Friday, November 19, 2010

Tra La La

Gonna be one of them days. Shovel hard packed manure while hummin' Tra La La, Sh-Boom Sh-Boom, Boom-Shack-Lacka, Boom-Shacka-Lacka and doobie doobie doo.

Mandy's terrorized by two sounds. The sound of thunder and gunshots make her shiver and pant. Because thunder happens at night, she hides under the bed. Summer showers started the whole nervous tremor frenzy. It has to be an unseen kinda thing, like primitive peoples eons ago who were driven crazy by natural, unexplainable forces.

Take me for example. I'm paranoid about those high tension electric towers. When the neighbor went into a panic because of rumors about the electric company installing high voltage transmission towers that would run over the ridge tops, I imagined all sorts of fallout from magnetic waves to changes in the electrical charge around the darn things. I'm not convinced that all the radio waves, infra-red and micro wave technology isn't a contributing factor to death and destruction of The American Way.

Yes, I've managed to get our electric bill down to one half the kilowatts we used in 2002, so don't give me a hard time about being a hypocrite. With winter coming around, we hang our clothes in the basement. It's more work because I have to keep the wood stove going and my Amish friends hang laundry in the shelter of the wraparound deck on their house.

One thing I do know is that I read a Mother Earth News article recently that documented the widespread use of systemic insecticides by vegetable growers. Don't quote me, but if I remember correctly about 74% of conventionally grown lettuce and 70% of broccoli showed residues of imidacloprid, one of four systemic pesticides. The good news is that there's a Pesticide Action Network reviewing the results of tests conducted by the USDA. Strawberries, potatoes, sweet peppers, collard greens, canola, cereal, corn, sugar beets, cucumbers are a few examples of crops treated with systemics. Honeybees are the first to be affected by the pesticides. It's a prominent factor in the decline and death of honeybees in this country. Talk to any old timer in the country and they'll relate horrific stories of riding on the DDT wagon with Dad. One of my library buddies quoted an astounding rise in the cancer rate now versus 50 years ago. My library angel tells me about one of her six kids who did farm work applying crop sprays. Nights he'd come home drenched with the stuff. "He was sick for a whole winter after that," she related.

Mandy went to the vet yesterday for her annual shots. As I paid the bill in the reception areas, my vet calls me back in the examination room. "Mandy has fleas," she tells me. She points to red spots on the vinyl cushion of the examination table after she sprayed a disinfectant. I spend a good portion of my day washing dog and cat blankets. There's a chalkboard chart in the entryway where I keep track of all replaceable filters 'n such on a timetable. The last treatment of Frontline for the kids was October 6th. I assumed colder weather would eradicate the problem. As luck would have it, we had a back supply of dog Frontline but none for the cat. Wal-Mart assumes, as I did, that the season is over for fleas and ticks so Dawn couldn't find any there. It looks like a road trip to the big city with Jorge who bought a new car.

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