A Breath of Not-So-Fresh Air

Nature freaking sucks.

Seriously.

It hates me.

And the feeling is quickly becoming mutual.

I can’t breathe.

I can’t hear.

I can’t sleep.

I can’t think.

I can’t even go outside without hacking like a geriatric geezer about to keel over on the sidewalk as a single delicate breeze threatens to collapse my lungs and suck the sole remaining ounce of life left in me.

But then, it’d probably be just as well.

After all, I doubt I’d be looking forward to going back indoors to face the equally suffocating mountain of laundry that typically awaits me.

Ah!

There’s nothing quite like a breath of killer fresh air.

Fresh air is good for you, people always say.

Ha!

Fresh air, my ass.

It’s bad for my health.

Plain and simple.

Sneeze, sniffle, honk!

Wheeze, gasp, choke!

It ain’t pretty.

Oh, what’s wrong?

Nature! That’s what’s wrong!

Sure, there are stunning mountains, oceans, and other incredible scenic wonders in this world.

But some days, those natural beauties don’t even begin to balance out whatever toxic crap permeates the air.

Speaking of nature…

The sky is the limit when it comes to the range of possible allergens just waiting to wreak havoc on the already inefficient human body.

What do flowers, cats, and dairy have in common?

They’re all plotting to kill us, that’s what!

From respiratory to food to skin, there’s a unique allergy out there for everyone.

But air?

Seriously?

Air is an essential element of life.

Yet, it’s trying relentlessly to kill me.

(Much like the water I frequently find myself nearly choking to death on whenever I attempt to have a sip.)

I haven’t been able to hear out of my left ear for days.

Then again, I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing, what with all the chaos around me.

And I’ve gone through enough tissues this week alone to take out an entire forest.

One thing’s for sure:

There’s no inner peace when one can’t inhale or exhale.

But meditation and guided imagery can be quite helpful, from what I understand.

Except for the fact that all I can envision is hopping on the first flight out of town to a remote tropical island to escape it all. 

I’ve tried everything under the sun for relief.

Lavender and peppermint oil in a diffuser.

Sudafed.

Vicks VapoRub.

But nothing has been working.

At least, not long enough to help get me through the day.

Or the night.

So I shove a pillow over my head.

Suffocation might at least grant me some much-needed rest.

Breathe in, wheeze out. 

Repeat for maximum exhaustion.

I’m beyond help.

And the stress from all those sleepless nights only exacerbates things.

Stress?

Bad for one’s health?

No way!

It’s a proven scientific fact that stress compromises the immune system by lowering immune response.

And the only solution, it seems, is to escape to a land far, far away.

To a peaceful, allergen-free life on that aforementioned deserted island.

Perhaps I ought to wear a full face mask whenever I brave the outdoors.

That ought to make a great impression with the neighbors.

Bird flu?

No, nature.

Here’s the biggest irony of it all:

I don’t litter.

I always recycle.

I’ve been known to pull recyclable objects out of the trash can, rinse them out, and place them in the recycling bin, for God’s sake.

I freaking care about the environment.

I try my damnest to do my part to save the earth.

And, in turn, the environmental does its best to kill me as a way of expressing its gratitude.

The great outdoors ain’t so great when it’s undoubtedly trying to do me in.

But, as the saying goes, no good deed goes unpunished.

So maybe the next time a passenger attempts to toss trash out my car window, I might conveniently pretend not to notice, instead of threatening to stop the car and dump the offending litterbug off on the side of a busy highway.

Take that, nature!

Oh, who am I kidding?

I can’t help myself.

I’ll continue to try to save this freaking planet, even as it continues to try to choke the life out of me.

Sniff, cough, wheeze!

~Happy Friday friends! Hope you have a wonderful, allergy-free weekend!~

Po somehow manages to enjoy a moment of inner peace in nature. Unlike me. There's no peace for me among the pollen.

Po somehow manages to enjoy a moment of inner peace in nature. Unlike me. There’s no peace for me among the pollen.

Gardening in Gnome Man’s Land

Who would’ve thought I’d moved to No Man’s Land to become a farmer?

I certainly didn’t see it coming.

My garden gnome would probably agree, too.

But he doubles as a bird bath, so what does he know?

Gnomes are thought to be symbols of good luck.

And, as protectors, they’re meant to watch over crops and ensure a bountiful harvest.

But I have to wonder if my gnome has gone into hibernation.

Or passed out drunk.

Every time I go outside to water my plants, I get eaten alive by fire ants or chased around the yard by kite-sized dragonflies.

But that doesn’t stop my determination.

Not even a bit.

Now, I don’t particularly have a green thumb.

But I do like living things.

And I also like green things.

Particularly if they’re useful. 

Especially if they’re edible.

Sure, I may be a bit rough around the edges…

But I can be very caring and nurturing.

I want things to grow and thrive.

Unless they’re prickly weeds.

Or hairy spiders.

Anyway…

Last year for my birthday, I begged for my very own veggie garden.

Seriously.

It was an experiment of sorts.

I knew nothing then.

I know slightly less nothing now

But this year, I am so ready.

In fact, last year’s oregano and parsley plants are still going strong!

In spite of unintentional neglect.

Meaning there may have been a month (or three) when I had completely forgotten to water them.

In my defense, it’s been a very hectic year.

Last year, we started with two strawberry plants, along with some cucumbers and tomatoes.

The tomatoes and cucumbers each yielded respectable levels of output.

And the strawberries?

They lasted six days.

Apparently, the adorable rabbits needed them more than we did.

This time around, I opted for a different variety of herbs.

Unfortunately, you can’t plant vodka.

Or Prozac.

So, I bought some lavender for my frazzled nerves.

And peppermint.

And purple basil.

Purple!

Green is great and all…

But diversity is a great thing.

In retrospect, I probably could’ve used an aloe vera plant for my gazillion bug bites.

Oh, well.

Maybe next time.

I was on a roll, though, and decided we also needed a tree.

And so a tree we did get.

A tree named Bob.

Yeah, you read that right.

Bob is named in honor of a generous Home Depot employee.

Nobody could find a price on the lone little Redbud tree that I so desperately wanted.

The checkout line was starting to snake all the way around the garden department.

So, Bob sent us off with a wave and a “Merry Christmas!”

Who says Christmas cheer can’t last all year?

Oh, but I wish I had remembered to ring the specially-designated bell for great service.

The only time I ever think about doing that is when I use self-checkout.

How funny would that be?

Besides, who doesn’t deserve a pat on the back for a job well done?

Maybe next time, I will remember.

And I will ring it.

For Bob, not myself.

No matter how awesome of a job I’d just done scanning and bagging my own crap.

But getting back to Bob the Tree.

My mom has taken a liking to calling our new tree Bob Hope.

After all, we really do seem to need all the hope…and help…we can possibly get.

Hope.

It sounds so promising.

So prosperous.

Plus, Bob Hope was a humorous centenarian.

A centenarian, for goodness sake!

Yeah, the guy was clearly on to something.

~Happy weekend, friends! As Bob Hope once said, “A sense of humor is good for you. Have you ever heard of a laughing hyena with heartburn?”~

Meet Bob. He's the coolest little tree in town.

Meet Bob. He’s the coolest little tree in town.