Friday, August 28, 2009

Targeting my allergies

I was taking this little white pill - loratadine - for hay fever. I started sometime in 2006, and just kept taking it. I'm pretty close to a drug company's dream - even though I don't go to the doctor often - because if I find something that works, I stick with it. Anyway over the years I found I'm alergic to this and that - and in Monmouth, Oregon I'm surrounded by grass seed farms and wheat fields. A stunningly beautiful agricultural area, actually. I think that's why I can tolerate my 50-mile commute.

We cycle from pollenation to harvest to mold and back again. I thought I needed that pill to keep the allergies at bay, but a few weeks ago I got lazy and stopped taking that little pill.  No, Noooo - for the record let's say I was testing my resistance.  And . . . Ta Daa!  All was well! The grass fields were all cut, baled, and most of them hauled off to the barns. It would be several weeks before the combines were out again.  I could take a few weeks off and save some money for the candy machine.

I went more than a week with no problems - and just imagine, right outside my bedroom window is a stack of ten bales of hay! Ha ha - what was I thinking, you say? Does this little pile of grass not pose a giant problem? Nope, not one bit! Maybe I probably don't even have allergies! Let me try to remember when was the last problem I had . . . Well - I don't know! Maybe I imagined it and now I'm addicted to a little white pill for no good reason. Good riddance!

That haystack is there for my daughter, McKay's, archery practice. She wants to go deer hunting on the bow hunt, so I built her a covert archery range so she can practice up. We're keeping it covert because a bow and arrow is treated like a firearm, and I assume it's illegal inside city limits.

"Assuming" is about all the effort I'm going to put into that question, because I'm not a very sneeky person, and if I ask someone down at city hall they're going to look it up in the city code book and give me the official answer. If they tell me it's not legal to shoot a bow in town, I would likely get all shifty and say "dangit! . . . well - hmm - can you tell me how anyone here would know if I made a discrete little place to shoot? um - hmm there aren't any exceptions to this rule are there? . . . We're at 705 West Church and I'm sure I can make it safe there . . . well - ummm - nevermind! G'bye!" I would trot away and then they would write a little something on a sticky note, and patrol cars would be coming by on a regular basis, to keep the neighborhood safe.

Neighborhood cats, to be more specific.

Juuust kidding! - I don't have my own bow.  McKay's shooting has been going very well. The range here is only 20 yards long, but she's got tight grouping and when we went out to a longer range she held it tight at 30. At 40-yards she's a little shaky, and Bambi's Daddy has a fighting chance. I think she's pulling about 55 lbs, but its an older adjustable bow, so I don't really know.

On Monday one of her arrows missed the foam block, found a gap in the hay, and hit the plywood backstop. The plywood was a good touch, don't you think? I am Mr. Safety Himself! Any Monmouth law enforcement officer would have to be impressed. I put up a sliding plywood backstop, eight feet tall and just as wide, framed using mostly pieces of a romantic garden swing.

That's another story.

The arrow was stuck in the plywood. I mean STUCK! And these are round-tip target tips, not the razor blades you use for game. Her arrows pack some punch! I got a hammer and nail and punched it loose from the backside. And then . . . and then . . . oh that little white pill.

. . . I re-stacked the hay tighter to close up any gaps. Set your timer to T minus 30 minutes until major hay fever attack. My throat itched so badly it ached. My eyes were on fire. My nose was a faucet (needed the weight loss, but it won't last) and my ear tubes were burning! I could actually feel every millimeter of my Eustachian tubes!

It’s 96 hours later, and I’m still shaking it off. That little pill went right back in my regimen, and my memory is starting to clear up.  Guess what I remembered!  I used to have hay fever attacks all the time when I wasn't taking that pill!  I once came back from San Jose, got off the plane and had an attack, only to find that I was out at home and all the stores were out.  Everyone loves loratadine. 

Now I keep a supply, and I have a pill organizer, just for that little white pill.