Friday, August 8, 2008

assassin bugs, good food, and other misgivings.

assassin bugs. specifically, immature masked hunter bugs. if you see these things,

so, this morning, i was screwing around with my glasses. the screw had fallen out of one side last night, and i had secured it with some wire that i snatched off of a needle threader. well, when i took my shirt off this morning, it pulled the wire out of my glasses, so as i was trying to get it back in, i stabbed myself in the finger. good enough to draw blood. this, of course, pissed me off. i ended up breaking off part of the wire as i was putting my glasses back together. a minute later, i put on my intended shirt, rescued from the pile of clothes on the floor. i walked out to show wes where i stabbed myself, and i thought i had the fallen wire stuck in my shirt or something. SEARING PAIN. so i rip my shirt off, and i'm wondering why it hurts in two totally different areas. i look down, and oh ho, dear readers, this was no wire poke. within a minute, i had two swollen blood blisters a little smaller than the size of a pencil eraser, and wheals around the blisters the size of half dollars. so, i'm thinking, great. brown recluse or black widow in my shirt, i'm going to die. way to stay positive. i examine my shirt, and instead come up with this delightful little critter:

keep in mind, this thing is freaking small. and the size of the bites i got..well, not so small. i didn't know at the time it was an assassin bug, but the skin reaction and ensuing numbness and tingling in the area of the bite (which were on my left breast and underarm) freaked me out, as did the stomach ache. so, i called Botsford. they said, sounds like an allergic reaction, mosey on over. i scooped up the critter in some tupperware, brought it in, talked to some doctors. they didn't know what it was, and treated the reaction as an allergy - prednisone and antihistamines. the swelling is nearly gone, and the pain is under control. you can read more about masked hunters here -

When they say that assassin bug bites are some of the most painful, they're not messing around. it felt like a hot wire. it was excruciating. i've been stung by bees and wasps, even bitten by fire ants. it does not compare. not even a little. ...bastard. thank god we're too far north for those to carry chagas disease.

moving on here...
i've been noticing a RIOT of purslane in the parking lot here at work, as well as other stuff like perennial sowthistle, wild lettuce, lambs quarters. it really makes me think about and appreciate that some plants do much better without cultivation. i work in a heavily polluted industrial area, and here is this green and red stuff just bursting out of the cracks in the's amazing.

i also saw some prostrate spurge, and they certainly do look much different. whereas purslane has thick glossy leaves like jade plants, the spurge has papery leaves, a much more straggly looking red stem, and a red tear shaped drop in the center of the leaves. also, there's the stuff that comes out of the stems when you break them. like latex, only it pissed my skin off.

cooking (and eating) adventures this week have included:

+ raw food mushroom tamales with mole sauce and salsa, courtesy of holly
+ pan fried stuffed grape leaves my sister and i made with grape leaves harvested from my back yard, fresh raw milk mozzarella from zingerman's (oh dear god that stuff is good), basmati rice, chipotle, lemon, cabbage, garlic, onions, tomatoes, and butter toasted pine nuts. This recipe was courtesy of Loba's Lovin Kitchen, and can be found over at the Anima Center's blog -
+fresh raspberries and sliced peaches both nights for dessert, a winning combination. With homemade whipped cream on it, when my sister was here.

plus, i got to share the delicious parcels of grape leaves with my neighbor, who hates my grapevine and asked that i cut it down (i did, it grew back). she liked them.

i got the costs associated with the associates degree program, and they are remarkably high. i have to sleep on it for awhile....i just don't know if i can commit that much money, especially not when HHP's are not licensed here. plus, there's other people i want to study with. i don't know. we'll see.

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