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Married twenty-five years to my wonderful husband and best friend. We have 3 "home-grown" kids and 1 hand-picked by God from Africa. Our life is blessed. We are a close knit family with strong Christian beliefs. Come along with us on our journey…you might have a great laugh or two.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Debunking the myth….

Let's talk about poison ivy for a moment, shall we?

Say, what??  Now, why would we do that.  It's basically winter here….ain't nothing growing anywhere.

Well…..let's just take a moment and learn what not to do when you become a new farmer.  Ahem.  Translation:  Don't do the stupid things I do. 

Here's our barn.  This is what it looked liked the first day we saw it.

When I look back at this, it's a wonder we ever bought this farm to begin with.

Okay, look closely.  Can you see all the vines growing up the entire side of the barn?  Well that, my friends, is poison ivy.  Now, fast forward to this past Monday.  It was our last warm day of the week so the little kids and I took the day off from school and went out to the farm to do some yard work.  Since all the leaves had been dead from the bushes and trees I was not at all worried.  No leaves = no rash.  I was sitting pretty on not ever getting anything.  Stupid act number one.

I cut, pulled and chopped all day long.  It was only at the end of the day for just a little while that I had the kids involved in the worst part.  Pulling the actual vines down off the barn itself.  Stupid act number two.

My oldest came later that afternoon when the high school was done
Thankfully the children never got any type of rash.  By this time it was getting quite cold and they had several layers of clothing as well as hats and work gloves on.  So they never did touch the actual vines themselves.  But as for me, well…..I didn't get quite so lucky.  I got a small patch of poison ivy on my right wrist (from where my sweatshirt and work gloves came together).

So….here's what I've learned and you can too.  You normally get poison ivy from touching the leaves, but yanking the vine out by the roots and hanging on them with all your might (I didn't mention but that's stupid act number three) will cause you - even in the winter - to get a wicked rash.  

There is an oil, called urushiol, that causes an allergic reaction after the first sensitizing exposure.  The oil is in the leaves, vines and the roots.  That's why tearing out the vine is so dangerous - it releases lots of urushiol.  

Also, did you know….that the oil from poison ivy is extremely stable and will stay potent - essentially forever.  You can get a rash from clothing or tools that have the oil from last summer, or even from many years back.  

So remember…stupid is as stupid does.  Right?

But man…..doesn't that barn look good.  Relatively speaking.

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