Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Something Itchy This Way Comes..

I can tell by the pricking of my blotchy red thumbs.

The rash turned to hives. Big, red, splotchy hives. All over. In places that hives have no business being. I spent the entire weekend taking oatmeal baths and coating every square inch of skin with cortisone cream. Today I am finally free and clear. Stupid amoxicillin. Stupid strep throat. Stupid allergic reaction.

My fiance threatened to duct tape oven mitts to my hands. I spent a great deal of time furiously scratching whenever he was out of the room. Unfortunately the redness of my skin betrayed me..it's hard to hide that you've been clawing your skin to bits when there are white lines everywhere that you've scratched.

But now I can finally lay off the benadryl and cortisone, shave my legs, and no longer smell faintly of oatmeal. Interesting fact: When you have a pet goat, and you smell like oatmeal, it's a Bad Idea to go into the pasture. Nothing like being chased around by a small goat who thinks that you must be hiding something edible somewhere on your person.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Rashes, rashes..

Last week I had strep throat for the first time in my life. Mine was fairly mild, and my doctor prescribed amoxicillin to treat it.
Six days into taking the pills, I broke out into a bright red head-to-toe rash. It started out on my arms and spread out from there, until eventually even my ears were a brilliant shade of red.

Feeling rather alarmed, I called my doctor. Turns out that I am allergic to amoxicillin. Oh what joy. I got to experience strep throat AND an allergic reaction to medication all in the course of a week! The strep throat is gone, but unfortunately I can't say the same for the rash. It has spread to everywhere but my face as of today. My feet are so bad that I can't even wear shoes (insert joke about being in kentucky and not wearing shoes here). I look diseased and I feel miserable. I'm fantasizing about household objects that could be used to rid myself of this rash. Cheese graters. Sand paper. Oh, it all sounds heavenly right about now. I think tonight I'll greet my fiance at the door with a belt sander and some benadryl laced wine. I haven't felt like this since an encounter with a poison ivy patch 15 years ago.

I'm hoping that it will clear up by Monday. I cannot miss another day of work. I can wear long sleeves and slacks to cover up my arms and legs, but I'm not sure what I'll do if my hands and feet are still bad. My office isn't casual enough for the gloves-and-bare-feet look.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Sticks and Stones.

The weather this weekend was truly nice for the first time this year. I took advantage of the warmth and sunlight and went rock hunting.

I have always been a rock hound. When we lived in Florida, I spent my allowance on crystals from the little mall kiosks that sold jewelry and gemstones. When we moved here to Kentucky, I was delighted to discover that it was a literal treasure trove of fossils and other interesting rocks. I pried fist-sized stones that looked like brains from the creek and hoarded them like priceless jewels. When my father took a hammer and cracked one of them open, I was dismayed until he showed me that inside those bumpy, bubbly stones were hollow caves lined with crystals.

An addict was born. I'd go down to the creek on weekends and bring home bucketloads of them, then spend the afternoon happily whacking them with hammers until they broke open. My mother was frustrated by the mess I made..shards of rock, bits of crystal, hammer marks on the concrete..but I was hooked. I had boxes of them under my bed because I'd run out of shelf room for them all.

Now I live in an area where I can get them from my own back yard, and it shows. The porch railing is covered with cracked open geodes. There are piles of them in the yard. Yesterday I gathered enough to fill two five gallon buckets. Though not all of them are for me this time. I am sending some out to other people who would like the chance to crack open their own.

The crown jewel was a truly massive geode that had to be opened with a concrete saw. There was a four inch thick ring of solid quartz encasing a cave with mineral deposits. The minerals formed a bumpy, bubbly layer that looks like bubbles in oatmeal. I hardly ever find ones like that.

This is a small portion of my haul:


My other task for the weekend was to photograph the hair sticks I'd spent the previous weekend making:


I love hair sticks. Too bad my hair is too short for them at the moment. But I still enjoy making them, and I'm especially fond of this batch. I like the colors.

All in all it was a good weekend. When I get home tonight I have an appointment with a hammer, chisel, and a bucket full of stones.