Monday, June 14, 2010

14 June 1956 “Safe Pest Control and Rustic Holidays?”

Today that little curser is pulsating back at me. The blank ‘page’, well screen, just keeps returning my stare. It is not filling up with little words and phrases as it is usually want to do when I sit at it. There are so many things I have discussed with myself to write about here and then just let it go. Not sure why, really.
It could be the rain ( I can’t remember the last sunny day?). It could be my growing list of items to work on this summer to prepare for fall. It could be the Garden ( I know have a pest problem attacking my grapes and my new green bean shoots) Perhaps I will share of the ‘homemade’ bug sprays I am going to try. I will let you know how they work. Here are some of them:
Try herbal sprays against any leaf-eating pests and make note of what works for future reference.

  • How to Make: In General, herbal sprays are made by mashing or blending 1 to 2 cups of fresh leaves with 2 to 4 cups of water and leaving them to soak overnight. Or you can make a herbal tea by pouring the same amount of boiling water over 2 to 4 cups fresh or 1 to 2 cups dry leaves and leaving them to steep until cool. Strain the water through a cheesecloth before spraying and dilute further with 2 to 4 cups water. Add a very small amount of non-detergent liquid soap (1/4 teaspoon in 1 to 2 quarts of water) to help spray stick to leaves and spread better. You can also buy commercial essential herbal oils and dilute with water to make a spray. Experiment with proportions, starting with a few drops of oil per cup of water.

  • How to Use: Spray plants thoroughly, especially undersides of leaves, and repeat at weekly intervals if necessary.

  • Garlic Spray
    • Protection Offered: Good results, with quick kill, have been noted against aphids, cabbage loppers, earwigs, June bugs, leafhoppers, squash bugs and whiteflies. The spray does not appear to harm adult lady beetles, and some gardeners have found that it doesn't work against the Colorado potato beetles, grape leaf skeletonizers, grasshoppers, red ants, or sowbugs.
    • How to Make: Soak 3 ounces of finely minced garlic cloves in 2 teaspoons of mineral oil for at least 24 hours. Slowly add 1 pint of water that has 1/4 ounce liquid soap or commercial insecticide soap mixed into it. Stir thoroughly and strain into a glass jar for storage. use at a rate of 1 to 2 Tablespoons of mixture to a pint of water. If this is effective, try a more dilute solution in order to use as little as possible.
    • How to Use: Spray plants carefully to ensure thorough coverage. To check for possible leaf damage to sensitive ornamentals from the oil and soap in the spray, do a test spray on a few leaves or plants first. If no leaf damage occurs in 2 or 3 days, go ahead and spray more.
    I think I shall simply ‘check in’ with all of you today. Perhaps, if you are all still reading, you could discuss in the comments if you feel like it.
    tentcamping  A friend of mine commented to me (personally) about my last post and said that it made her reflect upon vacation/holidays. She (in her 20’s so only her perception as she was not around in the 50’s) said that it made her think how she thinks of vacations and family holidays in the 1950’s as people camping in tents, or small trailers (Not the huge RV’s of today) or the rustic cabin as opposed to what many feel today is the vacation where one spends a lot, is pampered (message etc) and lay about. rusticcabin She pointed out that often camping and rustic trips of the 1950’s must have almost been MORE work than simply being at home, yet families did it and presumably had fun to boot. While today we see lines of unhappy children at Disney land or running about poolside at expensive resorts while the parents lay about. Not very much bonding or coming together.
    This really made me think how that, even how we holiday today, really is a sort of description of how we work as family and community unites. Not much ‘pulling together’ and ‘working’ on our vacations, really just more relaxing. I know many people work crazy hours and do feel they need to be lazy on holiday, but I wonder, are they just trading one sofa and tv for another? Is a vacation now more about spending than doing? I don’t know, you tell me. I would love reassurance that it is not. Is there any fun in not adding some fun challenge? Is it just no longer in our modern make-up? What do any of you think? Do we think we vacation differently as a unit than we did in 1950’s?


    1. I certainly think there was more doing back then. If you went camping, for example, you swam, hiked, hunted or fished (after you set up camp, of course) and in the evening you entertained yourself around the campfire. You couldn't pop a DVD into the laptop. I guess you could turn on your transistor radio, assuming there was a station you could pull in. I recently read that there has been a drop-off in the number of visitors to national parks for a number of years now. Sad.

    2. Great post and photos. You can't go back I know, but oh for just one weekend!

    3. I think the way we as a culture vacation today goes along with what you've observed about how we live. We're all about convenience and deserving a break. I recently heard about a camping company that sets up your tent, starts your fire, etc. Sounds like a good business and gets people out there that normally wouldn't go camping but also sounds pathetic.

      I remember vacations as a kid of going to a rented beach house or driving to visit extended family in other states. Any motels were for when we were on the road and we brought most of our food in a cooler. We went out for dinner with our extended family as a treat but certainly not every night. My grandmother had a few household people working for her so I have to say it wasn't totally rustic but in no way like staying in a hotel. If we didn't make our beds we were sent back up to do so before we could have breakfast. If we didn't clear our dishes we we couldn't go play. I didn't even know what room service was.

      The contrast to what my kids think of "vacation" is dramatic. It's so much of a refection of our times. More disposable income means more is done for you. My husband travels a lot for work so he gets points for us to use for upgrades to first class when we fly and hotel perks like room service. I made a point to explain to our kids that this isn't to be taken for granted and is not to be assumed. At times it's been hard for them to understand.

      Sarah H.

    4. I do think that vacations back then were about family and friends and relaxing/exploring as opposed to the kids fussing and wanting the biggest and best theme park. I would love to relax in a cabin in the woods and play outside, read and challenge family to board games any day :)

    5. well, for me, vacation is definately time to relax. we, like you, rarely vacation. our renewal trip in november will be our first in about 6 or more years. we NEVER just sit and watch tv. our vacations tend to be active vacations, but the 'relaxing' part for us is not being ruled by the alarm or schedules (though, I am still up by 6) and getting to spend our DAYS together, instead of only a few hours. but, like you, we don't have kids, so it is easy to enjoy our vacation as a relaxing get-away instead of also wondering what the kids would enjoy.

    6. I think that it depends on how you were raised and your family.

      When I was growing up we rented a cabin in the Outer Banks. We shared with another family (that we knew) and always had a good time. We had to bring everything. Dishes, pots, pans, skillets, food. We always went out to eat the last night there. Sadly, those little cabins are gone. Washed away by a hurricane several years back.

      Now, my mother and I take the kids to the beach. We still go to North Carolina, but a different section, and we stay in a hotel. I love it just as much. They serve a continental breakfast so that is one meal we don't have to worry about and can spend time together. The kids are expected to eat something and clear their plates. We bring lunch supplies with us and eat lunch up in the room. The kids have a "rest time" too. We spend lots of time at both the beach and pool. In the evenings we do out for supper, but they are places we can't go to at home and they are inexpensive. Last year we started a new tradition that the kids loved. We went to a frozen custard place and had "supper" then went across the street to a local hamburger place and had "dessert"! It was a lot of fun!

    7. We are also drowning here in Denmark - I am sick and tired of rain and cold degrees. Everything is delayed in my garden – except the weed. I hope the weather will be better in three weeks when I’m going on holiday in my tiny cottage.

      These summer holiday photos reminded me of my summer holidays as a child. With almost no money my parents managed to go on holidays in our vintage car. My dad found a discarded tent, my mum repaired it and off we went. The tent was made of cotton and was only for four persons, we were five and we only had four aired beds – but we had lots of fun. Dad made pancakes on a vintage primus and we walked a lot and saw a lot of new things and met a lot of nice people, some of which we still see today – almost 40 years after. No amusement parks for us, since we couldn’t afford it, sometimes we even camped for free at a local farmer, since we couldn’t afford the camping fees. But I remember my childhood holidays as lots of fun and being together in a good way. I hope to give this to my son, while spending our holidays at my tiny cottage every second summer. We have camped while he was smaller and seen a lot of different things, instead of just amusement parks.

    8. I think as discretionary income rose in the 1980's, vacations took on a different air, which continued into the nineties and now. Back when I was growing up in the sixties and seventies it was unusual to hear of a family going on a cruise or to a destination in Mexico. To go to Disneyland or Epcot was a very big deal, and I only had a small handful of friends who had been there. Most people went to visit relatives, camped in a National park, went to see the Statue of Liberty, perhaps spent a few days at a beach if it was within driving distance. As I recall, it was unusual to hear of families hopping a plane to go on any type of vacation, other than maybe to Florida. When I was a child, we were lucky enough to often be able to spend a week at the Outer Banks, but always stayed in a small cottage or an efficiency unit (with a kitchen to cook our meals)at a motel...and our family consisted of two parents and four children, so quarters were tight, but that never bothered us..we children often slept on cots. The point was to be out in the ocean air, spend time together and see some things we hadn't seen before. We entertained ourselves for the most part, especially since the Outer Banks were not as built up and "tourist-y" as they are now.

      On the other hand, my children's father's family were campers and every summer would take a 1-3 week camping trip to a National Park. His parents made a point of trying to get their kids to every National Park in the nation, and they always drove..never the kids saw almost every state in our country. I wonder how many parents want their children to see every state these days? I wonder if that concept has lost some importance in the wake of all the exotic "resort" type vacations?

    9. We vacation with our 3 children (under 7), pretty much the same way I did as a youngster (I am 40). We spend 2 weeks at the shore in a rented cottage. We eat takeaway seafood the first night. the rest of the time it is sandwiches and fruit for lunch and burgers/dogs on the grill. There is not TV or computer or even a phone (we bring a pay-as-you-go mobile for emergencies). We are a stone's throw from the beach and spend out days swimming, sailing, and playing tennis. Our evenings are spent playing board games, cards, or parlour games ike charades or sardines. Everyone brings 3 books, and we also have borrowing priviledges from the local library. There are a great many families who vacation like us.

    10. A great many people do lvie traditionally. Just because the media portrays a plugged-in tuned-out youth of today does not mean that all kids have IPods and play the Wii. There are a large number of kids and families who do not watch TV or have computers, cellphones, or video games. Most of the New England prep. schools do not allow TV viewing or video games, and computers are reserved for research and school projects.

    11. Our vacations usually involved camping. For beach vacations my parents would rent a house. A hotel was just too expensive with four kids. Eating out all the time was just too expensive with four kids. We'd usually eat one meal out as a treat and the rest of the time we cooked in our "house".

      Most of my vacation memories involve camping. We camped with tents for awhile, but then planned a two-week trip to the Grand Canyon and back and my parents decided to buy a used pop-up camper to pull behind the van. It was so much fun! The trip was planned around a homeschool conference and while at the conference we did stay in a hotel. The rest of the time we were in our camper.

      We stayed in hotels when we went to Orlando the following year for the same conference, but that was because we couldn't find any campgrounds. Since a hurricane came through while we were there, it ended up being a good thing we didn't have our camper!

      I've camped twice at Albert Pike, the campground in Arkansas that flooded so badly earlier this week. We camped one year up in Eureka Springs, stayed in a condo in north Alabama on a lake, have been to the beach in a rented house three times, and we used to go camping one weekend in the spring with other homeschoolers in the state. So much fun!

      Driving up to New York was a lot of fun for me. 11 states in 5 days! I wish we'd had time to stop and see more battlefields and some of the caves we drove past in Virginia. Driving through the Blue Ridge Mountains was incredible.

      I hope that when I have kids I can give them these same experiences. Camping is FUN!!!!

    12. So many wonderful responses and good to see so much has not changed. Anon-I wasn't saying everything now is as 'seen on tv', I was hoping to see that many people do still live as many of us here do, not always plugged in and with the need of amusement. Also, I am in New England, and I think prep school children have more access than you think. But, it is nice to think that many people today are happily not 'plugged into' what the media tells us is fun.

    13. We love camping here too although we haven't been in a couple of years. This year I'm planning a trip with a friend. She has a minivan, I have a family sized tent, so we're going to bring our kids up to New Hampshire for a few days and do Storyland. It's such a cute little amusement park and all the rides are kid appropriate plus the food is reasonably priced. I'd rather go there than six flags or disney any day! We probably won't do much cooking at the campsite with 3 boys under 5 but we'll definitely have a cooler with deli slices and such to save money.

      Maybe some day we'll do a beach resort type vacation just to see what the fuss is all about. The idea of not doing anything useful for a few days is definitely appealing, just a stack of books and maybe a cabana boy bringing me chilled juices periodically :-)

    14. It's quite funny how you brought up this post, two weeks ago we went for a short holiday get away, we rented a cabin at a KOA and while it had indoor plumbing aka- toilet , it only came with a small fridge and microwave.

      It was not exactly "roughing" it, but we were able to bbq the food outside have a supper at the picnic table, enjoy the porch swing and roast marshmallows over the fire.

      We also went to Canada's Wonderland (canuck verison - small of course of Walt Disney World), the lines were not bad in the kiddie area, but it grew hot, the crowds towards the latter part of the afternoon were full.

      Although the boy's enjoyed Wonderland, as adults were yearned to go back to the peace and tanquility of the campground where one could smell the pine trees, see the chipmunks scampering about.

      At night fall, the boys and I "investigated" the campground complete with 9 volt flashlights and earlier in the afternoon we went to the pond with binoculars to see a frog or two.

      Next year we will rent this cabin again, but we will not go to Wonderland.

      Next month we rented a "rustic" trailer at Jellystone Park, and although it's not exactly roughing it, hubby and I enjoy our time with our kids.

      The focus is on the children not us as adults, but our time with them is priceless. We walk with Yogi, colour t-shirts, play gophie golf and as night approaches we see fireflies- we have done this two years in a row, this will be our third year.

      Out of all the vacations the week at Jellystone Park is what the kids remember the most.

      As I look back on these years in the rented cabins and trailers, it will not be to remember the toilet leaking in one, but the time as a family.

      My boys are now 9 and 5, I treasure every moment with them so much, time is fleeting and childhood calls but for a short time, whilst adulthood is forever.

      Mom in Canada

    15. A vacation has come to mean only a cessation from work, unfortunately, that is not always the same as refreshment. Ideally, what makes a vacation a treat and a respite is not an absence of work but of a difference in the work we do. For example:

      My husband has a physically demanding job as a paramedic that also requires short bursts of very focused mental energy. To relax, he enjoys sitting in front of his grill, slowly bbqing whatever meat is on the menu and leisurely discussing theology and politics- the opposite of his daily round.
      His brother has a sedentary desk job in which he must relate to people and numbers all day. When we visit at his cabin in the summer, he rarely sits down, but rather he spends his time mowing, fixing, swimming, boating, and in his spare time he has begun running marathons. He gets enjoyment from those things because it is not his daily round.

      I think this is why camping appeals to so broad a spectrum of people. It can be a quiet slow respite, or an activity filled adventure. Even as a housewife we get a change of pace. We may still be the one to plan and get the meals, but we also get to stretch ourselves to cook over an open fire, or in a dutch oven. Housekeeping duties are pared to a minimum and standards relax a little but even the duties that are still required such as making beds up or straightening the campsite are more like playing house than work. I even enjoy the quarter mile walk to the shower house and the sprint back to the campsite before the bugs eat you alive.

      All this just to say that it is the novelty of the difference in daily activities while camping that makes it refreshing. Then when we do get home, how wonderful the fresh sheets, comfortable bed, and all our labor saving devices seem.

      Mrs. N.

    16. Mrs. N - Great observation and so true - what makes a vacation relaxing for most folks is just being able to do the opposite of their normal routine. For some it's a go-go-go out all day, lots of activity time; for others it's sleeping in and doing nothing particular at all except relaxing. My dad never wanted a THING to do with camping - he said he'd spent enough time in tents during the war and had no desire to ever be in one again. True!

      When I was a kid we took three big summer driving vacations in the mid-60's. One was through the Southern U.S., one through the West but to the north (MT, SD etc) and then the next year a more southern route (TX, AZ etc). We covered a lot of miles each day, and us kids were able to climb all over the car, trade seats, etc. It was a big treat to have a turn sitting up front. I was little so I sat on the fold down arm rest - no child seats back then! We bought food along the way & kept it in a cooler, mom fixed sandwiches along the way. If we stopped somewhere to eat it was a BIG DEAL! We stayed at hotels, cabins, and with friends and relatives, depending where we were.

      My mom's family, in the 1920's, did a lot of camping.
      The tents were heavy and obnoxious; they'd stay for at least a couple weeks. They brought the family cats along! Her dad and brothers loved the fishing; but it was an awful lot of work for her mom (my grandma).
      There wasn't really "camping" stuff so they'd bring things from home. The camping trips ended when the Depression hit; they lost their house and just about everything they owned that was worth anything. Those camping trips were very, very fond memories for them.

      I"m fascinated with the tow-along campers that became a big hit after WWII. There's one particular model that's very, very small - but has everything you need built right in! Being able to tow along a place to sleep really opened up the chance of vacationing to a lot of families who otherwise would not be able to afford a trip if it meant staying in a hotel every night.

      I wonder how it was to vacation with babies before disposable diapers came on the scene. That must have been a lot of work, to deal with cloth diapers on the road. Then again, if everyone was doing that it probably just seemed a normal part of traveling with babies. Anyone know?

    17. Regarding our vacations now, we don't take very many. Ha Ha! We did the cabins-on-the-lake when our older kids were young, but as our family grew we sort of quit those. Our most recent trips were to Disney. We splurged for the resort stay and LOVED IT. It was a real treat! I'd never stayed in a resort hotel before. What we loved the most about those trips was being all together as a family. We never split up - we trooped around together; FUN! Just being together, without the running-around-here-and-there of the daily routine was *wonderful*. There's cool footage online of Disneyland in the 50's-60's; families together, women in dresses and men in hats! Love it!

    18. KOA campgrounds were always our preferred place to stay when we were camping. The prettiest one in the whole country, IMO, is the one in San Antonio. There's a beautiful clear-water creek running through it and our campsite was right next to the creek. We had a grand time wading in it and splashing while Papa was off getting the canvas on the camper fixed.

      The one we camped in by Carlsbad Caverns was nice too, but not a KOA. There was a gully behind our campsite and we spent several hours exploring down there. My youngest brother found a saguaro cactus in a McDonald's cup that he claimed as his own and named Spike. Carlsbad was the second stop on the trip and Spike came home with us. He's still alive and well in a pot on the patio, and he's multiplied!

    19. fullhouse: I think you are talking about the "teardrop" campers. They are and were adorable and many people now build their own. Here is one It looks like fun to build and use. I think I am more the cabin in the woods gal, as I like to go and unpack the things put away in moth balls, recall the dings and knicks made by family over the years etc. I guess I am more of a nester, so I like the thought of tucking a beach treasure on a shelf in a back bedroom and recalling the memories when I find it again on another trip. Also the diaper pail was (and is now for any cloth fans) part of the babyhood program. A pail with a lid to put the dirty diapers/nappies in (usually in bleach and water) and I imagine this in a smaller version came along with you on the road. Maybe it was less to pack a few diapers that you keep washing and drying that packs of disposables, I don't know.

    20. 50's Gal: Yup, that's it - the "teardrop camper". Thanks!
      I'll ask my mom and/or mom-in-law about vacationing with babies in diapers. I used cloth with all my oldest kids, (staring out for financial reasons then just ended up preferring them over disposables), but whenever we traveled I took along disposables. I think at a cabin/another house it wouldn't be a big deal, I think camping or stopping at hotels along the way might be a problem. At any rate, great posts from everyone!! So much fun to read!!


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