It seems to completely encompass our lives lately, this living on a farm business. And by the pictures, you don’t blame me whatsoever. You can’t have that kind of view, that kind of air, that kind of quiet, pace, smell, feel … okay, I could really go on here …. you can’t have all that wonder and not have it assimilate into every little aspect of your life.
I’m a white girl, I really white girl. In fact, I’m almost see through I’m so white. I’m fairly careful with the sun. I’m not obsessive, but careful and take the precautions I can. I’m also highly allergic to mosquito bites. Not only do the little buggers cause itching, but severe swelling, pain and if it’s too close to the joint, arthritic pain.
What do the two have to do with another? Well I’ll tell ya.
I know everyone has seen the wrinkled up old guy at their local coffee shop and you just knew he was a farmer. His age is hard to tell because his eyes are so bright, especially when he laughs. His skin is like old leather that got wet and left in a corner somewhere. It’s almost dirty looking it’s so brown and each of the wrinkles has a story to tell.
I have the answer. It wasn’t just because he’s a guy and real men don’t wear sunscreen. No. It’s because he chose bug spray over sunscreen.
We’ve all heard that you cannot mix the two because serious sickness. Two nasty chemicals such as that mixed on your skin make a nasty concoction. Don’t get me started on the ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ stuff, because it doesn’t work. Neither the sunscreen nor bug spray from the health food stores is going to work, or last more than an hour (I use it on my youngest who needs to be protected from DEET).
I know, as a self-proclaimed enviro-geek, that both DEET insect repellant and sunscreen are separately horrible in their own little ways. We are warned about putting DEET on kids on the side of the can. Sunscreen is guessed to be part of the skin cancer problem, not the solution. I mean there is a warning about mixing the two together so you know that separately they are not all sunshine and fairy tales. Really, for the health of us all, this stuff should be taken off the market altogether. I can only imagine the horrid stories of cancer coming out of the plants that make these.
Our farm is like any other. The birds are tremendous and you wonder at the sheer quantity until you head outside yourself and find that you are feeding the fat little mosquitoes that those plump birds are well fed on.
When we took possession it was taken well after the fact of the previous owners moving out. If we had taken possession a few weeks before we did, like we were supposed to, the weeds wouldn’t be so out of control and the mosquitoes wouldn’t have had so many opportunities to thrive. When we arrived the hordes of the little buggers was unimaginable. Eight landed on my forearm alone.
That first day I realize why there were so many wrinkled and tanned farmers in the world.
They chose DEET crap over titanium chemical filled crap, just like I have been. I admit it freely and I’ll keep doing it. I have yet to put sunscreen on out there at all because I’ve been hosing myself with Off everyday we’ve been working. I got burnt the one day and still would choose bug spray over sunscreen.
I do make the choice to cover up when I can. Last night it was still quite warm but I wore a long-sleeved sweater so I could avoid the bug spray for the evening. Thankfully there was a good breeze keeping the blood sucking buggers away. Although I’m a proponent of chemical avoidance, I only do it if it works. Cleaners, laundry detergent, soap, shampoo, etc are only replaced if I can find an equal, non-toxic replacement. It is quite difficult to find ones that actually work and I think the Health industry isn’t quite there yet in this one area. They tout on about the efficiency of citronella but know that it also cannot be used in large quantities without making us sick, and it works less than an hour on our bodies, if it works at all.
For now, I’ll chance the wrinkles. I’ll put on my hat, long-sleeved sweater and spray the exposed parts. When they find something non-toxic that works almost as well as DEET (I’ll take less than the 8-hr length of DEET but more than the 45 minutes of citronella), I’ll be right on it, but for now, spray me up!