Monday, July 09, 2012

Revenge of the Animals

It was a very exciting weekend, due to the fact that Mrs. G of Derfwad Manor made a stop in Charlottesville on her cross-country tour of the US.  Local blogger Jen of Jenontheedge hosted a party. It was great to meet Mrs. G and other Virginia bloggers, including the hilarious Suburban Correspondent.

One topic of conversation was a new tick bite disease.  Am I the last person in the world to hear of the  victims of the lone star tick who suddenly develop a severe allergy to meat?  The epicenter of this disease is right here in Central Virginia, where there have been 1,000 cases of tick-bite-related meat allergy.  Can you imagine a life without bacon?  A fate worse than death.  Are the vegetarians all dying laughing over this?

So I get home from this party, my head full of a new disease to fear, and the first thing Seamus says to me is, "Can you take me and my friends hiking tomorrow?"

We did go hiking Saturday despite the ticks and this was the first time in my life that I encouraged the use of bug repellant.  We hiked to the lovely Snake Hole swimming hole at Sugar Hollow--a natural pool in a cool mountain stream with a clean, rocky bottom. Its name reminded me that in all the fuss about ticks, I had forgotten to worry about snakes.  Still, we saw no snakes, and only one tick, and I felt both virtuous and adventurous for doing something on a 100-degree day other than skulking inside in the air conditioning.

Speaking of air conditioning, we were among the tiny minority that didn't lose power after the derechopocalypse, but our air conditioner died last week, when the temperature was in the 100s.  I don't mean to sound ungrateful, as thousands of people were suffering far more than we were.  It's one thing to have no A/C on a hot day, and quite another to have no A/C, water, lights, washing machine, fans, or refrigerator.  Still, we suffered and perhaps I felt a little less guilty for having a freezer full of ice cream.  I am grateful for what we had, but it is a tad ironic, no?


  1. On Saturday evening, we were out at my in-laws' farm and I was worrying about those ticks too, as I walked across a field. To the best of my knowledge, none of us was bitten, but then the next day, my husband got a tick just walking downtown. He brushed it off and made me do a full body search when he got home.

  2. YOU were there, too??? I'm so so so jealous--EVERYONE cool was there.
    We're always on tick patrol here. I've got several pals who've ended up with Lyme's, and the doctors are reluctant EVER to test for it. It's so debilitating. But never eating meat would be debilitating, too.
    Sounds like you endured the heat very nicely there.

  3. Stop it, Green Girl! You get to ride in the car with Mrs. G all the way to Minneapolis. So I'm jealous.

    Was that me who raised the tick alarm, Patience? I'm sorry. My hypochondria/bug phobias spill out all over the place. And I do think you have a right to whine about the lack of AC. "Hot" doesn't begin to describe the weather on Saturday.

    And we're calling it Derechosaurus Wrecks up here. Also? Swelter in Place.

  4. I'd say John Grisham's allergy was cosmic payback for complaining about paying for parking, except the order of events doesn't work out.

    The weather on Saturday was unbelievable and I had to walk a neighbor's dog mid-day. A slow, old dog with diarrhea. Guess the universe was trying to tell me to cut back on that delicious bacon you brought to Jen's.

  5. We also had power, but dead A/C. The house got to at least 97F before we got another unit in. Go ahead and complain. I did, even though we had a tiny window unit in the bedroom to keep us somewhat sane. And now I can cook again.

    And we've had a lot of tick problems this year. I knew about the mammalian protein allergy, but it really worries me due to multiple food allergies in the household. We don't need any more proteins taken out of our repertoire.

    We find that we get the most ticks when we hike at lower elevations during the summer. So, Albemarle Co. Parks are the worst for us. We tend to avoid the RTF this time of year due to heat and poison ivy, but I wager there are plenty of ticks there if our yard is any indication.

  6. I apparently don't live in an area where that kind of tick is common, so I had not heard of tick-bite-related red meat allergies. Now that I have, I am horrified by it.

  7. Great! I thought that was just some caramelized-bacon-induced blarney. Now I'm going to have to consult Dr. Google just to add another layer of crazy to my life. It was still a great get-together, though!

  8. Bacon? Bacon Candy? I'm cajoling for the recipe, as Suburban Correspondent recommended.

  9. Another derf crying out for a bacon candy recipe. My 21yo son is getting married and I need something to make him still love his mother at least a little bit!

    Having lived in NoVA for 4 years, I can attest to the fear of ticks and Lyme. This new meat allergy is just the icing on the cake (or is that carmelization on the bacon?)... so even though it is in the mid-90's here (no A/C, you have my sympathy), I am relieved to have moved to the other side of the country.
    Except for the derf gathering last Friday. I sure would have loved to have been there!

  10. Note to self - STAY OUT OF THE WOODS!