Tag Archives: poison oak

Bananas: the One, True Threat

evil_bananaI can’t verify this, but if things continue as they are, I may be driven to the point that I have the opportunity to find out first-hand. But, I’m pretty sure that the road to Hell is trimmed in banana plants, those big, floppy-leafed scourges of the yard. The only thing that could possibly make banana plants more hatefully heinous would be cross-breeding them with poison oak. At which point, we need to tap out and surrender the planet because we’ve lost the war on agri-terrorism.

If you’re considering planting one of these pests in your yard, just go home because you’re drunk. You’d be better off – and definitely happier in the long run – if you simply backed up a cement truck and paved over your entire property. Although, this may be the only way to get rid of the chlorophyll creatures from the pits of someplace unspeakable once you’ve got them.

Despite my homeowners association frowning on such thing, I’m talking napalm, flame-throwers, small nuclear devices detonated from a safe distance across the street. Voodoo and practitioners of the dark arts are also not off the table in my battle against the bananas. Here’s the problem: you can hack them to the roots, dig them out and salt the earth and they’ll still find a way to come back. They’re vegetational herpes. This is truly the price we’ve paid for the whole mishap in the Garden of Eden: God said, “Get out and go live in shame with the banana plants.”

So after two long, bloody years of hand-to-leaf combat, I finally felt I had eradicated the green plague. Then as I’m licking my wounds and trying to recover from the resulting PTSD, the banana plant in my neighbor’s yard has sent up a scout on my side of the fence. Naturally, I’m triggered. The machete has long since been put in a locked location to keep me from hurting myself or others (like my neighbor who obviously shops in the garden center at ISIS Depot).

Unless your family name is Dole and you live in a jungle in Nicaragua, there’s no reason to have banana plants. Propagating this problem should be considered a crime against all humanity and punished accordingly. For the sake of all that’s holy, If you want a banana, go to Kroger.

(Tip of the hat to Mabination for the graphic)

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World Naked Gardening Day

WNGDWorld Naked Gardening Day is the first Saturday in May. So, gosh darn it, we’ve missed it. I’m guessing, though, this is a bigger celebration in areas that don’t have mounds of fire ants. As someone who has had a miserable tangle with poison oak after pulling weeds in my flowerbed while fully clothed, I’m not sure I grasp how this is a good idea. Thank goodness, World Naked Gardening Day has a website (www.wngd.org) to answer that and so many other questions!

Don’t go to this website, however, unless you are prepared to be exposed to naked gardening. Unfortunately, no one warned me in advance. I admit I initially had trouble absorbing their information because I kept thinking: How are these people not getting seriously sunburned?!

While their website does explain why you should garden naked, more importantly, they tell you how! “Find an opportunity to get naked.” Okay, that seems a bit obvious, but then you can naked garden with your friends, family, even your gardening club. Whoa Nelly! I’m not sure what the demographics are of your gardening club, but I’m nearly positive I could kiss goodbye any chance I had at “Yard of the Month” if I showed up naked to the next meeting of my club.

They also suggest you “Do it inside your house, in your backyard, on a hiking trail, at a city park, or on the streets.” Really?! In Texas? Now I see how I win “Yard of the Month.” We’re talking about a prison yard! I hope, too, they didn’t mean Estes Park in Colorado when they said park, because there was two and a half inches of snow that Saturday which gives a whole new perspective to freezing your buns off!

Celebrate World Naked Gardening Day next year on May 5, 2018. Maybe start slow by just watering your houseplants in your underwear. The website does suggest when you naked garden, be sure to “tell someone about your experience… email it to your local newspaper.” Yeah, do that. I double dog dare you to do that! Include your address and phone number, so the local newspaper can send out a photographer (to take your mug shot for the local police department!).

Seriously, if you garden naked, garden smart. Wear sunscreen. Avoid poison oak. That’s all I have to say on that. 

(Photo credit: #wngd)    

 

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Camping? Uh, no.

campingI’m all about a great adventure and don’t consider myself a foofy, high-maintenance kind of girl. I have, after all, spent nearly a week wearing the same clothes and not showering while trekking in Nepal. I proudly smelled like a wet yak and shamelessly posted pictures of my pathetic, unclean self on social media. I can function without my hair dryer, lipstick or shoes that coordinate and compliment my outfit. I don’t, however, like camping. And yet, I went camping.

Okay, let’s not get carried away. I was hardly sleeping on the ground in a tent, which would be only slightly this side of barbaric. I think the amount I pay monthly for my mortgage, escrow, property taxes and homeowner’s association dues prohibits me from abandoning my comfortable and costly home to play at being a homeless person. Regardless, I actually spent a week “roughing it” in a cabin just outside Garner State Park recently. Quit rolling your eyes! It was absolutely primitive – there was NO INTERNET!

While it was actually very relaxing to be unplugged for a few days and be off the grid, to be so far from civilization that you could see tons of stars at night and marvel at the absence of street noise, there were still some very real challenges. I’m not talking about having my marshmallow catch fire (I happen to like them blackened but not converted to charcoal) or dropping my hot dog in the dirt while making the transfer from stick to bun (and I had mastered culinary perfection with that hot dog, too, gosh darn it).

I think it took only hours for my youngest son to cover a large portion of his 6’3” self in poison oak. Of course, I couldn’t Google “unexplained weird rash,” so I had to assume alien possession or that it was an expected reaction to a teenager being exposed to fresh air without the protection of his cell service or video games. About the time he started resembling a leper, we found a bottle of calamine lotion, which only made him look like a leper tinged a fetching shade of pink.

Scorpions, chiggers, camp fire smoke inhalation, and a shower head that could only accommodate a dwarf midget if he was on his knees. And this was supposed to be fun?! Honestly, there are homeless people who fare better.

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