I'd much rather read than write so it's not much of a blog...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

May In March

Actually it's more like July in March. Which begs the question, what pray tell will July be like?

If our temperatures continue to run more than 20 bloody degrees above average, July will feel like equatorial Africa and I will be suicidal. I know it's pointless to speculate but I had such high hopes of doing so many things that I wasn't able to do the past two summers...

Friday, March 16, 2012

Go Bobcats!!

As of March 19 the Ohio University Bobcats have beaten Michigan and South Florida to advance to the 'sweet 16'.

We aren't much into basketball but the chance to see an Ohio U. team playing brings back fond memories.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Let Them Eat Ticks – and Slugs

The Tractor Supply Co. also sells guinea fowl which I have every intention of getting some next spring if I survive this summer...

Antibiotics & Insecticides

Specifically Doxycycl HYC and Permethrin. In trying to remove the tick, it broke off and left a piece The Mister and I couldn't remove. I saw an NP this afternoon who removed the remnant and prescribed two capsules of the Doxycycl. It seems a prophylactic dose within 72 hours of being bitten by a tick is effective in preventing Lyme Disease and the other Borrelia, B. Miyamotoi. I'm not sure about Babesiosis which is also on the rise. I'll have a blood test in eight weeks when I have an annual checkup with my doctor.

Meanwhile I mixed some Permethrin and sprayed a couple of pairs of pants, socks and boots. I used an economical concentrate I found in the equine area at The Tractor Supply Co. It comes in a clever bottle that measures out a half ounce which I'm mixing with 10 ounces of water to make a 0.5% spray. I have a fairly new Columbia® Bug Shield™ shirt and I've ordered a couple more. I'll eventually treat the shirts I wear in the yard and garden but it's going to be a royal pain keeping track of when I treated what and how many times I've washed everything.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Year of the Tick

that's 59º at 1:18 AM!!

Also on this date I got my first tick bite after removing another tick from my pants at the park yesterday. I hope everyone who has aggravated me this so-called winter with a moronic grin and "isn't this weather great?" gets at least one tick bite this year. Not really.

I knew I was taking my chances yesterday, doing a long hike before I bought and applied permethrin to my clothes & boots but I've got some now and I won't go out again until I've used it.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Repeat Performance

Of course I have no way of knowing if it's the same bird but I'd like to think the Carolina Wren that was here last February has been back again this year.  He put on quite a performance one morning last week, singing his full song rather than just the usual raspy call. I never saw more than the one wren last year and he was gone after a few weeks but but I'm hoping he'll attract a mate this spring and stick around.

Friday, March 2, 2012

A Lesson in Lard

It turns out the smoking point of lard can vary greatly, even when the lard is from the same source.

Several years ago I bought leaf lard online from Prairie Pride in Minnesota. I bought enough to use for pies and frying and while the lard made for some of my better pies and galettes I was disappointed to find it would smoke as soon as I tried to do even simple pan frying.

In clearing out the freezer recently I put some of the old lard in a pan with a thermometer and confirmed that its smoking point was about 320º. Last fall I ordered some fresh lard from Prairie Pride and I decided to check it too. I'm not sure what its smoking point is but it's above 365º. The first lard also left a residue in the bottom of the pan while the fresher lard left nothing behind.

If or when I order leaf lard again I will ask about the smoking point and what recourse I have if it's not above 365º. Lesson learned.