Time marches onward. Apparently without my words of wisdom littering the information super highway. Who'd of thunk it? Even so, I do feel the need to tell you, no warn you, no WARN you, about the deadly dangers of gardening. What? Gardening you say. Pushaw, gardening is for little old ladies with little hats, hardly what one would call dangerous let alone DEADLY. Yah, I thought so too. Lies I tell you. All lies.
This year Jillian decided she wanted to plant carrots (thank you Curious George) and so when she got carrot seeds for her birthday, well one thing led to another and BAM we have a garden with things like basil and chives and oregano and mint and eggplant and broccoli and tomatoes and lettuce and parsnips (snuck under the radar as "white carrots" when someone was a whiny pants) and of course, carrots. Well the garden has been going along swimmingly. Sort of. There have been many animal intrusions on my tomatoes including one that took the fence down and ripped my fence polls out of the damn ground. A bunch of acrylic yarn later and that bad boy was back in business. Since then neither deer nor Hurricane Irene were able to take down the fence again. All hail acrylic yarn ... well for all things not knitting.
Anyway, I was weeding this garden of our when I almost died. Every day or so when we'd be outside, I grab a weed or two and relocate it to the "forest" that borders out property. As I never was a formal weeder, I never did formal things like "wear gloves" so it was with a bare, virgin, hand that I grabbed a weed. A weed which immediately sent pins and needles into every place in my sweet little hand that it touched. Fingers, palm, thumb, zowie! A weed so painful to touch, that when I looked down at my hand, I expected to see raw, open, bleeding flesh. A weed so deadly that it caused two of my fingers and my thumb to throb and then go almost numb. HOLY SHIT, RIGHT? This all happened in less that a minute of touching the little bastard. HOLY FRIGGEN SHIT, RIGHT?
Obviously I dropped the weed immediately, but at that point the damage was done and I planned the last words I was going to say to my children and located the perfect place to lie down and take my last breath. I took a picture of it so that when I was found dead in a heap, CSI would view my pictures and be able to determine which foul biological weapon had attacked me.
Instead of say, being SMART, and calling 911, I texted my Garden Savvy Friend Michelle. Her response to my dire predicament, "Duh, you should have worn gloves." To which I was all, yes, thank you Captain Obvious but how long until I DIE? Her response, "Well, you're not dead. Yet. Don't worry about it." In hindsight, now that I have lived, I know to never contact Garden Savvy Michelle regarding matters of life and death. So, anyhow, as my afternoon progressed, I did not in fact "die" though I did continue to have ridiculous pain in my hand. Every time I examined my hand, I expected to see slices and cuts, but there was nothing was visible. It was so damn weird. I was having a nerve damage paralysis thing going on inside where you couldn't see it. I googled the hell out of everything I could think of (like to know if it was safe for me to sleep or if I would be sleeping an eternal sleep) but nothing came up. Bizarre.
The next day, the pain had mostly gone away, but there was still some residual nerve tingleyness that I DID NOT LIKE. Which is why, that night, when I met with my knitting ladies, I relayed my near death experience. At the end of my tale of woe, my LEAST garden/plant/landscape savvy friend, was all, "Ohhh, you weeded a stinging nettle." And LO AND BEHOLD SHE WAS RIGHT.
So there you have, my near death experience. With two important lessons. First, stinging nettles (which apparently have medicinal value ... SUUUURRRREEEE) hurt like a mofo. Second, when you are about to die from an unknown plant attack, ask a knitter for info, she will know more than Google.