Go Ask Your Father: Poison Ivy, Windmills, Wasps, and Babies

Here’s day two of the Taboo Challenge! Thanks to Sandra over at A Momma’s View for asking about the InLinkz code. After a few failed attempts, I found the link for you to click to get the code for your posts. You can click here to get the InLinkz code. This code will add the blue frog button so others will be able to go to the link up and read other’s posts. Today we write without the word “do”.

Why does poison ivy make you itchy?

After a quick Google search, I realized I’d have to refine my search to not include scantily clad, well endowed, red-headed women covered in vines and leaves. After about a half hour I finally got myself back on track to look up the poison ivy I went looking for in the first place. Growing up, there was never a summer I didn’t get a poison ivy rash. One time I walked through it barefoot and required steroids. I never said I was smart about it. Anyway, poison ivy contains an oil called urushiol (you-ROO-shee-all). It only takes a small bit of this stuff to cause an allergic reaction. A billionth of gram according to one site. The allergic reaction is caused by the immune system. It sends white blood cells to attack the urushiol. However, the macrophages (transformed white blood cells) also damage normal tissue  resulting in the skin inflammation that occurs with poison ivy. And, no, eating this stuff won’t make you immune.

How do windmills make electricity?

We got word the other day that one of our local windmills had collapsed. We have/had 11 of them nearby on the side of the hill. Apparently during routine maintenance it started spinning out of control. Fortunately, the workers were able to clear out before the windmill finally gave in to the force of physics and toppled over. We took a drive to see if we could see it, but it was too far from the road to see. It’s along my regular running route, so the boys were excited as these 250 feet tall giants are a regular site for us. If you recall from yesterday’s questions Bang stated that he wanted to be “6 and 30 hundred inches tall”. This turns out to be exactly how tall the windmills are! It was the first of the company’s 1,000 windmills to collapse in the 15 years since they began installing them.

To make electricity, the propeller blades rotate by force of the wind. Inside the windmill (behind the blades) a gearbox transforms the slow moving blades into a rapidly spinning driveshaft. The generator then uses the spinning driveshaft to generate electricity. This electricity then gets its superpower when it travels down the electric cable in the tower to a step-up transforming, magnifying the voltage by about 50 times. When all is said and done, the windmill’s energy is ramped up to 130,00 volts. Tocompare, a lightning bolt can contain up to a billion volts.

How to wasps make their nests?

Bang thinks anything that buzzes is a bee or a wasp. Just like I think anything with 3 leaves is poison ivy. We have found several wasp nests this summer. They’re flimsy, paper, greyish things that always invoke a fight or flight response. 99.99% of the time is the run and scream and flail your arms like an out of control windmill response. I told the boys that the nests were made from wasp spit in an attempt to gross them out. It’s also true. These “paper wasps” make their nests by mixing saliva and wood fibers. The nests are where larvae are kept in cells. We found one nest with wasp larvae still in the cells in their various stages of development. Sometimes the lessons find us.

How are babies born?

This is a question for “Go Ask Your Mother”. If only there was such a blog post. Anyone? My response was, “Hmm, excellent question.” as I picked up the phone to write it down to remember for later. “You’re writing it down for the blog, aren’t you?” “Yes. Yes I am.” This question arose at suppertime just before our neighbor had her baby. I neglected to answer his question. I had full intentions to answer it at bedtime when Bang wasn’t around. The road to you-know-where (hell) was paved with good intentions. Did I tell him that mommies push the baby though the cervix? Not yet. Did I tell him that mommies push the baby through their vagina? Not yet. Did I tell him it hurts worse than any male will ever be able tolerate even though we act like it’s a walk-in-the-park? Nope. Though sometimes, the babies are cut out of mommies’ bellies through a surgery known as a cesarean section (or C-section). And God forbid, should he decide to look up the answer himself he’ll find plenty of YouTube videos of it. I’ve witnessed it twice and I’ll never forget either experience.

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18 thoughts on “Go Ask Your Father: Poison Ivy, Windmills, Wasps, and Babies

  1. My kids asked my husband where babies came from one day I was out of the home. I came back to a diagram of the male and female reproductive system on the blackboard!


    • I was really hoping for a video. There were people there when it happened, but I guess they were too worried about their safety to take a video 🙂 It would have been neat and I would totally have shared with all y’all.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My baby brother got poison Ivy this summer. We grew up in west Texas where everything is dead. Just a flat boring tan plan with a few tumbleweeds. There is no grass in the yard, no trees, and the occasional over grown bush. So when we both moved to the Tennessee valley we were invigorated by the rolling mountains and incredibly lush landscapes.

    My backyard is incredibly overgrown as our house stood vacant for several years. My brother decided to just dive in and start hacking. That’s when the bumps started on his arm. We looked at what we observed to be bug bites, “is this a chigger?” We’d heard the term all over town. He scrubbed himself with a bath of warm water and went on his way…and then overnight it grew. It was over his chest, his arm, his hand, he was completely swollen. That’s when we realized what it was.

    Luckily we were able to get it under control over the counter, he was ofcourse as fate always happens, between insurance plans.


  3. We talked about ALL these things at our house this week too! Too funny.

    We hosted a bunch of friends at our house for a camping weekend and my husband weed-whacked extra brush in the woods and along the river to create more paths. In the match of poison ivy vs. weed whacker, poison ivy wins every dang time. Ouch.

    We also have a lot of wasps around our house and around the play area at church that are giving me a stomach ulcer. Last night, when I was loading up the back of my car, I had to smile because a bag had dumped and spilled out 2 cans of wasp spray, a giant loaf of bread, and a bottle of grape juice. You might be married to a pastor if…

    Enjoyed this post, and will be sharing my new saliva-and-wood-fiber knowledge with the brood!


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Urrghhh.. I hate, hate wasps!

    Spud asked the same thing about babies the other day too. She has been curious how babies came out. Stumped me, but I managed to explain to her loosely on the natural way and the c-sect way. I bet there’ll be more questions!

    Liked by 1 person

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