It began in August and Hallowe'en before it won its happy ending!
But MY HALF-A-HOUSE is perfect again - the lovely garden apartment on Connecticut's Porter Brook is inspiring new artwork once more! Once again from the wonderful old rockers, we enjoy the view from the spotless, cozy porch. The place had been fine for half a century, and for me as its current tenant, lovely for going on three years! And is again, but....
A misadventure threatened mightily at that point - it was summer 2015; the property owner is a builder and the things from the old lower level were moved temporarily to my porch to make a suite and balcony from another wing of the house, once used for storage. The stored antique items and carpets, and assorted ‘stuff’ plus building materials made our weekly shining up of my porch not possible, for about ninety days.
But soon the building was done and the new wing was a showpiece and its gardens planted. The only thing missing was the magazine photographer. It is really nice! We scheduled a tag sale to find new homes for all the "stuff" that had been stored in the room before the renovation - and some for new storage and the trash - so I immersed in the gathering of things to dust and label them - and walked into an 'insect armageddon' !
I had a dust cloth in hand and used it as a weapon as I beat a hasty retreat to the safety of my apartment. But it was not to be such an easy win. They got me on the porch and then moved to the area immediately INSIDE my door. From the underside of my desk, even after sprays and clearing the porch and vacuuming - for several days they would bite my legs from the knees to the top of the thighs. I stopped counting the bite marks at 55 - some black-purple, some red and a few as large as kiwis - the horseflies I think - not sure. It might also have been bees and wasps - there were dead ones in the cleanup.
The porch had only one adjoining wall - my entryway - and our local bug experts helped to NOT over-react - we'd win through to normal with the use of a top quality bug spray, thoroughly done and repeated every few weeks, for a few months; such a wiser choice was guaranteed to get it back to normal.
That was almost a month ago and YES - victory is ours! Life is sunny and normal again at home.
Of course, it has taken that long to repeat the cleanup of the place and of ME - and the cost.
I see the doctor this week - cost covered by my insurance - and finally back to pool aerobics - but I really had too many visible injured spots to expect to be welcome in my swimsuit in the pool - it wasn't pretty. Months, even with the scar-removal cremes, before the skin was fine again.
I guess I should be pleased that the cost was so LOW - but that is not what my budget suggested:
three things of the good bug killers - $30 followup scrubbings, sweepings and more not included
Then, - to heal the bites and restore the skin:
- Betadine(2) - $54 - I have since found a source that sells it for half that price.
- Calamine - $5
- Peroxide spray (3) - $3
- Rubbing alcohol (3) -$6
- Neosporin(2) - $20
- Generic cortisone cream - $10
Then, once the injuries were healed, $60 for assorted beauty bath gels and creams to regain a normal skin.
Do the math: TOTAL $198
- oops! forgot the cotton balls, gauzes, Swisspers and KT tape - $20 Not to mention the loss to me of time to constantly apply and re-apply all the above, instead of doing what I do. And the fatigue and upset. YIPES! My mother would say.
- I just trew away the studio couch throws and pillows - the feathers and stuffings and memory foam would not be trustworthy - replacment value with supershopping still $100 and up.
And still, I am thrilled!
Because: I am fine. Almost all the bites healed and spots fading.
Costs for everything are paid. The issue was no one's fault and I was treated most kindly by all who knew.
So, My emotions are normal enough to share this fright story at Halloween.
And since bug attacks have been known to be fatal - I do appreciate it, that I fared well. I am fine and dancing about again. No shots or special medications, that is cheap for what happened.
Yes - my lovely sunny place is nice again in here. All is well and clean and shiny as can be. Including me. The house owners were busy with the family crisis that necessitated the building project in the first place, but they have come back to me with thanks and make-goods for my cash expense.
So "Alls well that ends well!" once more.
I had a HAPPY HALLOWEEN and hope you did, too!
Happy P.S. One year later: I removed the photos of my bite - gross. If you really want to see them ask, but geee! ...... that was a year ago now and all is well! And my garden apartement is lovely and no bugs since - as it was for the two+ years before the incident, and there is little chance anything like it will happen again. However, the flipside of a lovely country setting is lovely country critters and their pests. Guard you, your pets and your space.....Today we know to minimize the use of pesticides and so we went hunting once the crisis passed and found a list of natural remedies that WORK : without the chemical dangers of bug sprays and foggers, they keep the garden IN the garden and not on you, and make the place smell like heaven. AT the following link......