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    Saturday, August 13, 2005

    Why Teresa Shouldn't Leave the House

    I want to love gardening. Really I do. But there are four problems:

    1) I hate to get dirty
    2) I hate bugs
    3) I hate to sweat
    4) I hate any sort of physical labor that involves dirt, bugs, or sweat

    But since the shrubs in front of my house were beginning to resemble some sort of wooly mammoths from the prehistoric era, I decided to drag myself outside this morning before the heat index climbed to 140 degrees and trim the hedges.

    Things were going well. I had a bottle of cold water. I had my supplies all lined up. The heat index was only 120. And I managed to trim the hedges in the back of the house without cutting the extension cord in two as I've done twice before.

    But then, tragedy strikes!

    As I'm trimming one of the front bushes, I suddenly feel this terrible pain in my left ring finger. A howlingly dreadful pain that must surely involve some sort of involuntary amputation. Unable to visually locate a rattlesnake of any kind, I finally see a wasp nest dangling inside the bush, guarded by the proverbial angry bee. Being a former registered nurse, I know exactly what to do. I drop the hedge trimmer and run inside, screaming hysterically for my husband. By now, the pain has mounted to nearly inconceivable levels. We apply our favorite home remedy--an ice cube smeared in baking soda (the baking soda is a base which will neutralize the acid in the wasp venom). Ignoring my protests that it will make me too sleepy to function, my husband insists on pressing 25 mg of Benadryl on me.

    Despite the fact that my finger is now roughly the size of my right elbow, I bravely sniff back my tears and decide to go outside and finish the job. Which is when I discovered that gardening is so much more pleasant when you're enjoying a slight pharmeceutical buzz.