Remember this chair? Coffee on the deck in the morning? Dinner and a book in the evenings?
Since nothing is ever perfect, perfect country living on the banks of rivers comes with local pestiferous neighbours: sundry, assorted and hungry mosquitoes with me as breakfast, lunch and dinner all rolled into one. But, I have found a solution that doesn't stink, isn't all gooey wrecking my clothes and everything I touch. And, oh, yeah -- it really works...
...Mosqui-go-way body soap by Bear Elements, who sell their own line of body lotions, face creams and soaps every Saturday morning at the Woodstock Farmers Market, and which can also be purchased online. I've been using their products for two years now. There's also a Mosqui-go-way spray, but I think I prefer the soap.
I conducted a very scientific study yesterday: I sat out for an hour reading and eating dinner and the mosquitoes wouldn't leave me alone. Came in here, washed my face, neck and arms with the soap, and sat out bug-free for at least another hour, until 7:30 or so, which around here on the river is mosquito PCT (Party Central Time). Aaaand no more mosquitoes trying to crawl into my ears at night.
I'd be really interested in hearing from people up north where the mosquitoes are so big they carry you off to devour later, see if this soap would work for them.
And....... for several months now I have been on a quest for a decent pair of walking shoes and some sandals. I have everything wrong with my feet (plantar fasciitis, pronation, weak ankles, toasted knees and back), and I am prepared to pay good money for good shoes. Like Microsoft 8, these damned shoe manufacturers can't leave a good design alone. Whatever happened to the original Nike Airs? Or the Air Walk brand board shoes I bought for $20 three years ago that fit perfectly?? Not anymore. And now EVERY pair of running/walking shoe on the market has this stupid, dangerous, physically destructive "rocker toe" or "rocker sole" or whatever the hell they call it. And while I'm in full rant mode: what's with carrying no shoes less than a D width? Arghhhhhhhhhhhhh...
I've spent months dragging around to all the shoe stores I can think of in several local towns, from discount "designer" stores in out of the way/next to the highway malls to take-your-breath-away, nosebleed, full-price stores on the main drag. I've been to stores where I tell the salesperson I'd like a plain, simple, flat walking shoe and/or slide sandal in black, white or some combination of neutral. Tasteful, in other words. All they show me is over the top glitzy crap -- with heels! Clean out your ears, people! Or I get a very helpful salesguy [Hello, Sears!] -- who brings me a box with entirely the wrong shoes! "Well... they look exactly the same. [So, like, what's your problem, lady?]" That's a quote. My whole life I've been a person who, wherever I live, buys local and eats local whenever I can. But this -- this is ridiculous when no matter how hard I try, I CAN'T spend any money.
Yesterday, having a day off, I went to Kitchener. I confess: I get a kick out of Winners -- especially the food and kitchen gadget aisles -- and once or twice a year like to wander around the big box Winners on Fairview there. In all the years that Winners has been around I have never found any of this "designer" stuff they maintain they carry. For sure, I haven't found a single designer anything that fits me, just the food. Funny how that works, eh? Definitely one size fits all with food! But yesterday, for the first time I did find some Clarks. Love Clarks shoes. Great price. And every single pair too small or too big.
At the big box complex next door was The Shoe Per Store. In ten years living in this area, I'd never been in there. Walk in. A saleslady -- I think her name was Kat, or Kate, maybe? -- was there at the door and greeted me. Talk about customer service to the MAX. She actually paid attention to my whiny tale of woe about my sore feet, took me all over the store, showed me styles, brought me different sizes. Yes, unfortunately, all of their running shoes had those stupid rocker toes, but I bought three glorious pairs of shoes, including Mephisto walking shoes for -- get this -- less than half price. Ditto Naot sandals. And some silly black canvas board shoes with hot pink trim for faffing around. They'll definitely need arch support insoles in them, but they're cute. Will they make me look cute? Uhhhhmmm... that's a negatory.
Bonehead move of the day, though: I get to the cash desk, open my wallet -- and no debit card. I had booked my hotel the night before for the Gem Expo -- only a week and a half away! -- and forgotten to put my card back. Gaaaaaaaaaaaah... 40 minutes to drive home, make a sandwich while I'm there, 40 minutes to drive back.
But I finally have happy feet. Now I can go out and walk off some of this awful weight that I've put on since Max died.
|The late, great Max the Chinese-Crested-pot-bellied-pig dawg. |
Hard to believe this was taken just over a year ago.