(Expletives Deleted) Exoskeletal Allergen Carriers

I guess I should explain why things are taking a bit longer than expected to process on the meter review. It’s a simple two-word answer: insect bites. Allergic reactions. Laid up. Take your choice.

Despite many layers of garb, my first weekend at faire provided me with several insect bites that swelled my legs and feet too much to put on shoes for the next two days, and not responding to anything I knew enough to throw at it (lancing the bite, peroxide, Epsom salt compresses, antibiotic cream, rubbing the heck out of them, etc.). Because I am also dealing with chronic venous insufficiency, I need to wear compression hose when I am standing for any period of time longer than a night-time bathroom run… which means I spent most of those two days seated on the bed with my legs elevated and no work able to be done on anything. (Fortunately, I was able to get my sleeves, supportasse, and ruffs completed over the rest of the week.)

The following Sunday, with residual swelling even under the wounds that were healing, it was time to go to the walk-in side of my doctor’s clinic. The good news is that there was no infection or any change in basic metabolic panel. The bad news is that they couldn’t figure out anything to throw at it other than a precautionary antibiotic.

That Monday (Labor Day), we were back at faire again… and leave it to me to keep forgetting that, unlike the so-called insect repellants of my youth, today’s concoctions actually work (at least to some degree)… so, another four bites that left me laid up in bed for two days. The good news is that these are healing on a normal pace. The bad news is that the first week’s bites have caused me to develop allergic-like reactions to medical adhesives, with the result that I still have some very red welts around one of the bite sites. The in-between news is that I hesitatingly decided to try throwing an antihistamine at the whole lot, which may (or may not) have helped.

We are expecting to spend two more days at faire this season -- one at New York (either this weekend or closing weekend) and one at Pennsylvania (closing weekend). Pennsylvania will be cold in late October, so my next major garbing project will be an overgown with the functional warmth of a winter coat. I’ve located the main fabric… only there isn’t quite enough of it to do what I want, and I can’t foresee finding anything better on my limited budget. So I’m going through the geometrical permutations of figuring out how to alter the basic gown design to work within my “fabric budget” and still be reasonably historically correct. The bodice is a style I’ve not done before, and the finished garment has to fit correctly over my current gown. It’s… a challenge.

Given this year’s history, though, the bigger challenge may be remembering to use that insect repellant!