Order Tara's Bicycle Touring Cookbook Today!

Ticked Off

by Tara

Today was rough. All morning and afternoon, I found myself teetering along an emotional knife-edge, often slipping into full-on freak-out mode. Instead of being thrilled to be on our land, or completely enamored by the fact that we're living our DREAMS... I was miserably questioning everything, wondering if we'd made a horrible mistake by deciding to move here.

The main reason for my wigging out—besides the emotional upheaval of leaving friends and family yet again, and the moodiness of being on my period, and the jarring shock of moving into a camper in the woods after two months of climate control, easy dishwashing, and hot showers—had to do with TICKS. When I found one buried in my arm, another crawling down my shirt, and still another in search of a nice spot to settle between my toes... I flipped.

I felt violated by the stupid f*cking blood-suckers, and I was terrified that I'd never be able to feel at ease in the place I'd chosen to spend the rest of my life. To pile on the anxiety, I was hyper paranoid about contracting lyme disease. Honestly, I wanted to run screaming from this tick-ridden hellhole and catch a bus back to "civilization."

By the end of the day, Tyler had talked me down from my tick-induced ledge of doom, and I was feeling more at peace about the whole situation. He agreed to help enact thorough tick-checks at the end of each work session, and I agreed to not obsess about the blood suckers further.

I know that living with ticks will feel normal eventually, and that someday I'll be able to pluck them off nonchalantly and think no more of it, but today was not that day.

Previous Entry
We're Home!


I strongly dislike ticks. I have already taken one off my daughter this season, and have had a few crawling on me since we started working at the garden plot again. I am not sure one can ever get used to ticks, maybe it's more desensitized to them. I try to take comfort in the fact that if they're big and dark, they probably aren't carrying Lyme disease.
Posted by Dave on May 10th, 2013 at 10:29 AM
Chickens and ducks will help immensely with the tick population - really! At least they sure helped at my folks' woods/farm in central IL. Your property is beautiful (even with the lurking blood-suckers!). Have you tried eating fiddleheads yet?
Posted by Ali on May 10th, 2013 at 1:29 PM
And I'm hearing Cicadas are next but they don't hurt...they are just out for sex. TICKS...nasty. Here is Mother Earth News link for tips...
Posted by cozygirl on May 10th, 2013 at 6:06 PM
I just love the way you write! Such vivid explanation about the hardships you endure and it makes me laugh because the way you describe your mishaps is exactly how I would react too. So, would you rather deal with ticks or leeches like the ones in Asia?
Posted by Kara on May 10th, 2013 at 6:15 PM
Not that this is the best solution but my mother taught us that sulfur is a great deterrent from ticks. If you put them on your socks they won't crawl up....but you will smell like sulfur :-p
Posted by ashley on May 10th, 2013 at 8:39 PM
Dave - Too true. I also take comfort in the fact that the tick has to be on you for over 36 hours before it transmits lyme disease. So with daily tick checks, we should be good!

Ali - Thank you! I do love this land, ticks and all. ;-) I have heard that chickens and ducks (and especially guineas) will eat ticks and I cannot wait to have them on our land! Not yet, though... too much going on. I haven't tried eating fiddleheads yet, but I have picked ramps, and today I made elderflower cordial!

cozygirl - Thanks for the link!

Kara - Thanks for your comment-- it made my day! LOL, as I was writing this post, I couldn't stop thinking about the leeches. Those freaking things were far more horrific and nightmarish (I shudder just thinking about them), but at least I could escape them eventually by leaving the rainforest. And at least they didn't carry disease... as far as I know.

Ashley - Whoa, that's an interesting solution. I've never heard of that, nor do I have any idea where i'd acquire sulfur. I'll look into it though; thanks!
Posted by Tara on May 11th, 2013 at 9:08 PM