Kathleen Hanna and about half of the people I care about have or have had Lyme disease


We've each picked up ticks from the garden and even the lawn.

All I can say is, "That stinks."

Here's a disease that affects those who love the outdoors, and even some that don't. It hardly seems fair. 

The fears and reality of allergies, poison ivy and mud keeps many people inside. Then there's Rocky Mountain spotted fever, the very first tickborne disease I ever heard of, and Lyme. Nine more tickborne diseases are listed on CDC's website. The message: Going outside can maim or kill you. So can allowing your pets to go outside and then come back in. 

The nursery also has ticks. Interestingly, we often find them by the half dozen on the white soil bags. Are they attracted to the white color or is it that they are easier to see? They really do seem to like other white items we leave outside.

Jared, Beren, and I have all been bitten by ticks. Jared and I, many times. Many times. We do several things about ticks, the primary is we check for ticks every day, even on warm winter days because we've seen ticks in January. 

It's a drag and hardly sexy to examine each others nooks under the glare of three bathroom lights. Half the time we notice the shiny black pinpoint-sized tick, the other half we notice the eraser-sized red spot on the skin that says, "This flesh is irritated." 

We'll say, "Oh sh*t. Again?" And then we get the tweezers and various remedies. I try to clear my mind before extracting a tick, and most of the time, we get them out.

Knock on wood - hardwood, soft wood, ironwood, bass wood, shelter wood, sap wood, heart wood, plywood, Kingwood, Ringwood - we've never gotten ill from a tick bite. 

Here's a list of people who come to mind that have had Lyme. Some of them continue to suffer. Two artists, one woodworker, one forester, one hunter, one scholar, one knitter, one engineer, one garden club member, two land trust employees (at least), one health care provider, one dog... Probably more, I just can't think of everyone. I hope you all are feeling better.