* * * * * * *

"Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful."
- Unknown

"That which does not kill you, makes you stronger."
- Handed down through the ages.

"Life's tough. It's even tougher when you're stupid."
- John Wayne

Why I Hate Summer . . .

"Why I Hate Summer . . . and other complaints."

by Chicken Mama

There are two primary reasons why I'm a cold weather person.
1.  I get overheated easily (thank you, premature menopause).
2.  I hate bugs.  I mean, mosquitoes.  Black flies.  No-see-ums.  Those kind of bugs.

Two days ago, the bugs came out in force.  Now, I'm not talking the "it's too buggy out" when you're trying to sit on the deck that it was over Memorial Day Weekend.  Oh, no, no, no, no, no.  I'm already thinking back to those days with fondness!

I'm talking the kind of buggy where they're so thick that the bugs fly into your mouth and up your nose in the 20 seconds it takes to open the back hatch of the car, wait for Maisy to jump in, and hoist Tucker in.  The kind of buggy when you have to wear your bug jacket & head net just to get from the house to the car in the morning or, vice versa, at night.  The kind of buggy when the mosquitoes, attracted by your carbon-dioxide-filled morning breath, start their assault at 4:45 in the morning (yesterday) or, better yet, 3:45 in the morning (this morning).

The kind of buggy that it doesn't MATTER that you slept under this last night:

STILL, they found a way in and began the assault.  I battled it for an hour, from 3:45 (yes, the sky of northeastern MN is beginning to lighten at that time of day!) to 4:45 when I finally gave up and got up.

When I was little and growing up in the then-sticks (ha!), Mama & Papa Pea had a huge, reinforced mosquito net canopy over their bed.  I had bunk beds (solid ends) and always retreated to the bottom bunk during bug season when a sheet of mosquito netting got thumb-tacked over the opening.

I've always . . . until just last night . . . figured that the reason we had so many bugs in that house was because the house was old, consisted of addition upon addition, and certainly wasn't tight.  I know now, though:  a modern, so-air-tight-it-needed-an-air-exchanger  house doesn't stop 'em, either!

Last night, I closed up the house instead of leaving it (somewhat) open as I usually do in mild or warm weather.  Tucker didn't get to lay in the front door all night with his nose sticking through the flap cut into the screen door for him and Maisy and the cats.  Nope, the front door was solidly shut.  I even took to calling the dogs in via the door leading out to the deck instead of one of the doors they'd been waiting at:  that way, they'd have had to run the length of the house by the time they hit the door and, in theory, have fewer hitchhiking bugs due to their motion vs. stationary sitting.  Nope, I did NOT want a repeat of the previous night's interrupted sleep.

To top it off, I even pulled out that sleep screen (pictured earlier) that Papa Pea had loaned me last year.

And what did all this planning & preparation get me?  Yup, even fewer hours of sleep.

The bugs are just UN-GAWD-LY this year.  Dunno why!  Each spring that we have a long, cool one (such as this year) or late frosts, we expect that mosquito populations will be down.  I wonder if there really is any rhyme or reason to it, though?  Certainly hasn't seemed to have helped THIS year!

Point of interest:  when blackflies get into the house, they are not a problem.  Blackflies either congregate on the windows or around a lamp turned on.  They thwack against the ceiling above that lamp and then, in the morning, are dead.  Nice!

Mosquitoes, however?  They live to antagonize.  To torture.  To tease.  To incite visions of spraying your bedroom with a volley of rounds from an UZI, all in the spirit of getting rid of the damn things, once and for all!

And, even tho I haven't opened a door ONCE since everyone was in for the night last night, WHY am I still killing mosquitoes this morning?????  Whyyyyyy?!  Where are they coming from?  There's no window that's open and missing a screen.  And, the windows containing screens with holes are not open!  I'll bet I've killed 20 while sitting here writing this.

About the only thing I can think of to help the infestation is to have the dogs groomed.  They were (over)due, anyway, and giving them their summertime short cuts will reduce the cozy spots the mosquitoes can ride in on.

Beyond that, I had the following ordered by 6:00 this morning!  Just like the old days, huh, Mom & Dad?!

FREE SHIP US Army Mosquito Insect Bar Field Netting NEW 

I ordered another Army-issue (as the canopy above is) headnet, too.  Mine's fine, but I'm starting to get paranoid!  WHAT would I do if I got a rip in it????

As for all-work-outside-the-house, this is my apparel de rigueur:

I'm fine with expecting bugs outside this time of year.  It's part of the deal.

June 2005

May 2008

But, to get no respite INside?!  ARGH!  (Thank GOODNESS it wasn't like this last week when those two sweet kiddies were here!!!)
Final point of interest:  blackflies pollinate our guarded-with-more-secrecy-than-a-favorite-fishing-spot blueberries!  But, mosquitoes:  what have YOU done for me lately?!


  1. Yikes, that is the one thing I don't look forward to when we move, but we will make sure we have all the equipment listed LOL! Will citronella torches around the doorways help? Probably not, yikes... how long does the worst of it last? Maybe a couple of iguanas on pedestals on either side of the doorways? :)

  2. Wow, that is bad. Do you make your own soaps? I have handmade w/ citronella in it. I'd be happy to send some your way to test out.

  3. Cute picture " mosquito man" I remember those days up-north-we had a odd house-to which after I had children I hunted down a antique chamber pot-came in real handy.--Thanks for the heads up up on how really bad the bugs are since my son is headed up to Deer River--He found a guy that will rent him his cabin for a couple of nights including a pontoon . This lake is a good walleye lake he is taking his 2 boys and all the nephews. I can't wait I get a break for 2 whole days ---jk I will miss the boys and I know they will have a great time in the big north woods~~~~~~~~~~~~~ [ waves]

  4. Oh my! I'm so sorry about those pesky buggers! I used to live in MN and actually worked for mosquito control in the cities. I know you live up north so you don't get any relief! I'll wish you a dry(ish) summer and a long lovely autumn!

  5. We don't have bugs to that degree, but I'm still there with you with my solid dislike off summer. I've never been a fan and at this point in my life, I doubt highly that I ever will be. Hoping you find the source of the buggers entrance into the house and that you're able to get some sleep!!

  6. Erin, you know, until you mentioned citronella candles, I hadn't thought of it. But, since then (THANK YOU!), I have had 'em going by the screen doors . . . and I think (?) it's helped a little!

    Ms. Apple Pie, ANOTHER good suggestion! I'm not a huge fan of citronella (particularly on my skin, but THANK YOU for the kind offer!!), but that did remind me to pull out an essential oil that works well against repelling bugs! Besides wearing it, I doused my pillow with it for sleeping.

    Judy, enjoy your time alone! :) I hope the bugs are okay for them . . . at least when they're out on the water!

    Kelly, when I lived in the Cities, the stuff they sprayed for mosquito control always made me nervous. Seems like that is more "invasive" (to everyone!) vs. each of us making the independent decisions to put on bug dope or not, you know?

    Becky, really watching which doors I come in and out . . . and trying to minimize and/or quicken those comings & goings seems to have helped a little. :)

  7. So the black flies are still out? I will have to call my brother to see if they are active that far south of you [ Deer River ][ where my brother lives ] so the boys know what to except [ bug wise] on there trip there next week. Beautiful view of the lake. There is a new commercial on TV advertising for lake Michigan. I honestly thought it was some where further south,but then they go and say"visit lake mich." it made me think that it must be what some of your views are like"breath-taking" I want to see what your new tree looks like-never heard of it either


If you are familiar with me and where I live, please respect my right to retain some anonymity by not referring to me by anything other than Chicken Mama nor mentioning city/town/villages by place names. Thanks!