bringing on the weather

Sunday morning.

The clouds are pouring in from the south; a promise, nearly fulfilled, of the rain that is coming. Hurricane Dennis will soon be making landfall somewhere south of us. We are too far north to get real damage, even from a category 4, but we will take our dousing and be glad of it, thank-you-sir-may-I-have-another?

Hurricanes make for odd storms here. We are accustomed here to weather and wind moving from west to east, or northwest to southeast. Hurricanes billow up from the south, with hard winds blowing from directions normally unseen here: east to west, or southeast to northwest. Jeff says that when he was growing up, he was always told that a storm moving from east to west meant bad things.

He'd said it off and on for years before I realized that the only storms around here that provoke that weather pattern are newly-landed hurricanes.

I picked two cups of blackberries from our back hedge a few days ago, blackberries that I am paying dearly for on both of my legs. My northern friends have looked at me strangely when I said the word "chiggers" - do you not have these delightful little monstrosities where you live? Suffice it to say that my legs and feet are covered with the itchiest red welts imaginable. I can only charitably describe my current leg situation as "pustulent."

(Still reading? I'm impressed. Luckily, Jeff still loves me.)

Right now, the only thing worse than leaving my legs bare is covering them with clothing, so I've kept my sundresses on for the two days of concerts we've ended up attending. On Friday afternoon, I bought our tickets and our contribution of picnic food for that night's "City Lights And Stars" concert (translation: open-air jazz concert, picnics allowed, up at Burritt Museum on the mountain).

I was sure we were going to be rained out. It rained when I bought the ticket, but the man at Shaver's Bookstore smiled at me and promised there would be no rain for the show. We packed ponchos because of the rain clouds, and muttered of their necessity when it stormed on us yet again as we drove to the show. It let up as we walked from our car to the shuttle bus, and sprinkled a bit on the bus' windows as we waited for a full load…

…but that was all.

For the rest of the night, we had this amazingly calm, cool weather - with reasonable humidity, no less. I was outside, on picnic blankets, and glad of it.

(The music was good, too.)

Saturday night led us to track down a church across town for a harpsichord concert. Jeff had heard the advertisements for it on our local NPR affiliate, and even though I wasn't entirely sure of my interest (in that "where are we going and why am I in this handbasket?" manner) I toddled on up, pustulence and all, and settled in for what turned out to be a truly interesting and satisfying show.

Jeff got to see the harpsichord up close after the show—a temperamental little thing, I might note—and we decided the evening could only be topped off by a lazy jaunt to a bookstore. I snooped in the knitting section. He had coffee and a brownie.

On the way home, we stocked up on food so that we'd not need to leave the house in the middle of the stormy weather that was coming. We plan to watch it roll in from the dry comfort and safety of our living room, he with his laptop and I with my knitting. After learning yesterday that even a single dose of non-prescription Benadryl causes me to sleep for five hours, today I will sit on the couch and douse my legs with calamine lotion and repeatedly admonish myself "Don't scratch, Amy!"

This is our Sunday: cat-petting, storm-watching, and calamine lotion.


Chiggers, gotta love them... NOT! The best way to kill them is to cut off their air supply. Best way I know of to do this is with Chigarid which is collodiom, camphor, phenoil, and eucalyptus oil. The collodiom to cut off their air and the rest are to to ease the itch I think. The next best thing is clear fingernail polish. Either/both will burn like hell for a bit if you have already scratched the area but if applied a couple of times a day will finish the little critters off in a day or two. HTH Dave

I need to look up the Chigarid. I don't remember seeing that in the store last night when I bought the calamine lotion, because the name would've triggered interest in me if I had seen it. I used the clear fingernail polish for about a day - I'm not entirely sure if it actually helped kill the chiggers, but I know that it didn't do squat for the itching. My fingernails aren't long (though I know a boy that might disagree ;)) but they do reach past the tips of my fingers, so I do have to be careful about not scratching hard enough to bleed. My legs are now this gross shade of pink, but the lotion even stayed on through today's workout and my urge to scratch is there, but no longer overwhelming. Nevertheless ... the bites are rather gross-looking. Those blackberries had better taste fantastic in cobbler, because I bled to get them! :D

What are you knitting now? More Hogwarts scarves? I desperately want to get back to knitting. At the moment I'm stuck partway through a massive crochet project for a gift. She's going to LOVE it. Yet, it's a kit, it's acrylic, and after I crochet the thing and assemble all the pieces I get to cross-stitch the design on top. I am getting SO sick of it. I ran off to my study between laundry loads today and did a row on the knit lace throw just for the variety.