Posted tagged ‘mosquito coils’

“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.”

August 24, 2015

We have yet to shake the dark and damp of the last few days. It almost feels as if we are living in a weather limbo. It doesn’t rain and the sun doesn’t shine. Today though feels a bit cooler than yesterday. The weather in the paper says maybe showers tonight and maybe showers tomorrow.

Last night’s movie was What’s Up Doc. My friends hadn’t seen it in years, and they laughed all the way through. It was a perfect choice for our weather moods, for the dark days we have been suffering through. The deck was still damp as we had no sun to dry it yesterday, but the table and chairs had been under the umbrella and were dry. There was no breeze and the air was heavy. We had bugs, a rarity on my deck, so we lit punks to keep away the bugs. We all had memories of those punk sticks from our childhoods when we’d spin one in the air and pretend it was a sparkler. I love the smell of punks. There is nothing else like it so my nose easily triggers punk memories from way back. We could even buy them at the white store. They were kept in a large glass jar. Last night we put a few sticks in the deck boxes, and they worked: no bugs.

Some volunteers used mosquito coils in Ghana to keep away bugs. The coils were spiral-shaped and were mounted on a small piece of thin metal so they were suspended in the air. Most of them were green. They too had a distinctive smell to repel mosquitos, and I know I’d recognize that smell if my nose ever got even the tiniest whiff. The coils burned for a long time so you had to be careful where you put them as they could cause fires. Some volunteers without screens used them inside. None of us gave any thought as to whether or not they were harmful. Come to find out the burning of one mosquito coil releases the same amount of particulate matter as burning 75-137 cigarettes. At least we didn’t get bitten!

“Mosquitoes remind us that we are not as high up on the food chain as we think”

April 2, 2013

Spring is in hiatus. My furnace is blasting away, and I’m glad as the house was cold this morning. There was no lingering to appreciate the flowers and the colors in my front garden when I went to get the papers. I noticed a few feeders need filling so I’ll venture out to the deck later. One errand only today: dog food and cat litter at Agway.

The Red Sox were tremendous yesterday. I wore my green Sox t-shirt and my blue sweatshirt with the World Series Emblem. Rally monkey sat and watched the entire game having nothing to do: the Sox led the whole time. We had hot dogs for lunch as befitting a ballgame. Much of the team is new, and this was their first game in a Boston uniform so we spent time trying to figure out who was at bat, but Pedroia we know and his first at bat was a single, a great way to open his season! I know it’s only one game, but it is the first opener the Sox have won in a while. It was a good afternoon.

Watching baseball made me impatient for summer. My deck is still wearing winter with all the furniture covered, the candles packed away and the yard ornaments in storage. I want warm mornings and breakfast on the deck. I can hardly wait for our first Saturday movie. I don’t have a theme for this year so I’ll have to start thinking and looking. I do have a new bird for the yard, a Christmas present. It is white, looks a bit like an egret and is huge. In my Easter basket was a small door and two small windows, obviously for a garden sprite to set up housekeeping. I also have some new lights, two stars with trails of lights, for the trees in the back. The backyard in summer is magical.

I remember lit punk sticks from when I was little. They had this smell I can still identify, and I loved waving the stick around as if it were a sparkler. I used to watch as the stick burned smaller and smaller. The smell kept the bugs away but I never noticed. It was the fun of the punk stick I remember the most.

We used mosquito coils in Ghana because lots of places had no screens. I really liked the smell of them as they burned. The coil had a hole at the smallest part, and you had to be careful when you fit the hole on the holder or the coil could break. The coils burned from the outside ring to the inside smallest ring. Ash just fell on the floor. Once, when my friends and I were hitching a ride from Koforidua to Accra, a Mercedes-Benz stopped. The owner of the car was a Lebanese man who made and sold mosquito coils. He gave us a few to take with us. The other part of that ride I remember is we were in the back seat where the smell of the exhaust was almost overpowering. We opened both windows and stuck our heads out so we’d survive the ride, but it was worth it: we got free mosquito coils and a ride in a Mercedes all the way to Accra.