Urushiol oil

Sheesh. My hose nozzles were found and there is even one that works without leaking water all over hell and gone. But how could I forget urushiol oil? Still another impediment to successful gardening endeavors. How on earth could I have forgotten? Can somebody who is capable of identifying poison ivy please click on this link and tell me if this is it?

In the springs of 2004 and 2005, I managed to get whomping cases of poison ivy. Both times, the only place I could figure I had encountered the dastardly plant was in my own back yard. Except that we had never had poison ivy before, that I knew of, and I couldn’t find anything that remotely resembled it in the yard. Not that I am any good at identifying poison ivy or any other plant. But I am bound and determined not to repeat the experience this year!

I did not have my first poison ivy reaction until I was somewhere in my forties. I don’t know if that’s because I had never had a close encounter with urushiol oil before or if I just wasn’t sensitive to it until then. But I am definitely sensitive to it now. A couple years ago, I was wandering around the MooU Mechanical Gardens and I deliberately sought out the poisonous plants so I could *try* to figure out what it looked like in order to avoid future encounters. Right? Not. I still can’t identify it and even though I was standing several feet away from the damn thing, later on I discovered a suspicious looking itchy, weepy little rash on my elbow. It was really hot and humid that day and the only thing I could figure was that a couple drops of that oil had traveled through the air on water droplets. Am I crazy? grokgrokgrokGROK. What a stoopid question!

This morning I was out messing around with the compost, pretending I knew what I was doing with my hoe and pickaxe. As usual, I was barefoot and barelegged, except for my sloggin’ shoes. I looked down. Yikes! There was a vine-y looking plant with three leaves right there by my feet. I don’t *think* I touched it. I came in immediately and washed my feet and legs, then washed the towel in hot water. We’ll see. Sometimes it seems like I just cannot win even one round. grok grok. That’s what happens when you get old, you ugly old bag. grok grok.

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