Friday, April 24, 2009

Allergies and Other Random Stuff

Before I moved to Durham, I NEVER had any trouble at all with allergies. And, there certainly was a lot to be allergic to in California flora and fauna-wise; in particular, many people are highly allergic to the eucalyptus trees that are everywhere. I had those trees in surplus surrounding my patio at my condo; never had any trouble.
My friends Debbie and Pam on my patio in California; see all the eucalyptus trees?

The first year that I moved here, I didn't notice anything unusual about the state of my health/how I felt during the Spring. That would have been 2004; maybe I was so distracted by my budding love affair with Mr. B (what a GLORIOUS time April 2004 was!) that I just didn't notice?
The very first picture of us together! April 2004

The following year, however, I noticed big time. That was the year I started taking Clarinex.
Each year that's ensued, though, "it" (allergy season/my reaction) appears to be getting worse AND new symptoms arrive.
2005: Stuffed up/cotton filled head, groggy brain function and plugged up ears
2006: 2005 + continual sneezing and itchy eyes (such a delight for contact lens wearers)
2007: 2006 + hacking cough
2008: 2007 + draining sinuses (which actually caused my teeth to hurt) and ear aches
2009: 2008 + extremely sore and swollen throat (I surmise from the drainage), upset stomach (that stuff's gotta go somewhere and it's probably acidic enough to take the paint off our new car), coughing and sneezing at the SAME time (an interesting trick) and symptoms randomly disappearing and then reappearing several hours (or even days) later.
Suffice it to say, although April is certainly a lovely time of the year around here, I can't wait to see the tail end of this month.
I'm a bit worried what April 2010 might bring symptom-wise!
Oh well!
We had a great time at last night's After Busy Season Party. Mr. B's firm does pull out the stops for this event. It was at a new (I think) trendy hip place called Solas in Raleigh. Solas seemed to be a combination of a bar, restaurant, night club, dance place and maybe even a business meeting place. It's three stories (with the top being a roof top bar) and there was also plenty of outdoor seating on the ground level. What a lovely night to be outside; a nice, balmy NC evening (thank God the allergy symptoms had taken a temporary hiatus last night). The 2nd floor had a few tables but mostly it was made up of a long bar, its own outside patio (with tables) and a dance floor. A CLEAR dance floor, I might add. So, the people sitting below (and, yes, there were tables positioned directly below the dance floor on the 1st floor) might get a pretty interesting show. It was sorta creepy (at first) to walk across that floor; it felt wrong, somehow. Almost as if one might crash down through it onto the someones fillet Mignon. I got used to it (a few glasses of wine helped). However, it probably wasn't a great idea to wear a dress. Ronnie (Mr. B's boss) looked at me and said, "Didn't you get the memo about the dance floor?" Mr. B said, "I told you there was a clear dance floor!" Well, I didn't remember it. Not too many other ladies were wearing dresses but I wasn't the only one, thank God.
And, speaking of that dress. It was one I bought three years ago for a DSO Gala. I only wore it that one time; not because I didn't like it; mostly because I never found another occasion to wear just that dress. Well, last night was it! I found some cute black peek-a-boo patent leather pumps on sale at Kohl's yesterday (their name? "Kendal"!) so decided the dress would look good with the shoes.
That dress, though, is tough to get into. The design is awkward (maybe that's why I haven't worn it much). It took me four times to get it on (and I was at first merely going to try it on to see if it looked ok to wear; once I finally got it right, I thought I'd better just leave it on and call it good!)
Ok, here is the funny thing. We got home from the party and went upstairs to go to bed. I went into the bathroom to take off the dress. The zipper was stuck (one of those side zippers that runs from under the arm hole to about waist level). I tried and tried to get it down. Finally (knowing I was getting frustrated, I asked Mr. B to come in and help me. Well, he couldn't get it down, either. We struggled with it for a long time. There was NO WAY I could get that dress off without the zipper down. I'm standing there all tangled up in this dress, starting to get quite upset. Finally, I told Mr. B to go get the scissors and just cut me out of the damn thing. Which is what he did. So much for THAT dress. At least it had one last hoorah at the After Busy Season Party.
It's been a SLOOOOW day today. Mr. B stayed home from work (still catching up on his sleep). We got up late, sat around reading the paper, then, went back to take a nap. Him because he's tired, me because I feel like I'm in allergy hell.
After getting up, he had sufficient energy to go mow the front lawn. I sat inside trying to find out why the City of Durham charged a .52 cent late fee on our water bill when I had it set up to pay on the due date through our bank. This has never happened before. They put me on hold when I said I wanted to have the fee waived. I waited about 20 minutes for someone to come back to me before I gave up; I'll call and discuss this with them Monday when I'm feeling more feisty.
Tomorrow is the 2nd Thorn Beer Fest at my brother Nathaniel and wife Analee's house. He reported on Facebook that he has at least 44 different varieties of beer for us to sample (we all buy beer to bring and share and tell him ahead of time what we're bringing so he can make a beer menu). There will be lots of food, games, a beer quiz with prizes (last time I won a glass stein, some cider and some Guinness to make a Snake Bite), Jarts, and Nathaniel said he'd but his golf range net up so I can whack a few balls with my new clubs. And, we'll drive our new car over there, woo hoo.
Let's hope I'm feeling better, though!
As an aside, I decided to resign from my position on the DSO Board of Directors. I'll finish out my term (through June 30th). After that, maybe I'll volunteer from time to time (they always need volunteers) but I figured one year of this was enough of an experience and it's time to find something else to do.
Mrs. B

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