Our noses runneth over – it’s pollen season!




I got up this morning in time to see a Full Moon sneaking out the back door, the sun still slumbering somewhere in the East. The grass was still very wet, and the little birds were just tittering in the bushes, waiting for the air to warm up. Everywhere around me the grass and flowers and weeds were growing, budding, POLLINATING!

Whenever we get wet storms in March and April, things just seem to grow like crazy. Of course I enjoy the flowers blooming all around the yard, the sweet scents, the hum of bees – but everybody around me is sneezing, stumbling around with puffy eyes and itchy skin. Me too! I must say, it was actually some comfort when I finally heard a story about it on the national news – there is some comfort in knowing, I’m not the only one.

Try staying indoors – hah!  After a couple of days of routing through closets and scrubbing stuff, watching old movies and sorting through drawers, I get sick and tired of being inside. Hey, watch out – I love to pass the hours cooking but that will make you very fat in a big hurry.  Reading will make you fat, ruin your eyes, and, science fiction will make you so paranoid you will go to bed and pull the sheets over your head.  I just can’t find any activity that will keep me interested inside for long enough to avoid allergy season. It seems like a new tree flowers every week. And the grass – I can almost hear Sandburg – “I am the grass, I cover all…” Yeah, with pollen, an eighth-inch thick on my patio, my window sills, and the dog bed. It even worms it’s way into the house, glowing green on my dust rag.

So, I cover up and go out, shedding the outer clothes when I come back in. I shower off a couple of times a day and slather on a mixture of olive, apricot kernel and almond oil, with some rose hip oil. I get those oils in bulk from Lucky Vitamin (luckyvitamin.com), really cheap, so I can lay them on thick. I also use Burt’s Bees Hand Salve, made with olive oil and other medicinal herbs.

Most of the prescription allergy medicines they advertise on tv are expensive and, wow, ever listen to those side effects? Forget  that.  Lately I’ve been on an aspirin regimen, having heard a few anecdotes from women with similar conditions. When it gets really bad, I take an over-the-counter children’s strength allergy medicine, shower and oil up, put on some good clean cotton pajamas and go to bed.

And here’s a big tip – HYDRATE. Drink those eight glasses of water a day, that’s really helpful. One day I was in the park with my husband and we rode past a lady who was telling her friend, “I can’t believe how much my life has changed since I started drinking more water…” That has stuck in my head, I’ve tried to brainwash myself – excuse me while I get up and get a drink of water.

Drinking more water is also helpful for the respiratory problems, obviously. Replaces all those fluids lost in snot, tears, and spit, helps to avoid the horrible burning sinus and throat pain. Hot stuff is really nice, my favorite being, hot lemonade.

Boil a cup of water and stir in three/fourths cup of sugar. Let that go for five minutes. Then add a half cup lemon juice, and three cups cold water. Leave it on the stove for hot lemonade, or pour it over ice, no matter. For a sore throat, drink it hot with a big dollup of honey.

Or make it in a cup, real strong and hot – squeeze a lemon into a cup and add as much honey as you want, then hot water. Drink it as hot as possible, hold it up under your nose and breathe deep. For a real twist, start with a clove of crushed garlic.

Every Spring I feel a need to make some good changes. I start in my household, with family health and lifestyle check, and it’s just natural for me to carry this over into my community. I have to live here, I’ve tried ignoring the stuff that goes on, but it always comes around to pinch me on the butt. Hard! So, like my friend Mary Lou, I am trying to push myself out of my “comfort zone,” and lock the door behind me. And, I’ll try not to walk around with both hands covering the seat of my pants.

Last weekend I celebrated Taxpayer Appreciation Day with some folks down at the library, Butte County assessor candidate Diane Brown was our guest speaker. I’m excited about this series – I want to get more people thinking NOW about the election, taking time to get acquainted with the field of candidates, and really studying the issues that are important in this  election.

I get tired of the hype that rolls in every election, I want to make a list of the concrete issues – like our water rate increase, the push to raise taxes to cover pensions and benefits, the lack of accountability and sunshine Downtown. We’re going to be quizzing city council candidates pretty soon – Andrew Coolidge on April 27 and Joe Montes on May 25. I am hoping Mary Goloff and Scott Gruendl will do the right thing and announce they will NOT be running soon, so other people will feel more confident jumping in.

I think opening a dialogue early with these candidates can only work in our favor. Assembly candidate Ryan Schohr has told me he feels the water rate increase is unreasonable, and I’ve asked him to contact the CPUC and find out what’s going on with our rate case. I will post any news I receive from him. Andrew Coolidge has made some statements regarding the water rate increase, we must let him know that’s an issue we want him to get more involved in. Joe Montes has expressed support for Chico PD but we need to find out how he expects to fund more positions – does he know how much money we spend on police pensions?  And no candidate is talking about the way the sun has gone behind the clouds since Brian Nakamura took over our city government.

We need to encourage more candidates to run, give us some dialogue on these issues that really matter. So, I hope to get more people coming out to our little meetings, way cozy.



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