The Hidden Cost of Yardwork

We love our home in Westborough plenty of reasons.

The yard is not one of them.

After the deer destroyed all of the bushes by the side of the house, they exposed  a very poor state of landscaping. The random borders of rocks seemed even more strange; the piles of sticks and leaves now exposed glared at me every time that I pulled down the Cul de Sac towards our house.

Patrick spent the last month’s worth of weekends pulling out the old shrubs, and we worked together to move endless piles of rocks. Together, we cleared the leaves and debris from the yard, and I put down some mulch to tidy things up. Even Jasper pitched in with these efforts, shoveling mulch in tiny handfuls and adding rocks to the wheelbarrows.

I no longer feel as if the yard is in an awful state.

All I can feel is the itch of poison ivy.


As a fair-skinned Irish lass, I have always had pretty severe reactions to things like mosquito bites and poison ivy. The itchy, gross, goopy burns cover my arms and trunk. New spots continued to appear a full week after I pulled anything from the yard, and even popped up during our Getaway to Newport.

Patrick, who has never before had a reaction to poison ivy is struggling with his first infection.


The middle schoolers have begun to question my ability to care for myself. They have to born witness to my frost bite, broken finger AND poison ivy in the last couple of months.

“Are you ok? Like really?” one caring kid quietly questioned.

I assured her that these are just side effects of being an adult and a homeowner…


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