This heat is killing me

Posted July 6, 2016 By Ruth

Ok, not quite literally, but it’s definitely taking its toll.

Back over Memorial Day weekend I came way too close to heat stroke while working.  I’d been put on watering detail, and the sun beating on my head all day during the 90+ degree heat, for not quite 8hrs turned out to be too much for my system.  Despite me drinking water constantly.  I also picked up a nasty heat rash that took forever to go away.

I picked up a wide brimmed hat to stuff in my locker for when I’m put on watering duty, but I can’t find a hat that will actually stay on my head properly while I’m doing my normal job stuff, that also fits dress code, that offers enough protection from the sun.  A large portion of the problem is, admittedly, my hair, which I put up for work (not optional either, it IS getting worn up for work).  Any hat I can find that accommodates my hair doesn’t give me enough shade from the sun (and/or doesn’t fit dress code, which requires no logos other than the company’s).

I’ve mostly coped by trying to stay out of the sun for extended periods as much as possible, but sometimes that doesn’t help enough.

Monday, July 4th, I spent the afternoon outside (thankfully mostly in the shade) helping straighten and clean up and restock the gravel aisle.  And I just couldn’t manage to drink enough to stay properly hydrated.  By about 4:30 I had a serious headache, and by the time I left at 6pm I came home and essentially collapsed.

Yesterday, Tuesday the 5th, by the time I’d been at work for a couple hours (a large portion of which was outside and in the sun) my head was pounding and I was dragging.  I KNOW I wasn’t functioning on all cylinders, in retrospect I was making several (potentially major) mistakes.  By 1:30 or so I realized how bad it was and informed management that I was going home.

Today my head is still not happy, and just taking the dogs out for a quick potty run is enough to make me feel like I’ve been beaten and dragging.

I don’t normally struggle so much in the summer, but we also don’t normally get this kind of heat so constantly till later in the summer.  I just can’t seem to get adapted this year……

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Meant to post this yesterday

Posted July 5, 2016 By Ruth

But I worked a full, and busy, shift and came home and crashed.

So, anyway, here’s one of my favorite renditions of our national anthem:

 

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Dealing with Deer Flies

Posted July 3, 2016 By Ruth

For those of you who’ve never had to deal with deer flies, they’re bigger than your average house fly, and are nasty blood sucking insects.  They HAVE TO have a blood meal in order to reproduce.  And their bites seriously hurt.  Closely related to the horse fly, but unlike horse flies, deer flies will buzz your head and shoulders instead of legs and body.  They suck.  Fly predators don’t work on them.  Fly strips don’t work on them.  As far as I can tell their only natural predator is some of the flying insect eating birds.  Most insect repellents don’t do a damn thing to them.

We’ve always had at least a few of them buzzing the property, but this year has been especially bad.  Walk out a door and instantly attract at least a couple.  Wearing a hat, and saturating yourself with a horse & rider horse fly repellent reduces it, but only by some.  It had become very difficult to work in the garden, or even do any yard work due to dealing with them.

So I started digging.  Found THIS, and THIS, and THIS.  And decided I was going to try building a Deer Fly Trap.

We still had the tops that we’d cut off the rain barrels, they’re bright blue.  I can get Tanglefoot easily enough.  So on the 29th I put this up:

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The only thing I had to buy was the Tanglefoot, totally worth trying.

Half an hour later, I stepped out my back door…..and didn’t get buzzed by a deer fly?  Wow, it can’t have started working that quickly, can it?

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Damn, maybe it can……

Picture taken on July 1st:

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They’re definitely only hitting the top of the trap.  Even the few caught on the sides are on the top half.  In addition the trap has only caught a couple non-deer-fly insects, and none of those are bees or other recognizable pollinators, which was my big concern with the concept.  Since putting out the trap the worst we’ve had to deal with is the occasional persistent deer fly.

So yesterday I picked up some bright blue spray paint (maybe a shade darker than the barrel, but it was the closest I could find), and sprayed an orange HD bucket blue.  Today I coated the bottom (now the top of the trap) with Tanglefoot, along with the top several inches of the sides, and put it out.

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A couple hours later and its already collected a good number of deer flies!

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A laugh for the weekend

Posted July 3, 2016 By Ruth

10 Safety Tips, by the Adaptive Curmudgeon

 

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Normalization of deviance

Posted June 27, 2016 By Ruth

I need to find a way to send this article to my store manager.

I’m watching this happen within the store I work for over some very specific safety issues which have the potential to be very very deadly.  I suspect (am, infact, 99% sure) that the excuse is that they’re trying to give this one employee “enough rope to hang himself” so that they can fire him rather than just take away his licenses.  But they’re playing roulette with customer and employee safety as they do it.

And his stupid shit is spreading, as other new employees see him getting away with it.

And to top it off those of us who’re horrified at it are being reprimanded for “lack of respect for fellow employees” because we’re refusing to put up with said stupid shit.

Yes, there are other avenues to report unresolved safety hazards, and I (and at least one other employee) have started using it.  I just hope that no one is injured or killed in the time it takes for corporate to deal with the reports…….

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A couple more links

Posted June 27, 2016 By Ruth

These two deserved a bit more than just a line.

“adopt” a dairy cow and her milk production for that period will be donated to a food pantry!  I thought this was an awesome program, and I wish something like it was a bit wider spread.  According to a post on Facebook though not everyone agrees with me.  Apparently a group of vegans had an absolute cow (and yes, I had to phrase it that way) over the idea and got quite rude.  To say I disagree with them would be putting it mildly.  So, adopt a dairy cow and give milk to some kid who needs it!

Now, I’m not against a good firm swat on the bottom when a child misbehaves.  But I absolutely draw the line at anything that leaves marks on the child.  But I’m not sure I blame this mother at all.  Assuming the media got the story right, she found out that her three pre-teens had broken into a friends home and stolen stuff.  She turned around, grabbed an electronics cord, and beat the three of them black and blue and possibly bloody.  Though technically child abuse (as she has now been charged) I’m not sure I agree with the charges.  We’ve an epidemic in this country of a certain subset of children growing up and thinking they can take what they want because they don’t have the money to buy it.  Mom sounds like she got her ass in gear and built herself a reasonably successful company and a job, and was utterly horrified to discover that her children weren’t prepared to do the same.  By the time they’re preteen ages sending them to their rooms and grounding them isn’t the most powerful of punishments.  And this wasn’t “I forgot to pay for a candy bar” sort of theft, this was outright breaking and entering.

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Links

Posted June 27, 2016 By Ruth

The Poison Garden.

Hope for Multiple Sclerosis patients.

Yah know how its hard to get a solid sleep when you’re in a new place?  Its not your imagination.

Spare room Gin, no, it really is alcohol, and it won big!

John Hopkins is going to study lyme disease.

How to lose your lease in one simple step.

Your laugh for the day.

Fake leg allows man to commit murder.

Internet Mapping Glitch.

Why gun control can’t be solved.

Why forced watch lists aren’t the answer.

Rare birds steal undies.

Fake jobs.

Arrested for bacon vodka.

A study on who gardens and who preserves.

 

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Bill numbers are A06129 and S03464.  S03464 has passed in the state Senate!

Text here.  Duplicated here.  Article on it here.

The ONLY maybe good thing I can see is that because it’ll be a public list you might be able to realize you’re on it, and maybe start the process to get yourself removed, before it causes actual problems for you.  Maybe.

If they were going to stick to requiring an actual conviction for terrorist offenses I’d not mind so much.  But no, they’re also going to use the .GOV “terrorist lists” to fill out this registry.

Fuckers.

If you live in NY state please contact your Assembly person and let them know what you think!

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Deer repellent

Posted June 23, 2016 By Ruth

I bought a single, small, bottle of Plantskydd from a locally owned place back in 2013.

That first year either I didn’t apply it right, or the insane rains we had that year reduced its effectiveness, not sure which.  But ever since it has worked wonderfully.  As long as I re-apply once a month or so it has done an awesome job of keeping deer and rabbits out of my garden.

Did I mention I’m still using that original bottle?  Plantskydd’s site says once opened they’re only good for 3 months or so.  But if the bottle I have has lost any of its effectiveness I can’t tell.  I was slow getting it out on the garden this year, and something was sure munching, but once I sprayed the Plantskydd all munching stopped.

Oh, and I don’t usually spray it ON the garden plants either, though it’s technically safe to do so.  I generally just spray it in a circle around the garden and it does just fine!

I will warn you, it REEKS until it dries (which is about a day).  Seriously puke worthy reek too.  Not an issue where I am, but if you’re gardening in your urban garden and your neighbor’s bedroom window overlooks your garden they may not appreciate you spraying Plantskydd about, just to warn you.  The dogs do find it quite interesting though, till it dries, so if you have a dog who’s allowed to run loose by your garden you may want to restrain them till its dry, else your dog may smell extra bad for a while.

Plantskydd isn’t available from any of the big box stores, at least by me.  I found it at a locally owned garden place, or you can order it off their website.

note: I bought the Plantskydd with my own money and this review is completely unsolicited, well, by Plantskydd anyway, I had a friend ask me what I used to repel deer!

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Garden update

Posted June 21, 2016 By Ruth

The weather has been insane.  Hot.  Not quite record breaking, but close on more than one occasion.  Dry too, rain barrels are coming in handy.  Then we get a “cold” snap, which drops us to normal seasonal weather for a couple days, then back to hot.

End result, the garden is GROWING FAST.  Since I tend to pick for short season, cool weather tolerant, varieties we’ll have to see how this works in the long run, but most of the plants are growing huge.

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Buena Mulata Peppers

 

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Black Icicle tomatoes, those plants are pushing 4feet tall now

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Volunteer SOMETHING growing in one of the Black Plum Tomato tires.  I was originally figuring cantaloupe, but looking at those leaves I’m wondering if they’re a hybrid with something, time will tell I guess!

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Potatoes

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Miniature White Cucumbers, last two years I put them on a trellis, this year I decided to just let them spread and see if it makes a difference.  So far they’re quite happy as they are.

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Sugar Snap Peas, I grew a bushing variety this year, they might be smaller plants, but so far I’ve gotten far more peas off of them!

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Onions and lettuce.  This is one my bed failure, that white tube is supposed to allow me to feed water into the sub-layer of gravel, and on this one container it has somehow gotten blocked and water isn’t feeding right.  So I’m going to have to dig up the container and figure out what happened.

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Blue Berry Tomatoes.  According to Bakers Creek, where I bought these seeds, this variety came from Wild Boar Farms, not the European GMO variety.  I’m not rabid anti-GMO, but I do like growing different things than what I can get in the stores!

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Long Pie Pumpkins

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Cantaloupe

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Jalapenos

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White CHerry tomatoes

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Tzimbalo Melon Pear, and volunteer something…..

In addition I didn’t get photos of the watermelons, zucchini, okra, sunflowers, carrots, Hot Wax peppers, paprika peppers, habenaro peppers……

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