Posted by: hatzihatzi | June 4, 2012

When killing it with fire is a really bad idea

As I mentioned previously, I was a counselor at a Girl Scout summer camp for about four summers. I also went to camp almost every summer growing up and went camping with my Girl Scout troop and my family frequently. I was even a Boy Scout for a year and did a lot of hiking with them. I never once got poison ivy. That is, until I became a home owner.

My husband and I bought a foreclosure. The house had been abandoned for about a year and a half, but for a foreclosure, it wasn’t in such bad shape. A few things needed to be repaired, but my dad is very handy and he was willing to help up. But we completely forgot to consider that the backyard, which buts up against a small forest, had also been abandoned for about a year and a half, and poison Ivy decided to move in.

Our first spring here, last year, Q and I both got poison ivy rashes. I was pretty pissed about it. As I said, I had never gotten it before. I thought I was immune. My aunt was. She had it all in her backyard. My uncle would get rashes, but she wouldn’t. So she was assigned to perform the yard work. Though my case wasn’t so bad, just a few oozy red bumps, Q’s was awful. Well,awful for a mother, who had never dealt with a poison ivy rash before, looking at her two-year-old son. In the vast scheme of poison ivy rashes, his was probably normal.

My mother told me “leaves of three, let them be,” but that left her avoiding wild strawberries, the raspberries we planted, and even Virginia Creeper, which last I counted had five leaves (though perhaps that was wise of her as apparently the two vines often grow side by side). I, however, got really good (I think) at identifying poison ivy. I read everything I could about it online and took online tests at identifying it. Armed with Roundup, I went into the woods and drowned those fuckers. We spent the whole summer in the yard and never got poison ivy again.

Until a few days ago. Fucker grew back. I was told getting rid of poison ivy was difficult, but I got cocky taking my internet quizzes and thought I did it. I thought the Roundup was supposed to go down to the root and kill it all. No. It’s back. I didn’t know this until Q told me he had “mountains” on his skin. I looked at his leg, and there is the Appalachian Mountain Range, in all its glory, represented by red bumps and ooze from the Maine of his thigh to the Alabama of his toes.


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