Itchin’ for Relief


Let’s see if I can actually put out a post today. I’m determined. This, btw, is my second attempt. I walked away from my desk for a minute and came back to find my computer frozen. Because of course it was. I had to unplug the damned thing, which meant I lost close to 700 words that I’d been working on.

As I was telling Christie Hawkes from  So What? Now What , I no longer have patience. I used to, but it’s long gone. I still have determination, though. What that boils down to is — I’ve been threatening my computer at the top of my lungs with violence today when I’m not even a violent person. I’ve since calmed down and I’m starting over with this post. See? That’s what no patience but determination looks like.

Fingers crossed that nothing else happens before I get this posted!

Also, if you haven’t already, consider checking out Christie’s post about BATS! Totally worth it! I love this woman and her blog! 🙂

Anyway, my computer, my blog, XM/Sirius Radio, our internet, our DVR box, our router, our extenders, and a few other things including but not limited to the doors and door handles in our house (like the front door and back door) have been giving us trouble. That’s just a taste of why I haven’t been blogging recently. Each time I’ve sat down to write a new post, something’s happened. Every. Damned. Time. It’s as though I’m not supposed to put a blog post out. Don’t ask me why. I haven’t a clue.

Asshole computer and everything else I listed above that we’ve been having problems with!


I hope y’all have had a great summer thus far.

On our end, we’ve had a consistently hot, dry summer since mid June. The first of June started out scorching. Then we had a break in the heat for about a week if memory serves. By mid June, though, it’s been above average in temps with no real rain and no relief in sight.

Because it’s been so desperately hot, I’ve tried to stay inside while our central A/C has struggled to keep temps cool-ish. When I think it’s too hot inside, I go outdoors for a few minutes. Doing this puts everything into perspective. It may be mildly uncomfortable inside, but it’s unbearable outside from about 11 AM until around midnight. Hey, when it’s registering 95 degrees at midnight, you know it’s hot. 


Also, my son Ryan is bored.

Having a bored son, who also has autism, is not a good mix. Meltdowns occur muchmore frequently when it’s hot.

Therefore, about a month ago, I strongly encouraged Ryan to do yardwork in the mornings. Because —

  1. He’s good at it.
  2. Mornings before 10 AM aren’t too bad. After about an hour of work, he’s worked a lot of the boredom out of his soul and the yard has improved with all of his hard work. Win/win!
  3. This gives him purpose and instant gratification, which makes him literally sing afterward. And that’s what I want to hear from him — joyful noises!
  4. His mother (me) doesn’t supervise him in this domain. He’s left to his own devices because he’s a grown-assed man who knows what the hell he’s doing!

Besides, everyone needs purpose. Also, when Ry’s happy — again, joyful, really — we can all breathe a little easier around Casa James.

What’s important to note is that I “strongly encourage” Ry. Because telling my 34-year-old son what to do isn’t going to fly even in more temperate climes. Instructing, telling or ordering my son only results in a situation much worse than boredom. Did I mention meltdowns already? Meltdowns are no one’s idea of a good time.

For instance, after Ry came inside and sat on our sofa, which is made from absorbent material, while he was dripping with sweat and smelled stinky during that first week of morning yardwork, instead of my saying, “OH MY GOD! WHAT ARE YOU DOING? GET OFF THE SOFA RIGHT NOW AND GO GET A SHOWER,” which is what I was tempted to say but didn’t (because I’m not stupid), I strongly encouraged with —

“Hey, son! You sure got a lot of work done! The yard is starting to look great! You know what would make you feel wonderful right now? What you deserve? A nice, cool shower! Doesn’t that sound AMAZING, right now?”

And that worked because I “strongly encouraged” instead of telling him what to do.

It’s a skill. (Just call me Tom Sawyer, y’all!)

Every Little Febreeze

Of course, once Ry left the room, I then Febreezed the shit out of my sofa! I think the sofa is now okay unless I’m just nose blind at this point. That is a possibility. It is what it is, though.

Anyway, Ryan’s been having so much fun outside in the mornings that this encouraged David to go outdoors and help Ryan a couple of Thursdays ago.

David helped Ryan out one measly morning. That’s because they decided to tackle the area along our fence in the alley.

You know that saying, “Leaves of three, leave it be?”

They didn’t.

By Thursday night, David started breaking out into a rash that covered one side of his face, dangerously close to his eye. An itchy rash. A rash he’s known before, which I wrote about here called Dramatic Face 2.0. (BTW, I wanted to take a picture of David’s face, again, for this post, but he’s tired of my putting his photo on my blog. Sorry he’s being so grumpy, y’all!) Anyway, you’d have thought he’d have learned his lesson the first time. Ah well, nothing like experiencing this misery again to remind yourself why you stay away from poison ivy, David!

Ryan, however, wasn’t showing anything more than a few scratches to his legs because he wears shorts. He didn’t have any rash, though; and he wasn’t complaining of any kind of itch. It made me think that maybe Ryan wasn’t allergic to urushiol, which is the toxin in poison ivy and oak that creates such misery.

David decided to tough it out. At least he made it through the weekend.

First thing Monday morning, my husband was on the phone to the dermatologist’s office. Thankfully, they were able to fit him in before lunch. About an hour before we left for his appointment, we told Ryan where we were going. That’s when Ryan showed us his arms and said that he, too, was starting to itch.

David told Ry, “You’re coming with us.”

Thankfully, the dermatologist was able to treat Ryan as well. They both got Kenalog shots and prescriptions for ointment. The good news is that both men are doing okay, but yardwork came to a screeching halt. Well, David did get some lawn guys to go in and deal with the poison ivy. He told them about it and the guy he talked to said, “No problem. We deal with poison ivy all of the time.”

Okay. You get what you pay for. It’s a good thing it’s August and everything’s pretty much dead anyway, because the yard guys hacked the shit out of our bushes and ivy in the backyard. I suppose it’s better than it was, not all jungle-like out there, but not for one minute do I think they actually killed any of the poison ivy. They just hacked it into submission  — until next time.

So now I have an itchy husband and an itchy, bored son. The dermatologist recommended neither do anything that might aggravate their condition. So, they’re inside for the time being trying to keep cool and not sweat. Especially on my sofa.

This, however, is not the end of the itchy men in my life.

Next post, I’ll update you on my dad, who’s having to deal with a different kind of miserable itch.

Oh and Buddy — y’all remember that Buddy was itching, too, right? Well, we’ve had to double up on the Apoquel for him, because he, too, continues to itch. The double dose does seem to be helping . Also, apparently, dogs don’t get poison ivy, so that’s a plus!

So to summarize — all of the important men in my life are basically, itchy bitches at present. Ha! (Okay, Karma, I was just joking around! No need to teach me any lessons here. I wasn’t laughing at them. I was just laughing — never mind. Ahem.) Seriously, though, I know what it’s like to live with the misery of hives. Not fun at all.

So do you have a poison ivy/oak story you’d like to share? If so, please do. Or just let me know how you’ve been doing. I’ve been reading. A lot. Because now I can. And it’s hot. Also, I’m not as easily bored or itchy as the men in my life.

And music —




Stay cool, Wayward Friends!







9 thoughts on “Itchin’ for Relief”

  1. My sympathies to all your males, and to you for having to deal with them. Fortunately I never came in contact with poison anything, but I did develop a weird case of eczema on both palms of my hands several years back. Not contagious, but hundreds of tiny, itchy bumps all over them, as well as the fingers. I thought I’d go out of my mind itching. Yes, finally I went to the doctor who gave me ointment. No explanation of how I got it or anything helpful. Well the ointment was helpful. But it was impossible to do anything with my hands as it was very thick and didn’t absorb. I was a secretary/typist most of my working life so that made it especially hard to accomplish anything. Try putting olive oil on your hands and then answer a phone (land line with receiver). Glad it never (knock wood) came back! With luck the meds will work quickly on your men!

    • Oh Barbara! I’m glad you only had to deal with those itchy bumps once. That sounds like more than enough. The way our bodies react are so strange sometimes. I wonder what caused that situation with you. BTW, big cheers to secretaries, which is what I’ve been for most of my life. I’ll pass on your good wishes to my guys! Have a great week ahead!

  2. Omg! You sure have a ton of blog material with your son and hubby! I get you about what you said about your computer, I’m enduring menopause and my temper is shorter than normal. The printer in particular is a bitch! Thank goodness my coworkers intervene and I’m not stuck dealing with that bitchy printer, ugh. Poor hubby and son, dealing with the itch and discomfort. I’m sure glad we’re headed into Fall because I’m so fucking tired of the summer heat!

    • HUNTRESS!!!!!!!! *jumping up and down with excitement and I don’t care that I’m not cool for doing so either*

      I sure have missed you, my friend! How the hell are you? I still can’t seem to get through to your blog. I can get to your cover page (if that’s the right word), but I can’t get to any of your posts. Knock on wood, but I should be updated on everything on my end and still….*sigh* So glad to hear from you! Listen, next post (again, knock on wood) is about my dad. Let me tell you, Dad continues to be the ultimate mess who continues to also give me so much to write about. Yet, even though he’s a mess and we fight constantly, I love him dearly. I love all of my guys, of course, and Lauren, too! We are a motley crew. Because if we were Motley Crue, that would just be weird.

      It’s funny that you brought up menopause because last July/August of 2022 was when I had my last period. Then I started having hot flashes that September. Then I had a full period last April (which I guess now makes that my last period), which totally freaked me and my doctor out because that wasn’t supposed to happen. I had to have tests done, etc. Everything was normal but guess what? At 58 years old, I’m still considered in perimenopause. I have to go an entire year without a period before I’m considered in menopause. At least the hot flashes have dissipated. For whatever that’s worth. God, I pray they don’t come back.

      I’m so glad you don’t have to deal with a bitchy printer either with or without menopause. Really glad you have people who intervene on your behalf. I’m totally jealous! How can I get one of these coworker people of which you speak?

      As to Ryan and David, I do feel for them both. Their rashes are starting to go away, so, the worst appears to be over. Thankfully. Also, I’m ready for the fall, too. Didn’t El Paso set some kind of record this summer for days that were over 110 degrees? I mean, talk about crazy heat! Anyway, I’m thrilled that you stopped by. I know you’ll stay cool even in this heat!

      Big hugs, Mona

      • You know I’m just as surprised as you are. I wasn’t able to post directly to your blog comments for the longest time either. I took a shot and BAM! Here I am, lol. I don’t know what’s going on with WP since they converted to JetPack, it’s like they were suppose to “streamline” the process but it’s only made it harder for fellow bloggers to get your notifications and shit, ugh. I thought I’d hit menopause sooner because I had a hysterectomy in 2013, but that wasn’t the case. So now I’m suffering all because EVE ATE THE APPLE!!!!
        Anyway, yeah I’ve been in menopause since last August (fun times) and the hint were the hot flashes, those bastards were horrible. I went to my OB and she tested me and confirmed I was in menopause. She put me on estrogen and the hot flashes all but stopped, which is great because it’s literally HELL when you get those. I mean I don’t have to tell you, you know what I’m talking about, lol.
        I’m ready for Fall, anything to get rid of this horrible 100+ degree heat, I mean even my neighbors beautiful lawn is falling victim to the scorch that this summer has brought. I hate it, I’m ready for 32 degree weather!!!! Yes El Paso has had two months of 100+ degree heat!!! The hottest its’ gotten is 110, and I’m so over this fucking summer weather already!

  3. I know the saying “leaves of three…” but I still cannot identify poison ivy to save my life; and I’m allergic – you’d think I’d have figured it out by now. Luckily, I haven’t come across any in this yard yet.

    We’ve had a few scorcher days here too but, lately, (knock on wood) it’s been as hot as it usually is this time of year.

    • Gigi,
      Hey lady, it’s good to hear from you! I’m so glad you brought up how difficult it is to tell poison ivy from other plants. If you’re interested, below is the address to a short vlog that, fingers crossed, might help you to figure out the difference. Just in case. Of course, maybe you won’t find any on your property. That would be the best thing. Birds, though. They’re the real culprits in spreading this insidious plant. So, you just never know. Continue to stay cool through the rest of the dog days of the summer!

    • Neil,
      Glad you made it through that misery when you were a child! Now, you have an interesting story to tell as an adult! Thanks for sharing! Mona


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