Please, come on up and join me on my front porch.
I have a story to tell you.
It's a story that taught me some lessons.
See this beautiful, innocent jalapeno pepper?
If you look closely you will see what looks like dew drops on it. But really? They're tears.
The tears are for what its brothers and sisters did to poor me this week. Being so proud of the bounty from my little square-foot-garden, I gathered up all the full-grown pepper pods from my two plants and carried them into my kitchen where I washed them, cut them open, took out the seeds and membranes, then chopped them into tiny pieces for the freezer.
A little voice in the back of my head said, "Sherry, when you were a little girl, didn't your mother have a bad encounter with a sink full of peppers?" Searching back through my memories, I remember coming into our house one summer day and finding Mama fanning her hands around and groaning because they were burning so bad after having them submerged in a sink full of peppers and water most of the morning.
"Oh yes," I said to the little voice, "but she had them in a sink full of water and mine aren't in water, and anyway it won't happen to me. Besides, I cut them up all the time with almost no burning."
And back to work I went. After chopping all the peppers up and putting them in a freezer bag, I washed my hands.
That's when the trouble began! Such intense burning!
I sluffed it off, put my bag of peppers in the freezer and fixed a sandwich for my lunch. But wait! Now my face is burning! My lips are on fire and I haven't even touched them! I did, however, touch the sandwich that touched my lips.
I'm thinking I may have a real problem now, so what do I do? I Google it! I found much advice, and was comforted (just a little) to know that I am one among many sillys that have cut up peppers without heeding the warning to WEAR GLOVES.
I found one very entertaining blog post with almost 300 comments full of advice. I tried MANY of them: rinsed my hands in alcohol, rubbed them with a baking soda paste (this helped my burning lips but not my hands), slathered them with calamine lotion, washed them with very HOT water and dish soap (TORTURE!), rubbed them on stainless steel, rinsed them in lemon juice, soaked them in milk, rubbed them with aloe gel, and poured witch hazel over them (my own idea). I drew the line at peeing on them~yes, one of the commenters on the blog was adamant that it would help, but I never found out.
Nothing I tried helped. Finally giving up on the treatments, I just laid my hands on an ice pack for rest of the day to wait it out. In fact, I melted down several ice packs we had stashed in our freezer.
Sweet hubby cooked supper for the family while I groaned.
Oh, and did I mention, our air conditioner had quit and had been out for two days when this happened? The Alabama heat and a sweltering house didn't help cool my hands any.
I was afraid that I would be up all night cradling my ice pack. This burning lasted about twelve hours, then it slowly subsided. So sweet! Finally, I was able to fall into a peaceful sleep, with an ice pack on my nightstand ~ just in case.
At least I learned some lessons from my pepper encounter:
- Listen to others' advice to wear gloves when chopping up even ONE hot pepper.
- Never think, "It won't happen to me."
- Listen to that little voice in the back of my mind. God put it there for a reason.
- Appreciate any day without pain!
Now, with a little help from my plants, I want to wish you all a very happy
Red, White, and
Blue Independence Day weekend,
|our blueberry plants|
with a big splash of Pink thrown in for my Pink Saturday friends!