Wednesday, July 19, 2017

skeeters and water in my 'hood ~ and my latest book stack

In my last post, I mentioned that we hired a mosquito-spraying service for the summer. I said how the mosquitoes are rampant here due to all the trees and nearby water. I didn't elaborate that the mosquitoes were so bad, that friends and family that came to our house would complain that they were "eaten alive" just from walking from their car to our front door. Or, that every time we opened a door, mosquitoes would fly in - and that our kitchen and living room walls had dots of blood on them from smashing the skeeters. Or, that we couldn't do yard work or even water the outdoor plants without being doused in bug spray (which we'd immediately wash off when we came indoors) and/or wearing jeans and long-sleeved shirts. Not so much fun when it's sweltering out there.

Another blogger commented about trying alternative methods such as citronella candles, fans, and mosquito plants. We've tried all those things except for the fans - we don't have any electrical outlets near the patio - and more. If there's any natural treatment or remedy out there, we've tried it. Citronella candles didn't make one bit of difference - and we had them everywhere - even citronella torches lining the patio. Mosquito plants - also known as citronella plants - do NOT work! Contrary to what you might think (I did when I first saw them and bought a few last year) - the plant does not repel mosquitoes, nor does it even have any citronella oil in the leaves. It's a geranium! See HERE for more info. Save your money, folks. The plants aren't even pretty. ;-) 

So! I thought I'd show you what my area looks like, just a short walk down my street - the reason why we have so many mosquitoes here. This area is surrounded by trees, thick brush, bogs, ponds, lakes, creeks, and a State Park. Here's a walkway to one of the canals that lead to a lake by my house. Does it look like Mosquito Haven to you yet? Let's take a walk down the path to that canal...

Here we are. As you can see, the waterways here are stagnant. No motorized boats are allowed on the lake or these canals. 

Looking to the right. Pretty gross, eh?

You can even see how the surrounding area is marshy.
A mosquito's dream!

All this is not to say that I think commercial mosquito spray is safe. It's not the foggy DDT spray from the neighborhood trucks that we remember from the 1970's, but it's still a chemical. Just my humble opinion, but if I were pregnant or had little kids at home, I most likely wouldn't be doing this. I keep all the windows on my house closed when they spray. And they only spray the grass, trees and bushes surrounding our yard. They do not spray any flowering plants or vegetation. 

Speaking of water, you might have heard about the deluge of rain and consequent flooding we had here in northern Illinois last week. There are still road closures in my area and houses surrounded flood water. We were so lucky that we were spared - not even a flooded basement like we've had in the past. This is my friend's mother's house just 15 minutes away. My friend is having to travel around the house and neighborhood by kayak! She posts photos on Facebook every day - this was day one. Today is day six and my friend said the water is down about four inches. However, we're due for more rain tonight and into the weekend. Scary stuff.

Before I show you my new library book stack, I wanted to talk about this book from my last library stash. If you're the parent of a child who's getting ready to go away to college (or even within the next year or two); already have a child in college; are an educator; or, are a young adult in college yourself; this book is a must-read! Let me say that I already knew a little about the hook-up culture, especially in college, but I had no clue how rampant it was and all the details that go into it. Talk about eye-opening...and horrifying. From the inside jacket cover of the book:

"The hookup is now part of college life. Yet the drunken encounter we always hear about tells only a fraction of the story. Rising above misinformation and moralizing, Lisa Wade offers the definitive account of this new sexual culture and demonstrates that the truth is both more heartening and more harrowing than we thought.
Offering invaluable insights for parents, educators, and students, Wade situates hookup culture within the history of sexuality, the evolution of higher education, and the unfinished feminist revolution. Using new research, she maps out a punishing emotional landscape marked by unequal pleasures, competition for status, and sexual violence. She discovers that the most privileged students tend to like hookup culture the most, and she considers its effects on racial and sexual minorities, students who “opt out,” and those who participate ambivalently.
Accessible and open-minded, compassionate and brutally honest, American Hookup explains where we are and how we got here, asking not “How do we go back?” but “Where do we go from here?” "

One of my errands today was returning library books, and of course, I came home with another stack. You can probably tell that I read a lot of non-fiction.

Have you read any of these books? 
What are you reading now? are the mosquitoes where you live?


  1. I'm in south central WI, and the skeeters are awful! I have to spray mosquito repellant all over myself just to take out the trash!

  2. We rarely ever see a mosquito here . . . want to move to central Washington? I know that you have heard and tried everything, but have you tried putting dryer sheets in your pockets, I read somewhere that it works. All that flooding must be a nightmare, I can't even imagine it. Out here we celebrate a raining day, they are rare :)

  3. Yikes! I can just feel myself slapping all those skeeters!

  4. I don't have lots of mosquitoes here but my daughter's family lives by a creek and they get a lot also. I would spray so I could enjoy some outdoor time just like you do!

  5. Looks like you have some good reading to do. Where there's water, there will be mosquitoes. I'm lucky in that they don't bite me. Just curious, I have my font set to 120%, but I still find your text small. Is it just me?

  6. Mosquitoes are generally not an issue where I live now, but I lived in New York until I was 28 and they were very bad there, especially where my husband and I had our first house. The town was literally built on a swamp, so there was standing water everywhere. I got to the point that I didn't go outdoors much in the summer because I developed very bad reactions to all insect bites as I got older, especially mosquito bites. I would get bitten more than anyone else around me too, usually a good ten bites on me for every one or two on them. Anyway, I hope a good solution comes along. I totally understand the miseries of living with lots of biting insects. I saw the hook-up book in the library a few weeks ago. I went to college in the 90's and the term "hook up" was new then. The actual concept, maybe not, but I remember being so confused by the term because it didn't seem to have real meaning. "Hooking up" could be anything from holding hands walking home from a party...all the way to you know what. It was very nebulous. Mainly, I thought it was weird to get intimate in any way with strangers, it just didn't appeal to me at all. I hope the other books are good. I liked the look of 100 Days of Real Food when I saw it in the library recently too.

  7. Living in hot and humid FLorida, frankly on a swamp you can only imagine the mosquitos we have here. I took Little B out to ride his big wheel last wee at 5:30 and he got eaten alive, they bit him through his clothes.

  8. oh my goodness traveling by kayak / how awful!

    So glad that you didn't have to go throught this as well.

    I remember when I was young and raising the boys that some Avon product was popular for mosquito repellent...they did not design it to be so but evidently it worked. I cannot remember the name of it now but we doused ourselves with it back then. And no wonder the bugs didn't like it, ugh...we didn't either!


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