cab of the truck. Then I see two. I tell them (like this is gonna help) that I'm not bothering them - I'm in the BED of the truck and they've got the cab all to themselves - and that I'll be done soon. I was a-l-m-o-s-t to the bag when BAM! - I felt like I'd gotten shot with a BB gun in the fleshy underside of my forearm (not that I've ever been shot with a BB gun, but you get the idea). Son-of-a-BISCUIT! I was out of that pickup and hot-footing it down the Trapper Cabin driveway before you could say "Boo!" . . . hoping no winged creatures were after me in hot pursuit! (And, yes, I did impress myself with my quick VAULT out of the high bed of the truck, thank you very much!)

Anyway, not knowing how else to treat the sting, I immediately made a thick baking soda poultice and applied it to my arm. (Although, I've since learned that halving an onion and applying it IMMEDIATELY to the sting pulls the poison out, too.)

My evening plans of mowing to collect greens for the chickens now on the back burner and feeling a fair amount of pain, I reassessed my nighttime activities and then went to bed early. (And now comes the really amazing part of the story.)

While I was getting ready for bed - and with my arm still aching - I thought I'd better remove the bandage (that I'd put on to keep the poultice in place) to see if the sting/poison was moving up my arm at all. To my amazement, when I removed the wrapping over the sting, the redness and swelling was ENTIRELY gone! Completely! And, this morning, aside from the t-i-n-i-e-s-t of aching, you would never even know I'd gotten stung! So, three cheers for ancient medicine! Hip-hip-hooray!

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