A month down the line…

It’s been soggy here in the Nexus. Which is good, because we’ve had a painfully dry spring. You just shouldn’t see the grass browning in May.

What with our new Pacific Northwest climate, things have been greening up nicely.

Em’s perennial beds are full to bursting
The first iris even blew its top


You know what else has been coming along nicely?

Yes. You guessed it. There appears to be a bumper crop of poison ivy out there where we’ve been risking life and limb to eradicate it.

There have been some questions as to the fate of we, the poison-ivied. I apologize for the tardiness of my update, and any unnecessary concern I’ve caused your delicate psyches.

Scotty’s well-distributed and torturous rash healed up nicely from round #1, and he was spared further insult during round #2 as he gave his nemesis a safe rake-length’s berth.

My mysterious and entirely non-itchy PI tattoo, from my less than careful round #2 remained just that for a full week, at which time the skin in question grew thin and was rubbed off, revealing new epidermal layers that weren’t quite mature enough to hold their own. Still there was no itch. Still there were no blisters.

It was at this point, however, that I knew a band-aid was in order, for I am not so much of a leaver aloner as a I am a picker when it comes to wounds, and something about the origin of this particular wound seemed to warrant excess caution.

For a full week I kept those tiny spots covered. Just to be sure.

And what when I peeled back the band-aid?

Well, nothing for a day. But within 24 hours the urushiols that had laid dormant in my skin for a full two weeks rallied like resurrected and vengeful pirates, and finally I had recognizable blisters and enough itching over that square 3mm of skin that I had to wonder how Scott didn’t crawl right out of his.

I cannot explain the timeline. It is bizarre indeed. But I have not been itching for a week now, and for that I am grateful.

My cape withereth.

And we will be going out in the rain today for round #3. Well-protected, I can tell you.

Beyond the ongoing battle with the PI Patch, life has been clicking right along on the Homestead. It has come to my attention that an update is in order all around. Let’s go for a nice photo-essay:

While we were fighting the PI, this one took her new backpacking gear out for a night in the woods:

Some day soon, she’ll be on trail for reals.

Pascha happened, COVID-be-damned, and The Milwaukee Kid came up to celebrate with us and make the traditional Paschal Mousse:

No, it’s not my thumb. It’s my leg. I left it there so you could see the pond. The leg is just a bonus.

This guy stopped by again to do this to the feeders:

Painfully, it is not the first time this year that this has happened. But some people in my family are slightly stubborn, and hard-determined to feed the birds. At least he didn’t go outside to get pictures of the culprit this time.

This one and her partner in crime got stuck in Montana for a week where the clutch went out. She just doubled the price of her car:

That look is desparation. Thankfully they found a backyard to camp in only 4 miles from the mechanic, so they could bike into town, and so they could stash their bear bait food containers in the guy’s garage. Adaptable, that’s what these kids are.

Grandma and Grandpa got to spend a day with the Maiden Rock crew:

Yes, Jerome eats rocks. Jerome appears to eat everything at this point. You’d think he’d be bigger than a peanut.

The Traveling Ems and their new clutch escaped Montana, and stopped through home, just long enough to play a little Cash Flow with the parents and pick up their Fish Hats from Grandma:

I won. The game. I thought you should know.

The old folks dropped a canoe in the water:

‘Twas a nice day for a paddle, and I didn’t even get third degree burns.

Finally, FINALLY, the crater field that is our driveway was resurfaced. It took 7 loads to fill all those car-eaters. I will not share the amount of cash we just dropped ON OUR DRIVEWAY:

It is now shiny and new and no longer a hazard to lives and undercarriages. I guarantee we won’t put that off for another decade.

This one hit the Sylvania trail with some Conserve friends:

Yep, they masked up the whole time. You do what ya’ gotta’ do to hang with your buds.

Then she took to the campground with the weird-looking kid on the right just in time for the rains to start:

To say that they were wet for the whole week would not be accurate. To say that they were soggy for the whole week would come closer.

This one came to visit Grandma:

His mom came, too. But I was too preoccupied to notice.

This one graduated. Well, OK, both of these graduated, but one did it a few months ago without the funny get-up:

That makes a grand total of zero kids in school. Wowza.

And this one and her traveling sweetheart are currently stuck in North Carolina. Where their clutch went out again. The screenshot on the left was staged. Most of the recent conversations look like the shot on the right. There is a bit of frustration in the South.

And yes, fixing the bum clutch again would fully triple the cost of the kid’s car. It is possible that Charles the Honda will be buried in North Carolinan soil, and that we will be mounting a rescue mission imminently. Such are travels with the Ottingers. I hope the boy isn’t scared off or scarred too deeply.

There you go. Consider yourself updated.

I’ll let you know how round #3 with the PI goes. It seems I’ll have to wait a full three weeks for the final results to come in though, so don’t get your undies all in a bunch.

If you need me, I’ll be sending The Last Kid Standing out on her first true backpacking trip. Four days on the SHT. I hope she comes back,


7 thoughts on “A month down the line…

Add yours

  1. Since I only just started following your blog, I had to go back and read “No Consonants”. What a terrible ordeal!! I’m glad you didn’t have any sun problems this time! Love hearing about your family. You guys are much more adventurous than I ever was/will be!😀

    Liked by 1 person

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