Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Rivers, Hornets and Maxi Skirts

Okay, I had a heck of a Labor Day Weekend.  So much so that I was out yesterday also, spending the day in a deep, Benedryl-induced sleep.  Today, though, I dragged myself to work and I wore this:

It’s the coolest thing I could find while still keeping my legs covered.  I paired my floral maxi skirt (it used to be a strapless maxi dress from Target, but I cut the top off) with a black tank (Gap), cognac belt (thrifted), black sandals (White Mountain via Macy’s), omnipresent cuff (thrifted) and hoop earrings.  I’m trying to stay cool because it’s supposed to be over 90 all this weekend and I ride home during the hottest part of the day.  And I’m trying to keep my legs covered because I can’t shave them because they’re covered in scratches.

And bruises.  And in some places, hornet stings.  See, what had happened was FB and I decided to take his kids (the FC) to the river on Sunday to cool off.  We drove to the Upper Calapooia River and saw this lovely swimming hole:

We parked, hiked down the hillside and along the river until we got to the place we saw from the road.  It was not an easy hike, especially with a five- and seven-year old, but we managed quite well – with me being the only one who fell in.  The five-year old did lose a flip-flop in the current right as we were reaching our goal, but it was otherwise pretty uneventful.  And absolutely worth the hike:

It was so gorgeous.  We (well, the boys and FB) caught crawdads and minnows and periwinkles.  We also had lunch, did some swimming and I took some photos:

When it was time to go back, FB had to carry the youngest out on his shoulders, but we managed to get back across the river okay and decided to head up to the road immediately instead of hiking along the river.  FB went first, carrying the youngest FC and I followed leading the other FC by the hand.

We had only gone a few feet up the hillside, when the oldest FC began screaming and thrashing about.  He pulled loose from my hand and I spun around looking for a snake.  Instead I felt stinging on my feet and legs and I began looking for stinging nettles, thinking I’d somehow blundered into a patch.  Instead, I saw hornets.  There were dozens of them swarming the FC and myself.

I began slapping the hornets, and I think the FC a few times on accident, and then I grabbed the FC, dragged him through the blackberry bushes and threw him up hill to his father.  By this time, the hornets had also discovered FB and the youngest FC.  We all moved up hill as quickly as we could but I had yanked the oldest FC right out of his flip-flops and it was all we could do to keep him moving.  Finally the hornets stopped chasing us and we struggled the rest of the way to the road.

We must have looked a mess coming up that hillside.  The oldest FC was sobbing uncontrollably, which was understandable as he’d been stung right on his forehead, pulled out of his shoes and forced to run, shoeless, up a blackberry covered hill.  The youngest FC was also crying and calling for his mother.  And three out of four of us were covered in cuts, scratches and stings. 

We were worried about allergic reactions, but luckily the oldest FC ended up being just fine; his stings were already nearly gone by the next day.  And the youngest FC didn’t actually get stung.  However, FB and I weren’t so lucky and by Monday, both of FB’s hands had swollen to near immobility and my right foot and thigh had swollen quite badly as well.  We took Benedryl and I was able to come to work today, but my thigh is still quite swollen and I’m still very much covered in scratches, so I’ll be wearing maxi dresses and skirts for the couple days I’m here this week.

So, that was my Labor Day adventure.  It was bad, but I figure it could have been much worse, and the river really was beautiful.

I hope you all had a fabulous, and less eventful, Labor Day!



  1. You probably came across a ground nest - nasty buggers, especially since they don't die after stinging. But you all survived, and no one was allergic, so that's good. And that really is a beautiful spot.

  2. Oh YUCK. I had to run across a nest once while I was backpacking, and I got stung everywhere - once right on a boob. It swelled up so badly that I couldn't wear a bra for a week! I'm so sorry--I'm just glad you're all okay.

  3. Wow, what an adventure! Sorry there was so much pain at the end : < You so look great in your maxi skirt!

  4. Whoa. I'm glad you're all right. And surprised you're smiling...I got stung just once last summer by some kind of ground bee and it hurt like a mofo for several days.

  5. What a beautiful place! But all those hornets....i got stung twice and that was enough for me. poor kidos.....glad no one had any allergic reactions.

  6. Nice skirt!

  7. Oh no! That sounds awful! I hope you recover quickly.

  8. OUCH! sounds like my experience a couple of weeks ago (in my own d*mn yard!). I got stung on my BUTT and my stomach, and it swelled up so bad I couldn't sit or lay down. It honestly felt like I had been shot. Glad to hear that everybody is okay!

  9. Bleeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrg. Poor munchkins! Poor you! I find a cool bath with peppermint oil helps a lot. French clay pulls out the venom faster...The Aztec Healing Clay mask at Whole Paycheck (or the local headshop) is worthy of its very hyperbolic packaging.

    And I'm sure looking so fly in your GORGEOUS improv maxi skirt helps, too!

  10. Hornets - Yikes. I have never ever been stung, and that's probably due to the fact that when I see a stinging/flying insect I run away screaming and flapping my arms. It makes me wimper in fear just reading about your misadventure.

    Oh a happy note that maxi skirt rocks, and you have now given my permission to wear a maxi to work. I have been toying with the idea all summer, but just never did it. Thanks to you that will all change.

    You look so perfect in that pretty outfit!

  11. Oh My Goodness. It sounds awful. I hope you get better quickly.

  12. Oh. My. Gosh. I'm glad you guys are (relatively) OK. It sounds like quite the adventure. I wear my Target maxi dress as a maxi skirt. It hits at such an awkward length otherwise - but I have a feeling that you know that. :)

    Secondhand Stylist Thrifted - Three Ways

  13. Holy dang, that's a crazy adventure. Like everyone else, I'm glad everyone's pretty much okay. I had a serious wasp run-in when I was 10 and camping, so I feel your pain. Keep it loose and cool!

  14. Oh my gosh! That sounds terrible! I'm glad no one was seriously hurt, but those stings must be painful. :( Feel better soon!

    You look great after surviving the hornets. Maxi dresses hide everything.

  15. Oh no, that's awful! I would've been terrified by that many hornets :( I applaud your attitude that it could've been worse. I'm glad you're okay and came out on the other side of things smiling.

  16. Oh goodness, I'm so sorry to hear that. Hornet stings hurt sooo bad. Glad that FC was okay and no allergic reactions. That is good news. I feel for you and FB though. Hope the swelling goes down soon. Regardless of why you are wearing that outfit, it's very cute!!!

  17. It's a beautiful little swimming hole, but I'm sorry that it turned out the way it did. Often, once you're stung other hornets "sense" the initial sting and gang up.


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