I think of flying down into a sea of pens and feathers

So!  My new fountain pen arrived.  It’s gorgeous, and! it writes sooooo smooth on the gritty old yellow so-called “legal pad” paper which is my preferred paper.  The pen came with a converter, which I hadn’t realized, or I would’ve bought it a nice bottle of purple ink, instead of a box of black cartridges.  Maybe later.

What’s that, you say?   Picture?  How about a link, instead?

I went shopping after doing the gym thing this morning.  Since I had been putting this off for a while, I had rather a Lengthy List and only accomplished about half.  I fear that I am no longer the Lean Mean Shopping Machine of yore. . .In any case, I’ll try to finish up on Thursday.

One of the things I’ll need is!  Bug repellent.  Bugs find me very tasty (it’s like mosquitoes somehow know I have a lousy immune system) and I have it in my mind to be out in gardens and zoos and suchlike things, so bug repellent has moved to the top of the (remainder of) my list.  Can anyone recommend a good, not-hideously-poisonous-to-all-living-things-and-or-cancer-causing bug repellent that’s easy to apply and doesn’t smell bad? (not that I want the earth, or anything)

The other things I’ll need on Thursday are replacement plants for the Cat Garden, which, under the combined efforts of the neighbor’s chickens and the lawn guy’s assistant, has mostly become a Weed Garden.  The dragon flowers are still doing well, but the bee balm was ruthlessly cut off last year by the LGA, and did not, as I had. . .kind of hoped. . .come back.  The garden is now well under the limbs of the red maple, so I’m thinking some hosta (called Jimmy here at the Cat Farm, because I can never remember what the damned thing is called, and Steve said that The Murdered Teamster sounded more like a rock band than a plant), or maybe some more bee balm, if the LGA can be educated not to cut off their heads, or some other shade-loving plants.  And there’s one REALLY sunny corner where some day lilies might profit…

You see, I think, why I decided to Put Off Until Thursday what I did not finish today.

While I was shopping today, I must’ve seen about eight displays of those little three-sided spinner things, whatever they’re called.  Not having kids, or grand-kids, either, I hadn’t until recently realized that these were A Thing.  Back when I was a kid (and dinosaurs, &c), I used to have a continuous steel-link necklace that I used to spin while I was reading and/or studying, because — though I couldn’t’ve told you that at the time — it helped me concentrate.  My mother took it away from me, of course, because back then such things were Weird and Not Normal and therefore Not Done.

What an age we live in.

I also learned, just today, that I live in a teensy-tiny-vanishingly-small-economically-unsupportable bubble with, like six other people (and Steve, and the coon cats.  And probably even Scrabble, who does not suffer fools, in case that’s ever been in doubt) who believe in the social contract, the rule of law, repairing the infrastructure, and that a female Doctor Who is not the End of Civilization as we know it.  Who knew?

Anyway, home now to find that Steve had started the laundry, and is even now putting supper together.  After the meal, it’s — time to go to work, with a promise from the local weatherbeans of thunderstorms, maybe, this evening.

And on that note — y’all have a fine afternoon, ‘k?

Oh!  And here are Counting Crows, “Rain King.”




20 thoughts on “I think of flying down into a sea of pens and feathers”

  1. We use a product called bug soother with great effect. Keeps critters off me and my tasty grands. Not nearly as harsh as many sprays.

  2. A plum colored pen with leopard accent! DROOL.
    Your taste matches mine at a scary level, you know?

    My friends swear up and down that Skin So Soft (the Avon product) is a great bug repellant. I so rarely go into bug zones that I couldn’t tell you from personal experience.

    I like the Idea of the ‘Jimmy Hoffa Memorial Cat Garden’ even if it does bring the FBI down on you to see if he’s buried there.

    We took a bunch of those fidget thingies to the Women in Astronomy conference because we were planning on some Problematic Brainstorming in the inclusiveness workshop we ran. Adults seem to find them just as comforting as kids. This was the first year I’d seen them, myself. I have to say that the young teaching professors were brainstorming All Kinds of Good Ideas for alternative assessments on students with what-is-now-called Cognitive Disabilities. Stuff that’s just as straightforward to implement as giving someone an extra hour to finish an exam in a quiet room. I can’t help thinking what brilliant young minds we’ve ‘weeded out’ of the research pipeline simply because they didn’t learn the canonical way. Grumph.

  3. I like repellent with 20% picaridin. It smells better than DEET, is less greasy, and doesn’t melt plastic. I’ve been using Sawyer.

  4. Bugs also find me very tasty. If you can stand the heat – long sleeves and long pants. I’ve had moderate success with a hat that was advertised as Bug off or some such. DEET works, but is stinky and not kind. I have the Badger Balm bug repellent stick, but it is very stinky. (More stinky than the OFF etc – yes, its a “green” stinky but it made me reek.) I tried B6 but it did not seem to have any effect. I think the spiral bracelets also help. Good luck.

  5. You might want to try something like Repel Lemon Eucalyptus insect repellant. It reportedly is very effective, but I haven’t had the chance to actually test it myself, though I bought a bottle. It’s aroma is not bad.

    I think that I, and probably many of your readers, live in that same teensy-tiny-vanishingly-small-economically-unsupportable bubble. We are awesome!

  6. The landscaping team at the NY house insists on blowing away everything that is not firmly rooted and some that is tentatively rooted. There is a spot in the yard where there SHOULD be a lovely layer of ground cover called “vinca”; which they routinely rake and scrape up so that it cannot gain purchase and therefore gets blown off.
    They also keep covering the roots of the gladioli, resulting in them not blooming OR spreading, as they need a bared foot to do so. It does not seem to matter how many times I come out to SHOW them. The next week it’s a different guy, doing the same thing. ARRRGG! You think they could put some of that energy and attention into the scraggley rhodedendrons? No?

  7. I’m amused that in my reader, right after your post about your new pen came Goulet Pens’ post about which fountain pen inks are especially good (but not blue or black) when not using fancy paper. There was a purple one, just sayin’. I recommend Goulet Pens (and their blog) to you as good reading and also because they offer ink sampling.

    I have found that taking a cheap vitamin B-100 complex changed my deliciousness status with bugs. I’ve heard of using B6 alone, but that’s not worked for me. I used to get bitten everywhere I missed a spot: between eyelashes, on my lips etc. No more! The one caution is, never take a B-100 Complex on an empty stomach. It takes about a week to start working.

  8. My younger son is also mosquito-bait, I sympathize!

    My mom & dad had a pet store for many years and sold Ark Naturals Neem Protect Spray – for pets, but Mom used it regularly the past 8 or 9 years to keep bugs away while she worked outside on her yard (in the northern Tidewater area in Virginia, which was abundantly supplied with mosquitoes) – sprayed on her clothing (long sleeves and long pants). We have it at home for younger son, and it seems to work…when he remembers to use it!

    I have read recently that lemon eucalyptus sprays are relatively effective. Or if the natural route isn’t effective enough for one, picaridin (a chemical alternative to DEET.

  9. I can’t help with the bug repellent. Mosquitos like me, too, as does every other blood-sucking critter in the immediate world. I manage by never, ever going outside in the early evening. That’s when they are worst here.

    I’m glad the pen is working well for you. One thing about fountain pens is that there are many many colors. At the place I shop, I counted 69 ‘purple’ inks!

  10. I just ordered in some ink samples from Goulet. I can see this spiraling outta hand fast.
    I take a B-complex. Will check to see what’s in it, exactly…

  11. Ah, Goulet! Not to egg you on (much), but don’t (wink, wink) look at a blog called “Too Many Purples,” all about purple fountain pen inks.

    A B-100 Complex uses 100mg of each kind of B, which is widely regarded as “more than you need.” It makes urine bright yellow, yada yada. But it doesn’t “just go right through you,” either, it changes how you smell to blood-suckers.

  12. Ooh, so many rabbit holes! Which shall I go down?

    Ink is…addictive. I like Noodler’s, and you might consider their Bulletprook or Eternal, so that the words don’t wash away when the pad gets wet. (Note I do mean when, not if!)

    I also don’t quite get the whole Doctor is a woman brouhaha. I think it might be quite fun! Oh, and as I am sure someone else has pointed out…is the Doctor married? Well, yeah, maybe, looks like it sometimes. It’s more complicated than that!

  13. I was stressing this evening over my inability purchase flying insects from local pet stores. Swallows only eat bugs that fly; there’s an adult swallow caring for the two late chicks. How to lure easy food their way?

    Pepe and Piper apprehend appetite in a lose-lose scenario for flying insects and baby birds.

  14. Astilbe might work well as a Cat Garden replacement. It likes shade, has lovely long flower spires, and would look good with Jimmy Hoffa 🙂

    But not until after your Grand Adventure has been relished to the full!

  15. They just had a TV segment here on bug repellents where they tested on people – no plant based ones worked – Deet (no more 35%) or one with picaridin (20% max) I don’t remember the names, except of the top 3 , one was off and one was a CVS brand – go figure.

    I am also part of that small group – I may actually start watching Dr Who again to see how the female doctor works out.

  16. Second the vote for Bug Soother. Cousins in Iowa introduced me to it – smells like lemon and vanilla and is naturopathic, which is important to me (I react badly to many of the DEET type things).

    And it works! If you like, I would be happy to send you a bottle to try. Just shoot me an email and I’ll send it tomorrow.

    Not affiliated with them in any way, just love their product and recommend it wholeheartedly ~

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