Sunday, November 09, 2014

We’re Back in Tampa


Wesley Chapel, Florida (high 78, low 52)


We are technically in Wesley Chapel, not Tampa, but it is a suburb just north of Tampa, so consider it Tampa.   We have a nice site here,  some friends in the park, the weather has been lovely, but we are really missing our beautiful mountain retreat and hating the big city living.

Our backyard.


We lived in Tampa for 30 years and are  pretty tired of this area.  The traffic is horrendous.  The drivers are aggressive and there is plenty of road rage.  No one stops for red lights.  You must plan for 5-6 cars going through the light on red before you proceed.  It takes 30 minutes to drive 5 miles because of all the lights.  Ah yes…. welcome back to Tampa.  If it weren’t for my mother, we would not be here.    (do I sound grumpy?)

We made the entire 554 mile trip in two days, which are PDD days for us.  ( for new readers, the term PDD was coined by our blogger friend Sherry.  It means Paul Dahl Disorder.  Paul is one of these drivers that can drive 500-600 miles every day)

We went straight through downtown Atlanta on I-75 around 11pm.  The traffic was fairly light, so we breezed right through. 

We spent the night south of Atlanta, near Perry, Georgia after a 243 mile drive from Blairsville.  Al wasn’t sure he could drive the remaining 316 miles in one day, with the pain he’s been having in his shoulder, plus a raging case of poison ivy. It was all interstate driving, so we had plenty of places to stop and apply pain creams and anti-itch gel. :)  Poor guy.

Al has been battling poison ivy since before we left here in July.  When we got to Blairsville, he had several more bouts of it.  We finally realized our little doggie friends were picking it up and transferring it to Al.   He has been suffering on and off all summer long, and got another dose shortly before we left.

He has every cream and pill known to man for itch relief, but nothing works very well.  

As soon as we got back here, and he went outside to set up, it started getting worse.  He seems to get it internally as well as externally, and he describes the internal feelings as “the heebie jeebies”.   He gets extremely agitated and itches all over.  He’s pretty miserable, (and grumpy). 

We weren’t sure if it was the old stuff he brought from Georgia, or if there was some around here, but it was getting worse.

He had a problem here before we left and we assumed that it might be growing across the pond/marsh. He doesn’t have to touch it to get it.  We checked around the back of our site and found no poison ivy.

He had a really bad first night back in Tampa, so he went to the doctor to get a prescription for Prednisone.  The good thing is, it’s taking his mind off of his painful shoulder!

Yesterday morning, we were outside and Al happened to notice a small plant that we feel certain was poison ivy.  I took a few paper towels, covered my hands and pulled it out.  Barry and Stephanie took it to the trash for me.  I made Al go inside, and shut the windows!   I took a bucket of soapy water and poured on the area where it was.  I don’t know what good that will do, but it was the only thing I could think of.

We stayed in most of the day, and he seems to be a little better today.  It may be the Prednisone, or it may be that we removed the source.  It’s nice to wake up and not hear any complaining.   :)     Poor Al.


Still missing our mountains, but also dreaming of the Keys!

from sunshine key bridge


  1. Welcome back home, it will get better as you see the temps dropping up in N. Ga. Not sure it will get better in regards to the scenery though.

    Our friends, Dee and Jim just returned to Avon Park. We will miss FL this winter, but we will have a new experience in Apache Junction, AZ.

  2. It's too bad Al has such a time with poison ivy. I never heard of anyone with such a reaction.

  3. Oh dear. I have the same response to poison oak, and had to have prednisone repeatedly when I lived in California a few years ago. Ack. I so feel for Al, knowing exactly what he means by those internal heebie jeebies. Hopefully you won't have to remain in Tampa very long before you get back to the lovely Keys.

  4. Get round up and spray anything you see that has three jagged edged leaves. If Al would take a shower with Octagon soap every evening and really cover every inch of his body and put his clothes in the wash, it should help get rid of the ivy oils that cause the itches. Better not pet the dogs or let them brush up against your clothing if you can avoid it. Or do the above. Ever since we started using octagon, we've had no trouble with poison ivy. So sorry to hear this AL!

    1. Not sure what Octagon soap is Sherry. Is it a bar soap? I looked today and didn't see it. I have been washing all of his clothes twice, using Dreft. He's doing better.

  5. Hang in there Al. Sherry gave great advice but it is looking like you will have to wear long sleeved shirts and pants when you work outside the rig or around animals. Hoping your condition is greatly improved before you get to the Keys.
    You might be wearing long sleeved shirts and pants sooner for another reason. The Weather Channel showed another Polar Vortex already dropping the temperatures across North America as far as the Gulf coasts in the coming week to well below seasonal. We are in the process of testing the heating system in the apartment.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

    1. He was wearing a jacket and long pants when he petted the dog and got it the last time. It doesn't take much.

  6. Hubs used to be really bothered like that by poison ivy when he was exposed, and also even by air. Once during a visit to the ER he was given some type of injection and he doesn't seem to have the problem any longer. Sorry I don't have a clue as to what it was but you might research it? The heat does seem to agrivate the rash and blisters though. And just to be sure, it couldn't be shingles could it? If you had chicken pox and are past age 60 be sure to get the shingles shot! Hubs Mother had them and they were awful!

    1. It's not shingles. Al has never had chicken pox, believe it or not! I have heard they used to have some sort of a shot to prevent PI, but it's no longer available. I'll have to check further.

  7. We hate driving that many miles in a day too... plus tackling Atlanta at the same time!!! Brave souls.... too bad about Al's condition.I hope you find answers...

  8. Always good to come back to home territory, but I also find the traffic there almost unbearable.

  9. Poor Al, I feel so bad for him with this terrible bout of poison ivy.

    To make him feel better, by driving 316 miles in one day he now has attained the PDD Bronze level! :cD

  10. Poison Ivy sure is not fun.
    Welcome back to Florida and the city.
    That's why enjoy the desert in Arizona, no cities there.
    Enjoy you time with Mom.

  11. Gosh, Al that is a real bummer having such a reaction to poison ivy ..... Sure hope things calm down and you will feel better .... Glad the trip back was smooooooth !!!!

  12. That sounds just awful! I hope Al is starting to feel better. I know people who get it when someone burns it in their area. The smoke gets in the air and they start itching. Pool Al! Sorry you have to be in an area you don't like. Living in California I got used to bad traffic, but I sure don't want it anymore.


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