The alternative title could be “How I Got Poison Ivy from Hell.”
Our log cabin rests on the east side of a gentle hill. HH originally built it that way to take advantage of the lakeside views from our French doors. It also has something to do with keeping us safe from tornadoes, but that I don’t really understand so I asked him.
“Tornadoes run from southwest to northeast generally in Oklahoma. By being on the east side of the hill, we are down low, and tornadoes skip over us,” he says. Umm, O.K. That’s why he’s the scientific engineering type, and I’m the writer.
We have a simple deck in back and then the large garden. Beyond the garden is the spring fed pond/lake. We own a portion of it as does everyone else bordering it in our neighborhood. You can just see it on the right in the above photo, but I need to do some more whacking away at ‘New Dawn’ to really see the lake.
Two years ago this summer, we finished remodeling and expanding our house, originally built in 1981. We spent four years doing most of the work ourselves. In the middle of the experience, one friend said we would have such pride in our accomplishment once we finished. I guess so. We became reluctant carpenters, sheetrockers, painters, etc., due to a money shortage, but we did finish.
In the meantime, the flora and mostly fauna grew up along the shoreline, and we no longer had our view. As I’ve written before, the native plants in Oklahoma consistently want to produce an impenetrable thicket. We could barely get to our dock to fish.
HH, ASW and I worked for two weeks to produce this:
These are two different views of the same area. To accomplish this feat, we used three sets of loppers, two weed eaters (one which has a nifty chainsaw attachment,) a chainsaw, shears, a tractor and a riding lawn mower. Whew! Hey, landscape tool manufacturers, want me to give your tools a workout?
Remember how I said I was immune to poison ivy? You know what they say about famous last words. I am no longer. Unfortunately, all three of us have some degree of rash, but mine is the worst. I was going to take a photo, but I decided to spare you the disgusting details. If you want to see what nasty poison ivy looks like, you can peruse the Skin Rash Hall of Fame.
When HH and I walked into the doctor’s office (a friend,) he took one look at us and started laughing. I had to laugh too as I scratched my arms and legs. The only thing I’ve had which itches more than poison ivy is chicken pox (which I had as an adult when the kids were small.) The doctor asked if we’d been clearing land at our house. I was a little offended that he didn’t even consider whether we’d been rolling around in the bushes. It must be our ages.
I’m now on steroids, and the rash seems to be abating somewhat, but I’m not wanting any heat or sunlight soon. I think I’ll go read a book instead.
Was it worth it? I don’t know. Ask me again in a couple of weeks. The bad part is we’re not finished. There’s still more shoreline to do.
Yes, I think it was worth it-BUT take precautions before you begin clearing the rest of it! Get some poison ivy block, wear long pants and shirts and avoid if able. After you are done get out of those clothes-don’t touch them and clean off immediately and best of luck.
My goodness you’ve got some beautiful land. I would want to clear that view too. I can see how all the remodeling let it get out of hand but now you have both to enjoy. I’m sorry you suffered so because of it.
Yes, it was worth it. That view is priceless.
Sorry about the rash.
Dee, I am so sorry you got poison ivy-that is just the pits!! I am highly allergic and I can feel all of your pain. The view is absolutely beautiful though and you should be proud of all the work y’all did!
Sorry you’ve got the itch. I’ve never had it, but can’t imagine it’s much fun.
Your view is spectacular.
Oh my…poison ivy is not good, and I hesitate to say this: I have never had it. My husband has, and had to do the steroid thing. YIKES! My mom is highly allergic to poison ivy and all the other itchy plants, so no doubt I would be too. I think when your skin is back to normal you will love your new view:)
Oh, Dee. Bummer. Do you have aloe vera on hand? As in,the plant? Cut off a leaf and put some of the gel on your skin where it itches. Then put the leaf in the frig until you need it again. It will really help. I’m so sorry. Ick.
On the bright side you and HH are MACHINES! Wow. Awesome job! I hope it’s not an annual thing and I hope you don’t have kud(what’s it called kudzo-or something) like they have in NC!!
Be well! Kathryn xxoo
Karen - An Artists Garden
The view is stunning – and I guess will be all the more memorable with the pain you got – to get the view back. I am so sorry about the poison ivy – and I hope it clears up very quickly. (umm we don’t have it here in the UK)
An Artist’s Garden
Your view of the pond is gorgeous, but oh dear, poison ivy cannot be fun at all. Those steriods work wonders though…hope it clears up very quickly!
Oh, honey-bunny, your view is beautiful! I’m so sorry you got poison ivy. But glad you guys could do this work together and make a memory. Well, I hope the memory of the poison ivy fades. I had it as a child and I avoid it more than I do snakes and spiders. I’ll be you’ll never have it again.
Annie in Austin
Poor Dee! I’ve been hit over and over by poison ivy encounters over the past half-century so like Lisa, I do feel your pain and hope the medicine makes a difference.
Did you notice that most of the people who think the view was worth it haven’t actually suffered from a bad case of poison ivy?
Rolling around on plain ground would be too tacky for such a good gardener….if you want some outdoor action build a proper Garden of Love like Barbara Damrosch did for her Theme Garden book.
Annie at the Transplantable Rose
What a beautiful view. Go get some Technu soap. I keep it around and use it everytime I even suspect I have come in contact with the nasty stuff. Feel Better.
Mary Ann Newcomer
oh for crying out loud! I thought you had it made in the shade with the “I’m not allergic” story the other day. OUCH! ITCH! BITCH!
What a beautiful view you’ve revealed! It would be worth it to me (easy for me to say since I’m not the one with the rash, right?) I’m so sorry for your unfortunate discovery of your lost immunity to poison ivy, and I hope the meds, staying cool, and taking it easy will get you recovered as quickly as possible Dee.
That is a great view of the lake and probably worth the trouble in the long run. I’ve never had a case of poison ivy but I try not to tempt fate! Cover up completely for your next segment. I’ve seen where there is some lotion you can put on that will help prevent the rash but I don’t recall what the name is. Your garden in the first picture looks great!
Lisa at Greenbow
Your view is gorgeous Dee. Believe me I feel your pain. I am very allergic to poison ivy. I have had it bad enough to go
to the doctor before too. It isn’t fun. I hope you can sleep at night.
It is an awful lot of work keeping brush cleared. We seem to have just about every invasive plant that can live here, but no poison ivy–yet.
I shouldn’t have visited that site.
Thanks for NOT taking pictures.
Hope you feel better soon.
Carol, May Dreams Gardens
Having not had a bad case of poison ivy before, I can’t say that it was worth your pain to clear that brush for that view. BUT that is quite a view, and I hope once you stop scratching, you’ll think it was worth it.
Even on my rather tame surburban lot, I occasionally find a bit of poison ivy, which I pull with gloved hand and throw in the trash.
Well, for that view… It is absolutely beautiful, Dee! But I’ve never had poison ivy, so I don’t know! I feel for ya, honey! Head for the bookshelf. Drag down a good intense novel. Fetch a box of cookies and a tall glass of iced tea. Settle in and rest up. You most assuredly deserve it!
It’s an amazing view and someday you’ll be able to gaze upon it without feeling like you need to scratch something! Your experience is precisely why I came in immediately after I pulled up one poison ivy plant in front today. I was so paranoid that I threw away the gloves and took an immediate shower. I think there’s one more plant out there and I may put on a hazmat suit to remove it!
Mr. McGregor's Daughter
You guys did a great job on that clearing. Too bad it was at such a price. In the winter you’ll be glad you did it.
There is no way in the world I’m going to visit that link to the Skin Rash Hall of Fame. Having been there done that, I know all about it and don’t need to be reminded. There are whole areas of our property I refuse to visit because of bad experiences!
I feel for your pain, but really, the view was worth it. What a fabulous view!
bill / prairie point
I used to not be allergic to poison ivy either. I could just grab it with my bare hands and pull it out of the ground. But no longer, as I recently discovered.
We are having the same problem with our lake view that you did. It’s hard to get motivated for that kind of work.