The Weekly Digs #78

by Becky

It’s been an eventful week around here! We are doing lots of canning and making frequent trips to the garden to weed, water, and pick food. 

One day we did a very quick trip up to the garden to pick a pepper for dinner, move the chicken tractor, and make sure the chickens had food and water.

Sweet potatoes are ready to harvest

Cruz ran over to the chicken tractor to check on them and not two minutes later ran back to me screaming in pain. He said he got stung by something through his sock. He was shaking with the pain. But within ten minutes all was well. We grabbed the pepper, finished up with the chickens and went home. 

Cameron had beat us home from work and was there when I arrived with the kids and our pepper we needed to make the chili dinner. Just a few minutes after we got home Cruz came in and said his eyes were itching. I thought maybe it was poison ivy because I had seen some by our gate and he had unlocked it when we went in.

Cameron told Cruz a warm washcloth on his eyes might feel good and so he tried it. He came out saying that now his forehead was itching and all over his face and head. 

I looked at his forehead and it looked like there were white spots on it now, it almost looked like suddenly he had acne. I was strange because I knew that poison ivy didn’t get that kind of rash. Cam and I sort of brushed it off as nothing but Cruz was definitely uncomfortable. 

We couldn’t make out if he was overreacting. Then Cruz got up and I saw his face again. His bottom lip was huge and swelling. Suddenly we realized that this was more than poison ivy and instead was a whole body allergic reaction to whatever stung him. 

It had stung him on the ankle so that is why I originally didn’t think it had anything to do with the sting. I googled it to see if what was happening was worth an urgent care visit because we hadn’t experienced anything like this before.  

At the same time Cameron sent in picture and information for an over the phone doctor visit.

I always have to be careful when using Google because it generally gives a worse case scenario but this time it seemed like Dr. Google was right and it was a severe anaphylactic allergic reaction. I asked, “Cruz can you breathe ok?” And he just said it felt like he had a lump in his throat. 

I am definitely more of a worrier so I told Cameron that we needed to take him in. On the way in, the online doctor called and confirmed that he needed to go to Urgent Care because of the visible swelling.

Cruz got three shots and because of the lump in the throat feeling, they would not let him go home. They sent over an ambulance and he got a ride to the Emergency Room to be sure all was well.

Cameron said within one minute of the Epinephrine shot all the lip swelling went away, the spots on his head, and some of the hives. But he got monitored at the emergency room for a few hours just to be sure there was no throat swelling. He didn’t have any problems and got sent home! Whew! 

While I was at home worrying I fed the kids dinner and even though I had a half finished canning project I started earlier in the day, I couldn’t focus well enough to do anything on it. After the kids went to bed, it was a late night of finishing up the canning I had started but I was just glad everything was ok now!

Ironically, Cruz happens to be my most outdoorsy child and as a result of this he will need to carry and Epipen anytime he goes camping or on a trip or any distance from home. 

Also, we never did figure out what stung him. Originally Cruz said it had an abdomen like a wasp but it was black and hairy and had a white stripe. We thought it was a bumble bee and he said no, he is convinced it was a caterpillar of some kind. Hopefully, he won’t have another instance and find out!

Later in the week, we also did 12 jars of salsa and as I’m typing here at 2am I am waiting for a batch of ketchup to finish in the canner. 

I don’t ever plan to stay up late but somehow canning always takes at least a few hours longer than I plan. Sigh. You would think I would know by now! 

In the garden:

  • Harvesting tomatoes- by the bucket load. I think we hit the magic number of plants for a year’s supply.  We started out with 125 tomatoes including our old garden but now with that gone and pulling out some San Marzanos, we are down to 85. It is just right for us! I’ve finally been able to preserve some of the things we never had enough tomatoes for like the ketchup.
  • Harvesting peppers, a few cowpeas, and arugula thinnings.
  • Harvested the last of the pumpkins and squash. 
  • Cruz and Cameron worked to put up a cucumber trellis this week. Cruz did a late planting of cucumbers because we did not get enough cucumbers to pickle. I saw a few cucumbers so it looks like we will get them before frost!
  • I have been busy pulling weeds to get ready for planting cover crops. I plan on doing a pea and oat mix. I thought I had seeds but I think they got lost in the move so I had to order more. I hope they get here soon, it’s getting late in the season!

In the kitchen:

  • Dehydrated 4 trays of watermelon fruit leather.
  • Canned 12 pints salsa
  • Canned pizza sauce. I can’t remember how many- maybe 12 pints?
  • Canned 17 half-pints ketchup

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