23 July, 2011

The Woes of Summer

Yes, the summer season is all about the joys of eating watermelon, swimming every day, and vacation from school.  But at our house unfortunately those come along with the woes of summer . . .

bug bites and crazy heat!

Bug bites are the bane of my existence in the summer.  My children learned to count into the double digits by counting their insect bites, I get huge, red, ridiculously itchy welts every time I am bitten, and our family can see the mosquitoes hovering outside our home's windows, just waiting to get in and bite us.  Truly, they hover out there in wait.  Ugh!

So, here's what we do to deal with this "woe of summer."

As soon as we realize a pesky bug has sunk her teeth into us, we run for the kitchen.  There we grab the bottle of meat tenderizer.  Yes, you read that correctly . . . meat tenderizer!  It contain papaya enzyme which dissolves the proteins mosquitoes leave behind when they chomp on you! Seriously, it works like a charm - if you put it on within about half an hour of getting the bite.

So, when I or my children get a bite here's what we do:

  • Run like Junie B. Jones (that is speedy quick) to the kitchen, and grab the meat tenderizer
  • Sprinkle some into our hands
  • Mix the powdered meat tenderizer with water until it makes a medium to thick paste
  • Rub the paste liberally to the bite and if it seriously itches, we have been known to sing this little ditty as we rub:

Well, there was a little chigger
And he wasn't any bigger
Than the wee small head of a pin,
But the bump that he raises
Just itches like the blazes
And that's where the rub comes in

Oh the rub
Oh the rub
That is where the rub comes in
'Cause the bump that he raises
Just itches like the blazes
And that's where the rub comes in!

(to the tune of Polly Wolly Doodle)

Leave the paste on as long as possible.  Eventually it will dry out and rub off, but hopefully by then, the bite will have been "tenderized."  That is, the proteins will have been dissolved, and the bite will be nothing more than a tiny red bump that does not itch!  Or at least not even close to as much as it would have otherwise.  

And when you are sweltering, sweaty, and generally miserable from crazy summer heat, you can try this little pick-me-up.

Lavender mist

Take that unused plant mister - because surely your plants are outdoors in the summer anyway - and turn it into a people mister!  Fill it with fresh water and about 3 drops of pure lavender oil. Put the mister in a shady spot in your house or better still, in the refrigerator!  Spritz yourself and/or your children liberally whenever the urge strikes you.  It is very refreshing!  


What's your favorite way of beating the "woes of Summer?"


  1. I also recommend peppermint oil for cooling. Just don't use if you're pregnant. We stay cool by drinking lots and lots of mint teas.

    I also stay cool by hosing my children down. There is a lovely moist breeze that mists back on you as you drench them. It's quite enjoyable and vaguely passive aggressive in that it gives release to the fact they're hot and annoying! ;)

    Oh! And, our new love is ice cream. Oh my! That chocolate hard stuff they dip a cone in is amazing. I simply don't remember our soy cream ever being so creamy and slick as it slides down your throat. It's really a beautiful experience!

    By the way...did you get soaked in the monsoon this afternoon? I did. Chickens were smart enough to get in their coop all by theirselves but I was the twit out soaked and being electrocuted by the electric fence. Water + Electric fencing = me hootin' and hollerin' while the kids point and laugh. ;) (I was cool though.)


  2. Not much sun for us here in Ireland!! Very changing. Made it to the beach on Wednesday.. Not great since. No mosquitoes, no flies, and surprisingly, not many bees!!! By the way,I love the new picture you put up on your blog..And I LOVE the poem you posted too....

  3. Karen, I made this great bug off stuff this summer and have not had many bites and hubby and I are outside all of the time gardening. And if hubby doesn't put any spray on him or we get a little poison ivy or tick bites (lots this year!) my salve works great. Here are links.


  4. Karen, too funny, I was going to chime in here and tell you about Lynda's bug off spray but she's posted it already!


Thank you for your comments. They are always much appreciated. : )