austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

You're gonna need an ocean of calamine lotion

Some poison ivy's been growing through the backyard fence. This was not ideal. bunny_hugger is allergic; I don't know whether I am. Last year bunny_hugger's mother pulled some of it out, but we didn't want to burden her with that again.

We worked out a plan. bunny_hugger would handle bags and equipment and point out poison ivy to me. I would pull the stuff. We'd both wear as much as we possibly could. The one slow point: most of the ivy was growing through the neighbor's fence. We could ask their permission to go in, and I did. Of course, it's hard to imagine someone answering the question ``may we come over and rip noxious weeds out of your yard, for free'' with ``no''. But the neighbors also put a fence up, so their dogs can run out back, and we had to get through the fence. bunny_hugger was embarrassed we had to bother them for that; I wasn't.

Also slowing stuff down: there was a lot of poison ivy. The neighbor's yard has about a third of it that's turning into forest and that's encouraged weeds to grow. We figured, since suiting up and cleaning up were the real time-consuming operations, we were best off doing as much as possible and we ripped out a lot of poison ivy. Also some suspected poison ivy, and some weed trees that looked to be making things generally worse. We probably spent about an hour or so ripping out weeds from all around our yard.

And then there's cleaning-up. We'd shed our clothes in the basement and wash them repeatedly, yes. Also we'd get upstairs to smear ourselves with this gel that's supposed to sit on the skin for at least two minutes, and then scrub ourselves clean. With cold water, which is every bit as much fun as you might imagine. Shifting to warm water was very nice.

We did our best to get the poison ivy out by the roots. It doesn't seem to have gotten back just yet, although we're aware that next year might bring another round of this. The neighbor's landlord needs to clear out that forest.

Trivia: The words ``island'' and ``isle'' are etymologically distinct: island traces back to Old English ``igland'', -land meaning land and ig- meaning, well, island. ``Isle'' traces to Old French, based on the Latin ``insula''. Source: Webster's Dictionary of Word Origins, Editor Frederick C Misch.

Currently Reading: Stealing the Elf-King's Roses, Diane Duane.

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