Y’ know that old pop/novelty song, “All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth”?  He sort of lisps and whistles through the tune.  Real cute.  Ever wonder what the kid actually GOT for Christmas?

(This is all sort of a segue into the next topic, which is what I got for Christmas, which, as it applies to humans near and dear to me was MOST satisfactory but, as applied to the other residents of  the estate here, had a definite downside.)

‘Twas a few days before Christmas and I noticed a couple of patches on my leg that were pretty itchy but since it IS winter and that DOES tend to dry out skin–indoor heat, effects of cold wind, wool clothes, etc.–I paid this little heed.  ERROR!  ERROR!  ERROR!

Turns out that I had…have… an out-of-season case of poison ivy (Wish that it could have been an out-of-body experience, but no such luck).  I usually get at least one outbreak a year and it’s not too bad : a rough, bubbly patch or two, a little itching for just a bit, then fade away.  And, generally, I can recall what foray into the underbrush must have been responsible for the unpleasantness; not this time.

My best guess was that one of the two resident felines that occasionally escape to go exploring down creekside  prowled through one too many bright green clumps of foliage(Leaves of three, leave it be!  Don’t they ever read?) then chose to sleep off      exhaustion upstairs in one of the storage boxes of socks that were put away until the return of cold weather.  Well, THAT theory was severely shaken when some new bumps appeared in spots where the socks don’t shine, if you get my drift.

This particular affliction was WAY itchier than usual too, for some reason, maybe the whole dry skin thing, after all.  The bumps are starting to fade.  They don’t  look like a bunch of white-topped blisters; now they look like angry red spots with gray tops.  I’m hoping that this is an improvement.  Well, it’s probably NOT one for anyone else looking at the eruptions (Though I’m not sure that anyone IS, since long pants are the order of the day and black nylons are SO stylish these days and anyone looking any harder than that  is asking for an knuckle sandwich).  Couple more weeks and I’ll just look like any old person just returned from the tropics with a minor case of Amazonian Acne.

It HAS sort of thrown a monkey wrench into my usual system for disregarding any sort of health and/or fitness issues.  Mostly, I simply blame everything on rheumatoid arthritis…covers everything from migraine headaches to ingrown toenails.  The disease is so multi-faceted that it can manifest itself as frozen joints or dry mouth or psoriatic skin conditions (Maybe that’s  the key here) or a whole collection of conditions that anyone in their right mind would just as soon do without, thank you very much.  But poison ivy is poison ivy, whatever way you scratch it.  It is what it is, needing no help whatsoever from RA.

Other than THAT, it’s been a fine holiday season–Christmas programs and parties every time I turned around, lots of music (Though I never ONCE heard “Grandma Got Run Over by A Reindeer”.  What ARE the programmers at NPR thinking?), interesting gifts, decent weather (If you don’t mind freezing your fern off when the falling temperatures and the wind chill combine to do a great imitation of the “Little Ice Age”.  Speaking of which, a Russian scientist, Dr. Habibullo Abdussamatov [Wouldn’t it be tough on a first-grader having to learn to spell THAT] predict, in his catchily-titled paper, Bicentennial Decrease of the Total Solar Irradiance Leads to Unbalanced Thermal Budget of the Earth, that the world will begin to cool off in 2014).  Heck, we’ve been doing our level best to heat it up since about 1800.  This will be a setback.  We can still keep putting out carbon particulates and carbon dioxide.  That’ll show us!