If it's normal to experience an allergic reaction that lasts for more
than a day, then I guess that's all it was. I've just never
before experienced a exposure-reaction like that which came on so late and
lasted for so long, other than that moldly house incident.
When the garden work triggers my head allergy it usually starts a few hours
after exposure to the dust/vegetation and lasts for a couple days after
The interesting thing is that otherwise, I have no allergies whatsoever.
It's only when the garden dust is kicked up when I get these head cold
symptoms. I guess all these microscopic pollen and creatures and whatever
else I don't even want to imagine it could be, is entering my nose and my
immune system is treating these things as foreign invaders. It makes sense
because who knows what kind of nasty toxic things exist in that
dust/vegetation cloud that I'm creating with the garden tools. I should
probably wear a mask more often.
I get delayed symptoms something like that sometimes when I trim my
hedge with hand tools and it's covered with pollen and sometimes when I
crack and eat pecans from my yard.
I don't know if my occasional delayed reaction to pecans comes from
microbes or a natural preservative within the nutshell. If I want to be
safe, I rinse the shelled nuts and heat them in the microwave. They
taste better that way, anyway.
One might think that if ever there was a plant one should not pulverize
with a string trimmer, it's poison ivy. I've done it routinely for
decades with never a rash. I have had severe poison-ivy rashes that had
nothing to do with string trimming. I suppose string trimming is
relatively safe because what it throws tends to stay low.
I suppose you got a dose of pollen. Cheap antihistamine pills might help.
Sounds like that is part of your problem. Might I suggest going retro,
and getting yourself a scythe or sickle to keep up there, and doing the
initial clearing by hand? Chop it low, and use a pitchfork and scoop
shovel like giant salad tongs, to gather it up?
I *did* have a machete with me on these recent trips, but with a blade
that short, you have to do a lot of bending over to reach things.
I'm thinking about getting one of those brush blades next time I'm at
I don't think they carry scythes.
I'm probably remembering the names wrong. Kinda like Death carries in
all the cartoons, but with a curving handle to save your back. I've even
seen them with arms sticking out of the handle, to catch the tall stuff
as you cut it, so you can continue the swinging motion, and move it all
behind you as you go. Like the things they used to have chain gangs use
to clear weeds in road ditches.
I agree about machetes. They look cool in old movies, but in real life,
after ten minutes, you are sore all over. (Unless that is what you do
for a living every day, of course.)
A farm store may have better selection of tools like that than HD or
Lowes. Leastways the handles will probably be longer.
(Googles). Didn't find scythes, but several places had the golf-club
looking things I used as a kid, with the long razor-sharp blade sticking
out. Handles are always absurdly short on those for some reason- only
40" or so. I suppose you could always fit a longer handle. Here is an
Can I throw in a short rant here? I recently bought a grass trimmer very
similar to the one in the
photo you linked. Why the f**** do all the ones available now seem to have
serrated blades? They
don't cut very well when they're new (because of poor build quality) and you
can't sharpen them!
When I was a kid we had one with a regular blade, it cut well and when it didn't
you could easily
I suppose with a grinder and enough time, you could modify it from a serrated to
a regular blade...
A serrated edge is supposed to work more efficiently on a grass whip.
The standard method is to clamp the blade in a vise and file the bevel.
I once tried that with a rusty one I found in a shed. It still
I've read that buyers of name-brand whips experience the same
frustration because they come with lacquer on the edge. One buyer was
very pleased with his whip after cleaning the edge with a 3/16" hone in
a dremel tool.
I can't imagine having the line on a string trimmer tangle up. In
waist-high grass, I'll make my first pass high because the mass of
resilient vegetation down low would bog down a string trimmer.
I wouldn't attempt head-high stuff with string because I'd expect some
weeds that tall to be tough enough to cause splitting in the .090 line I
For stuff that tall I have a disk with 3 replaceable nylon blades a
little like propellers for model airplanes. They'll cut anything short
of wood. Nothing bogs them down. The trimmer is more controllable than
with string because cutting doesn't cause a pull. My clothes stay
neater because they don't throw debris as much as string. Presumably
they would throw less pollen into the air than would string.
Histamine is a result of your immune system not knowing what the
allergen is(i.e. does not know how to take care of it). Maybe you have a
genetic weakness in your bronchial passage. Knowing genetic weakness is
very important for a person. I know mine.
Now, please tell me how you KNOW that there is not a genetic
weakness in your bronchial passage, or anywhere else for that
Or am I saying this to someone that "regulars" already know to
be a nutcase?
It's usually pretty humid around here in the summer, so it helps to keep
the dust down, but last summer was very dry, and I noticed that mowing
over patches of bare earth would often produce a large plume of dust. I
*really* didn't like having to mow over areas littered with dried-out
dog crap during such dry days.
In the West, I could easily imagine that it would be big concern.
It could be allergies, toxic plants, fumes from the trimmer. I got
sick enough to have to go to the emergency room a few years ago after
trimming a lot of Azaleas I did not know the sap from them was
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