Thursday, June 28, 2018

Summer routines, and adventures with odious insects...

Summer means a few things for me, though really, for everybody. Thing #1 is that routines change. The mornings with the kids bear no resemblance to what they do during the school year, and weekends often get packed with family parties and other celebrations. And this particular summer, for me personally, it means that a nefarious family of insects are eating me alive IN THE PRIVACY OF MY OWN HOME.


See, this is one of the reasons I like living in a climate that is frozen over for part of the year. Horrible little creatures who bite and sting cannot survive in the tundra. :0

The past 5-6 mornings, I have woken up with red bumps on my arms that quickly escalate to puffy, itchy things of misery. Being the paranoid person that I am, I immediately Googled:

"bed bug images."

Good and gentle reader, unless it is a true apocalyptic emergency, NEVER DO THIS. You're welcome.

Their bite marks are innocuous enough to look like so many other insect bites (this is part of their powerful evil empire, to be sure) however, the other signs of bed bugs in one's house were lacking in ours (thank you Jesus), so I felt fairly confident that my bites were not from them. But I was puzzled, because I haven't been outdoors very much, I'm discovering the new bites in the mornings even when I wear long sleeved nightgowns, and I have not seen nary an infiltrating insect, winged or otherwise, in our house.

I was dropping the kids off at my in-laws' on my way to work yesterday morning, and I showed them to my mother-in-law, a former nurse. She gently told me that they were mosquito bites.

Well, that was anti-climactic. I was lodging a full fledged conspiracy theory of the insect kingdom.

I don't often get mosquito bites, so that's why I didn't immediately jump to that logical conclusion. I'm not much of an outdoors gal, truth be told. I have hyper sensitive skin that reacts if a dandelion looks at me sideways, and the sun and I have a decidedly love/hate relationship. And I live in western New York, where no living insect can dwell for 5ish months out of the year. In other words, I'm not often exposed to mosquitoes. But that is what has been biting me.

Given the fact that I scour my arms each morning upon waking up, and find 1-2 new bites, I know for a fact the following:

(1) he or she has taken up residence in my house;

(2) he or she is going hog wild overnight and biting me as I sleep;

(3) he or she is clandestinely hiding during the day, as I glimpse no flying objects nor hear any buzzing during waking hours; and


I'm not normally speaking such virulent hatred towards other living beings, but this one (and it's family too, I have no shame) have got to go. My arms are a mess. The previous bites are healing only very slowly, and my poor arms have these unattractive red puffy bumps all over them. I'm itching and rubbing lavender oil on them like crazy.

Last night, I did have a victory. I diffused lemon and peppermint (I don't have any Citronella oil, though some is currently on order; fly little Citronella oil, fly!) which I read that mosquitoes hate (*snort* did they poll the mosquitoes?) and I did not have any new bites this morning. Just an escalating one from the morning before that is at peak itch form and growing redder.


And you know what unfair thing is? My husband, sleeping contentedly *right beside me* in our double bed, has nary a bite on him. Apparently, MOSQUITOES DO NOT LIKE HIM. What is this nonsensical crazy talk? Mosquitoes have *preferences* as to which people they bite? Whenever I've mentioned this little problem I've been having to others, this has been bandied about *multiple times*:

"Oh yes. Mosquitoes love certain people and never bite others."

Well, how do I get to be one of these vaulted OTHER people? Is this like that second group on the island on "Lost?" I mean, what the heck?

I'll be on mosquito patrol for the short term foreseeable future. My diffuser will be misting off anti-mosquito propaganda each night, and Mike is spraying something my mother-in-law claims will work around the doors and windows. We'll see.

But I got off track, didn't I? :0 I was going to talk about summer routines, because ours is all loosey goosey, like I imagine yours are too. I'm taking way longer than I should to get me and the kids out of the house in the mornings because there isn't the rushy impetus that there is during the fall and spring semesters, and Mike is teaching summer classes with his hours kind of wonky as well. I suppose that's the way summer is supposed to be though, yes?

The kids LOVE being off from school, though to me, the lack of structure is problematic for them. Sure, they can amuse themselves, but they need to be encouraged to move off the couch and away from video games. And by "encouraged," I mean "directly told that their game time is up and that they are duty bound to play outside for the rest of the afternoon." I'm not the best at coming up with crafts and summer activity ideas (because those usually involve going outside) but I do what I can. So my summer routine means coming up with ideas for my kids' summer routine.

I wish all summer days were like this past Sunday, wherein a gentle rain fell outside as I knitted and drank tea in my leggings and comfy top. What is this that you say? That I am delusional? Indeed. 😂

What does your summer routine look like? I need ideas, people! :0


  1. Can sooooooooooooo sympathize as the outdoors and I don't seem to be friends either. One thing that always helped me in the house and out is - weird as it may seem - Avon Skin So Soft. It has a great record for keeping biting insects off one's skin. Not that it's sold for that . . . but it works. Google it. :)
    My summer routine is bizarre to say the least. My niece and whatever children she's currently babysitting - seem to congregate here around lunch time. There is a free lunch truck in our little town that feeds anyone under 18 - so my niece takes the kids there. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I fix something more adult tasting for the grownups. We watch The Pioneer Woman - although none of us ever cook the enticing recipes. That's as much 'routine' as I wish.
    In the afternoons, I attempt to garden, write, market my books and/or sew as the weather and other chores such as cleaning and cooking permit.
    Do you have a craft box? Playdough? Legos? I'm blessed with having a big house filled with a couple of generations of toys. Any younger ones who come and stay too long using my wifi - are directed to another option. Toys, Barbies, Polly Pockets, Lego's (so what if they are mostly vintage?). I have a huge craft box of scrapbook paper, glue, stickers, bits and pieces of stuff - the kids make cards, books, weird animals - whatever. Empty boxes provide a world of entertainment.
    Playdough is a good option - if you get some of the little molds. You can also buy molds and make candy or soap. (All indoors) Grandparents and aunts love this. Another thing to do indoors is play a hiding game. Nope, not hide and seek. Everyone has to hide an object that belongs to another person . . . taken while the person is not looking (you might have to monitor this idea!) Then sometime a little later the little person comes and says, "I bet you wonder where that fancy key chain went?" You, of course, have to play hot or cold to find it. For some reason the kids love this. Best of all - you can do this while knitting, cooking or being otherwise engaged - but the kids still feel like you are actively doing something fun with them.
    Reading - along with a little treat -Popsicle making. Pinterest has loads of summer activities to do indoors as well as out. Does your library have a reading program? They often have evening activities to keep the kids engaged. Oops . . . almost time to cook. :)

    1. Hi Donna Alice! Yeah, I feel like my kids have gotten out of the habit of creative play. They do well when shooed outside, but if it's raining or what have you, it's like they don't know what to do with themselves. Thank you for the wonderful ideas!

  2. I came to recommend Skin So Soft but I see that Donna Alice has already chimed in! It's the original bath oil. Amazon probably has it if you need it sooner than Avon shipping. I've heard that people who eat bananas vs. non-banana eaters explain why mosquitos attack some and not others, LOL. This reminds me to put DEET into my handbag before the fireworks.

    No kids, but our summer routine has been disrupted by having the entire house exterior painted, new gutters put on, the garden shed foundation fixed and some new windows installed. Also, we just rescued a 12 year old cat from a friend who died, and we're trying to integrate her into our existing 3 cat household. Also, my husband and I both have bronchitis. When is Labor Day?!

    Happy Fourth, Tiffany!

    1. Amy, I have a friend who just started selling Avon, so I'm heading over to message her right now! Your summer routine disruptions sound very productive, that's excellent. ;-) And your new cat, how sweet! I'm so sorry to hear about your friend, her mom. <3 But I hope that she blends right into your home beautifully.

      Bronchitis, eek! Feel better soon!

      I'm developing a heat rash as I type. I too am not dreading Labor Day. :0


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