Sickly, Scarfed, Socks

I’m trying to decide if I’m sick or just tired (as opposed to my usual sick-and-tired).  I spent half the night awake with a dry, stuffy nose, a sinus headache and a twitchy eye.  I know that sounds like “sick” but I’m finding it very dry here since I got back from Florida, where it was lovely humid, and that’s been causing sinus problems all week. 

I live in the mountains, in a century home, and when the outside temps are below -20ºC, as they have been the past week, it can be a shocking experience. There is so much static in the air that I’m used to the snap of electricity and it’s accompanying blue spark every time I turn on a light switch or touch the dog, but getting a shock by touching water out of the tap is new.

All of this dryness leads to cracked skin on all my finger joints (really, I bend a finger and start to bleed) and dry, yet oddly stuffy, nasal passages.  There is a humidifier attached to the furnace, but it’s not working.  Apparently, it would take too much maintenance to have it run properly (the company’s edict, not ours) and the large-model humidifier we bought just can’t cut it until the temperature warms up some.

My neti pot helps a bit  but I was looking for comfort this morning and that’s when I thought of making a little steam bath for my sinuses.  A child of the ’60’s, I grew up with Vicks® Vaporub®.  I was sick a lot when I was young and the Vicks® was always there.  For a really stuffy nose, you’d put a wee bit into a bowl of boiling water, then put your face above the bowl, drape a towel over your head and breathe in.  Aaah.  Nothing but relief, after the burning sensation subsided.  Oh, and you’d have to keep your eyes closed too.  But it worked.

I haven’t read the label on a jar of Vicks® Vaporub® in awhile, but it was a good way to kill time while the water boiled.  I was surprised to read this: “To avoid possibility of fire, never place VapoRub in boiling water or expose to an open flame.”  Huh?  Okay, I get the open flame thing, but no boiling water?  Well, I did it anyway, understanding that I couldn’t sue the company if something bad happened and that I should be careful not to splash or spill  (I should probably add a “don’t do as I say or as I do” to this .  It was just as I remembered, slightly painful, and sting-y (I couldn’t completely tent the bowl with the towel) and in the end, wonderfully soothing.  Brought back a lot of memories.  I remember Oprah saying that as a child she was forced to eat Vicks® Vaporub® (or maybe it was Mentholatum®?) and people seemed shocked.  I remember reading the little pamphlet that came with the Vicks® jar and it specifically said (and there was a picture) that you could/should ingest a pea-sized amount of Vicks to relieve chest congestion.  I can only guess that some of the label changes and safety warnings are due to ingredient changes over the years, and some might just be due to the litigious nature of the world these days.  Safe to say that  Vicks® Vaporub® may no longer  be the stuff of our childhood, but it still works like a charm.

On a more knitterly note, I finished the scarf yesterday morning and managed to get it soaked and blocked today. 


Gingerly (my Lettuce Leaf Scarf) in Madelinetosh Sock, Ginger 

 I’m feeling much relieved and was able to pick up my February socks again last night.  Racing to the finish line on those, thanks to this dratted short month.  I’m not picking a surprise out of the box for my March socks, but rather making a pair specifically for BB.  He requested recently, and since it is his birthday …….

I bought this yesterday


Diamond Luxury Collection Soxy, in taupe

for Harris Tweed Rib Socks.  The pattern came out of How to Knit Socks: Three Methods Made Easy but the basics of the pattern can be found here.   Looking forward to trying out this yarn.  It feels lovely!

2 responses to “Sickly, Scarfed, Socks

  1. My dad always rubbed vapor rub on our chests when we were sick. Always. I’ve never heard of eating it though.

    Nice scarf. I have a skein of mad Tosh sock lying around here. Hmmm…..

  2. Always good for a laugh. Brought back such memories and perhaps some day I will take up knitting.

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