Sunday, December 17, 2023

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas . . . Not

We're doing our best not have bah-humbug attitudes for the fast-approaching holiday season, but Mother Nature is not helping one bit.
Our landscape remains snowless, brown and drab as can be.  I'm reminded that a friend of ours always said, "It doesn't have to be sunny to be a good day."  Well, we can change this around to mean it doesn't have to be snow covered to put us in the spirit of the season.
The temperatures, day after day, remain too warm for any snow to accumulate.  This is if we had any snow.  Okay, yesterday morning I did wake up to an actual inch of the white stuff on the deck railing.  The first we've seen so far.  But the thermometer read 33°, started to rise immediately, and it all melted in a blink.  Back to our mantra of, "It doesn't have to be snow covered . . . "
I finally baked a couple batches of our traditional holiday goodies yesterday and if all goes well, some more may appear today.  'Bout time.
Two Christmas gifts ordered in plenty of time (we thought) have yet to arrive.  At least the companies ordered from have been good in communicating with apologies explaining they're experiencing delays beyond their control.  'Tis not the end of the world.
Early last week I broke out in a nasty red rash covering most of my body including certain areas where one should never (ever) have a stinging, burning, itchy rash.  Never having had personal experience of such, I was at a loss to know what the heck was happening.  Turns out it's hives.
In my ignorance, I had always assumed (never assume, eh?) hives were individual spots much like bad mosquito bites.  Nope.  Picture raised, red bumps covering my skin in areas about the size of Rhode Island.  Miserable?  Yep, it's not been fun and six days later I'm still feeling the effects, though greatly subdued, that are not allowing me to exhibit my normal stellar outlook on life or ramp up much energy or allow me to get a good night's sleep.  Could be a lot worse.
I have butter in a mixing bowl on the counter softening for a double batch of Spritz cookies.   (We add a titch of almond extract flavoring to ours -- yum.)  I think I'll get going on them because I know my current low level of oompf will require some couch time later on.
Hoping all of your holiday plans are coming along smoothly and that you'll have a White Christmas.  Or at least will have the sound of Bing crooning about one floating through the house! 


coffeeontheporchwithme said...

Oh dear! Do you have any idea what gave you the hives? Use lots of benadryl to calm the itch. We are green and mild here, too. It is bizarre, but not unheard of. I do remember some green Christmases in the past. I like almond extract and make cookies called "Italian Christmas cookies" which are just basically a sugar cookie, but you use oil instead of butter, and they have almond extract in them. Hope your hives calm down and you have a good rest of your weekend! -Jenn

Rosalea said...

Ditto wise. We did have a beautiful 8 inch dump of snow on December 4. It is mostly all gone now and it is raining. Christmassy...NOT.
Hope you figure out the reason for the hives, and get rid of them. Happy baking and best wishes of the season to you.

Michelle said...

If it was possible, I'd trade some 'normal' (for us) December weather for some of your homebaked goodies! I'm not baking because nothing would last. Can't think of anything I'd trade for hives; yuck. Sudden allergic reaction?

Katie C. said...

The other thing that might have been the cause of those hives, depending if they were on one side of your body, is shingles. I’ve had it and it’s something I hope I never have again. Ugh!

Happy holidays anyway!

- Katie C.

SmartAlex said...

A few years ago I broke out in stress hives from my forehead all the way down to my waist - at the end of August when it was humid and sweaty out. You were very wise to have yours during cool weather. Oatmeal baths will help.

Pioneer Woman at Heart said...

We have been having weather in the 50's and rain. I actually caught a beautiful sunrise over the weekend, but we are back to rain, and rain/snow showers. It's been strange weather, and does not feel like Christmas. Sounds like you may have had an allergic reaction to something. Hope you feel better soon.

Mama Pea said...

Jenn - Hubby just told me he looked at a ten-day weather forecast for us and there's no precipitation in sight. We may well have the first green (brown?) Christmas we can remember. :o( I can't figure out anything different I might have ingested to cause the hives . . . which is frustrating because that leaves no "reason" for the outbreak. Sigh.

Rosalea - Sending the best holiday wishes to you! The research I've done on hives states that sometimes there is simply no detectable cause for the outbreak. That's not encouraging because it makes me feel like it could happen again "for no reason!" Grump.

Michelle - I know what you mean about holiday goodies disappearing almost before I can get them in a storage container. Is that a good sign meaning they're super-yummy or does it just create a feeling of why did I go to the trouble? ;o)

Katie C. - Shingles was the first thing I thought of after my outbreak. But it's not just on one side nor does it look like the images I've seen of shingles. I had an acquaintance who had shingles a couple of months ago and I think that was even more painful than my hives!

SmartAlex - Ugh, having hives in hot, humid weather might cause one to parade around nude! I was told not to bathe or shower while I had the heavy rash. I guess there are all kinds of dos and don'ts for them. :o( I've just been changing pjs but still feel "unwashed!"

Pioneer Woman at Heart - Thanks for your well wishes. Kinda wish I could pinpoint the hives on an allergic reaction, but can't. :o( Here's hoping we both get at least some snow for Christmas.

Tim B. Inman said...

Well, under the heading 'Misery Loves Company' I'll share my story about hives. My wife, Joyce, and I hosted several AFS exchange students. One in particular (who just sent me my annual box of German chocolates!) was very special to us. We went off to visit her and her family in Hamburg, Germany. North Sea - seafood! We had a great trip, but Joyce broke out in hives - as you say, about the size of Rhode Island. Carola's family offered her Benadryl as a med. They said it would really help. Nope! Joyce wasn't taking any 'home remedies' so she just sat being miserable. All the way home on the plane it was ice packs and misery. Upon landing back in the good old USA, we went straight to the ER near the Chicago airport. The doc surveyed the situation and - wait for it - gave her some Benadryl! Instant relief. It turns out, she was allergic to shell fish. And so it goes. Hope you're better now. Merry Christmas, etc. from Oakdale Farm.

Mama Pea said...

Tim - That's been my worry . . . that I'll have another session of these hives sometime when I'm not able to be home and in my most comfortable spot! Your poor wife! And to be on a wonderful (except for the hives) trip overseas as you were. At least she knew she was allergic to shell fish which caused the reaction. I am on the road to recovery, thank you. Not quite totally there yet, but chugging along. Best of holiday wishes to you, too!

Goatldi said...

Yikes rashes, red bumps and such!

Well Mama Pea apparently according to "they" whoever "that" is and in reality we don't want to know. One can if they live long enough become allergic to things that didn't bother them in the younger years. I am very conservative to western medicine both in practice and PHARMACY . I do however keep a bottle of child no drowsy Benadryl on hand. First for critters who may need it. Second for me who got strung by so many meat bees that bit me the summer of 2012 when Geoffrey was diagnosed with his leukemia that about ever so often I marched onto a new stronger allergic issue. I still keep a bottle around for the original reasons but also because it is a fairly benign OTC and if you don't guzzle it daily it remains fairly effective in being a positive response as needed in allergic reactions. Best to you let us know how it goes! Merry Christmas!!

Mama Pea said...

Goatldi - Glad to say all my hive problems have flown the coop! But I sure don't want to get them again. What you say about keeping Benadryl on hand makes A LOT of sense. I've noticed they also have a salve that you can apply directly to the affected areas so I'm going to get some of that, too. Thanks for sharing your first-hand knowledge. Sending very merry holiday wishes to you!