A few days ago Mrs. Goodneedle posted a lovely poem about gratitude and one of the verses was;
"When life gives me dark clouds and rain I appreciate the moisture that brings a soft curl to my hair."
Well, I've got the rain and the moisture and I guess I've got the soft curls too.
The rainy season is supposedly over. According to the Japanese weather bureau. Maybe someone should tell the weather. I missed most of the rainy season while I was in the States but this week we have had rain and thunder and HEAT and HUMIDITY. That's why the curls. But the heat and humidity also brings out the bugs which I find difficult to be grateful about but I do have some ways of battling the insects.
Traditionally Japanese ward off the ever present mosquitoes by burning incense coils. Since California never had mosquitoes I don't know how the rest of the world deals with mosquitoes but Japanese will often burn these coils in the garden or by the windows of their houses. Recently I've even seen farmers with incense burners hanging from their belts to protect them while they are in the fields. I have used incense coils especially for Choco out in the yard but occasionally will burn them at night in the house. One coil will burn for about 7 hours and make for a mosquito free evening. I'm not sure how great all that smoke is for the lungs but it does have a nostalgic aroma which is not unpleasant.
Another way that Japanese will protect themselves from mosquitoes is to hang nets from the ceiling and sleep under them at night. I think this method is going by the wayside though because the nets take up space and only seem to work with traditional type rooms. Tetsu remembers using mosquito nets when he was a boy.
A more modern way to keep the mosquitoes away is by this nifty little machine that plugs into the wall. The center heats up and a small mat about the size of an eraser is placed on the heating element. I think there must be pesticides or something that will dissipate into the air when the mat is heated and I often use my mosquito repellent gadget at night. No smoke or smell and I just replace the mat every night before going to bed.
And in the event that the mosquitoes get through all the smoke and pesticides, there is a wonderful product called Unako-wa which relieves itchiness. It must have menthol or something in it because one dab and the itchy area is cool and tingly and no longer itches. Tetsu goes through a bottle or two of this each mosquito season...
So, we are grateful to all the people who have invented ways to keep mosquitoes at bay.