Don’t Shoot Your Eye Out

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I wanted to start this post to let you know that our little Ruby Loo is doing just fine.  Thank you for all your kind thoughts and concerned inquiries.  The right dosage of hugs mixed with amoxicillin was enough to conquer the tick and all it’s nasty bacteria.  Her rash is quickly diminishing and we are yet again a Lyme free household.  Words can not describe my feelings of joy for Ruby’s returned health entwined with my desire to post tiny tick signs wherever I roam to let ticks know that this time we won and they lost.  Of course, the signs would be in tick language.  I’m not an idiot.

There has been a flurry of recent purchases lately.  Not all of them have been prudent finds.  Under the disguise of Canadian Tire errands, Jesse retuned home with an air riffle for the kids.  My kids have spent their politically correct lives free of guns, and general shooting based games.  They took to shooting like jam to peanut butter, ticks to Lyme, and laughter to my jokes.  Suffice to say, they really like shooting.  We set up a bullseye target, and a beer can for more detailed practice.  So far, Ruby has the best shot.  Now my girls can spend their free time shooting each others eyes out along with little Ralphie Parker.

We also bought a slack line.  It turns out they are really hard, so it has mostly been forgotten.  We plan to soon couple it with a zip line for additional unsafe extra curricular activities.

The most fun has been our new row boat.  By “new” I mean old, dirty, and a bit leaky but new to us.  It has allowed us to explore our pond more fully.  We have seen snapping turtles, fish eggs, an abundance of frogs, and an assortment of feathers.

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We are so excited that our rental units are very close to being complete.  We hope to have photos and our website up and running next week.  We think they are fabulous and we hope you do too.  We are also thrilled that our concert line up is mostly confirmed.  We will start our concert series in July and have one concert a month until November. Once we have all our performers and dates in place we will let you know.

Until next time.

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MacCool’s Reuse

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I am tending my friend Cindy’s store today.  It just isn’t any store, it is one of my favorite stores in the County.  It is MacCool’s Reuse.  There was a drum roll in my head playing for that last sentence.  I hope you were able to hear it too.

It is a very rainy day out here in Prince Edward County.  It is allowing my day at work to transform into a relaxed shopping experience.  Normally I hate to shop.  I find malls and modern retail stores soul destroying.  Each store has basically the same items, in the same colour hues and patterns, dictated to them by that year’s trend setters.  Everything is packaged slightly differently, but is equally boring.

That is not the case in vintage stores like MacCool’s.  There is always a treasure to be found.  There is always a little something hiding in the corner calling your name.  An item long forgotten by it’s original owner, but is somehow, in some way perfect for you.  An object you won’t see at your friend’s house, or in any other store because it was carefully picked and placed in that location just for you to find it, cherish it, and take it home. You will love it every time you look at it.  It will remind you of that funky store in that big old barn you went to on that ideal weekend away in Prince Edward County.

As far as shopping goes, there is no better shopping than at a vintage store.  Well, aside from garbage.  I do like a good garbage pick.  I guess my all time, favorite store is the garbage.  But if you are unlucky enough not to have any good garbage around you, than a quality vintage store is the next best thing.

Here are some of my special friends keeping me company here today.  Some of them may have to come home with me.

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Cindy’s husband Colm is a fantastic wood worker.  He is all skill and a touch of magic.  He makes these fabulous cheese boards and tables.  You can find all this, and sometimes me, and more at MacCool’s Reuse.  So next time you are in the ‘hood, drop by and come and say hi to me and my friends.

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Public Service Announcement

 

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My lovely little Ruby got bit by a tick last week. Her sister was the first to notice it and brought it to my attention. I removed it successfully with my handy dandy tick remover that I purchased at the vet’s last summer. Removing ticks properly is essential. They dig their mouth into the host’s skin. If you simply pull a tick out, their body will dislocate from their head. The head will remain in the skin, and and release their bacteria into the host. The trick is to hook their neck with the remover, and twist as you pull to dislodge the head. If you don’t have a store bought tick remover, you can Macguyver a similar tool with a paperclip. Either visit your vet or have your office supplies well stocked.

As most of you know, ticks can carry Lyme disease. Infected ticks release Lyme disease causing bacteria when they bite their host. The first sign of Lyme disease is a bull eye rash that occurs at the bite site. This rash can appear 3-30 days after the initial bite but only to 70-80% of infected people. Early symptoms are fever, headache, joint pain, and fatigue. If left untreated, Lyme disease has a myriad of painful symptoms including arthritis, meningitis, and encephalitis.

After I removed Ruby’s tick, I swore I would keep a sharp eye on the wound. By the next morning, like most fantastic mothers, I had all but forgotten about the tick. It didn’t occur to me to check her bite until yesterday, a full seven days after tick contact. I was worried when I saw the rash. I promptly cancelled our bike ride, packed a lunch, and headed to the emergency ward. She is currently on antibiotics, and at home with a fever. We have been advised to meet with our family doctor before the end of Ruby’s two week round of antibiotics to decide whether she needs to have the full Lyme disease treatment.

Ticks are about the size of a poppy seed. They stand on the end of a blade of grass with their hands in the air to find a host. They are able to sense heat and a change in light as you or your dog passes them by. A common myth is that they are only found in long grass. Ticks do not differentiate based on grass height. They are prevalent during the spring and fall seasons. They do not like very hot or very cold conditions. They are a super bug that does not die but simply hibernates when the weather does not suit them. In the hot days of summer, it is still cool enough in wooded areas for ticks to be active all summer long.

Ticks were mostly thought to reside in only rural wooded areas. They are now finding ticks blossoming in urban areas. One theory is that they have been brought to the city on family dogs and cats returning from cottages and camping. In the past, ticks have fed mostly on deer and were prevalent only in areas with high deer populations. Researchers now know that ticks frequently feed on birds and rodents and will travel where their host takes them.

To protect my family, I was told to have my children wear long pants tucked into their socks during the spring and fall season. I almost choked on the word socks while I struggled to maintain my composure.  As soon as it hits 12 degrees Celcius, my kids are in their bathing suits spraying each other with the hose. My goodness, we are Canadian, gosh darn it! Who wears socks once the sun shines past 7pm?

So what to do? Until it gets really hot, I make my kids wear sneakers and socks, and I spray them with DEET from the knee down. I’m not of fan of using DEET on my children, but I’m less of a fan of Lyme disease. We have also started daily tick checks. My kids are old enough to bath and dress themselves so I don’t see them naked as much as I use to when they were little. Now we check for ticks before they put their pajamas on.

I am worried about my little one whom I adore. After a long wait in the emergency ward, Ruby told me very matter of factly that she would like to change her name to Glitter Avery Vortex. If she beats this whole Lyme disease thing, I may have to reward her with a permanent name change.

Be strong my Glitter Girl!

 

 

 

The Dunes

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We spent the morning at the dunes and it was fabulous.  The girls had their first swim of the season and I had my first foot dunk.  It was cold but refreshing.  If you have never made the trip to Sandbanks Provincial Park, then you should.  There are many beautiful provincial parks in Ontario, but none like Sandbanks.  We all felt like we were in the Caribbean, walking through fine golden sand.  There was only a handful of people there, as it’s not quite tourist season yet.  Now that it is June, we are going to try and head to the beach after school as much as possible.  We need to get in some quality beach time before the beaches get too busy.

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After lunch we started a new project.  We are trying to make lilac perfume.  The girls collected two large bags of lilacs and pressed them into pans of cooled lard.  The pans are then wrapped tightly with plastic, and left to sit for a few weeks.  The lilacs are discarded,  and then small amounts of lilac infused lard can be mixed with alcohol to make perfume.  Or we may try to make lilac pie crust.  Either way, we hope to extend our time with the lilacs providing we don’t waste all our free time at the beach.

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