Odds & Ends

::  ON SUNDAY I MADE a Ratty Apple Pie.  That’s my name for an apple pie made from a mix of not so good-looking apples.  My pie included 2 Melrose, 1 Granny Smith, 2 Red Delicious + 1 mystery apple [Gala?] that was in our frig.  Then I put what my Betty Crocker cookbook describes as French crumb topping on the pie.  The pie was yummy.

::  I READ AN ARTICLE in the Sunday paper about the increase in incivility in daily life.  It rang true with me.  I know that in the last few years I’ve encountered rude drivers, indifferent sales clerks, one incredibly hostile bank manager, a couple of ill-mannered [former] friends, and countless offensive individuals shrieking about politics.

My guess is that after watching violent movies, viewing rude tv shows & absorbing the hostility inherent in extremist political views these annoying people are so desensitized that they don’t know that they are, indeed, rude & uncivil.  The sad part is that I’ve come to realize that sometimes being rude right back to an uncouth person is the only way to accomplish anything because these. people. do. not. get. kindness.   

::  WE HAVE AN INFESTATION of icky miniature fly-like bugs in our house.  The man who washes our windows was here yesterday.  He told me that the bugs, which are coming into the house through the holes in the mesh of the screens, were from the Hackberry tree.

[Having never heard of a Hackberry tree before I googled it.  Natch.  I learned that it is sturdy;  produces tiny dark-red colored berries for the wildlife to munch on;  provides a safe haven for birds in the winter;  was cultivated in 1636;  & in pioneer days was used for making barrel hoops.]

As for getting rid of the icky little bugs– not going to happen until we have a hard frost, the window washer man tells me.  Seems that the dumb little bugs are impervious to all types of removal– including my withering gaze and vacuuming the screens.

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Ally Bean

Observant wordsmith. Humorous. Fond of foibles. Curious. Delighted by design. Adaptable. Midwestern by chance.

21 thoughts on “Odds & Ends”

  1. Hackberry tree, huh? Maybe so called because once you find out they harbor nats people hack them down. I hate nats.

    1. Zen-Den, you’re on to something there. On the other hand, these trees are notoriously sturdy + grow in clay soil. So dismissing the icky bug problem, they are a good thing for us.

  2. The pie sounds wonderful! I remember making apple cake each fall while at Ohio State. I agree with the incivility today—makes me sad. I wish we could all just get along! I have to admit, that where we are living now is probably one of the best places as far as manners go. Good luck with the little hack bugs!

    1. Beth, I make one apple pie each fall as a reminder of way back when. The civility thing is a constant thorn in my side which I cannot avoid unless I become a hermit! And LOVE your name for the bugs. Henceforth, as I set about to kill them, I shall call them hack bugs.

  3. I’d try my gnat trap for your mini-flies. It works quite well for my annoying biting gnats that spontaneously generate in the house (or more likely find their way down from upstairs). In a highball sized glass (or several glasses) (or bowls) pour apple cider vinegar nearly to the top, swirl in a bit of dishsoap and leave out for the flies. The dishsoap breaks the water tension, they go in for a drink and drown. It can take several weeks to get rid of all of them (if it works at all for your critters). I usually have one out all summer to prevent a swarm developing.

    I’m blaming the internet for the civility thing. People on the other side of the computer screen have gotten used to saying whatever they want without regard to the feelings of who might be reading them and it’s generalized to real life. Or possibly the other way around but I noticed it online before I noticed it in real life.

    1. Zazzy, thanks for the tip. I’ll do that right away.

      You’re right about the internet + incivility. I forget how much social media has changed the ways in which people relate to one another. Trolls online have been given free license to be trolls in real life, eh?

    2. I was going to give the same recommendation about dishsoap and vinegar! It has worked for me, too. Ally Bean, you’ll have to keep us posted on whether it works for your hack bugs.

      1. Will do. As I am constantly finding them everywhere in the house, they remain on my mind. And any topic that I get mulling over eventually finds its way into this blog. Over & over again until I’m no longer thinking about it.

    1. philosophermouse, those little bugs creep me out. Very annoying. But I can get rid of them. As for rude, obtuse people… I seem to be stuck with them. Even more annoying.

  4. Hate those little bugs because they end up everywhere!! I’ve even had one drown in my eye while running once. (very unpleasant) As a teacher, I feel like I’m trying to train students about BASIC etiquette. They have no clue, probably because their parents have no clue. I greet them(in French) but they have their headphones in and ignore me. Makes me quite peeved. Now I insist that they remove their earbuds when entering my classroom.

    1. Margaret, I’ve never seen so many of these icky bugs before this fall. They do end up everywhere– and I don’t like it.

      I can only imagine how difficult it is to have to teach etiquette, which imho should be learned at home, on top of teaching a foreign language. The basics are no longer what I [we] consider to be basic, are they? Hence the rise of rudeness.

  5. I totally hear you on the incivility. It just makes you want to SCREAM AND SHOUT AND SHOVE PEOPLE out of the way. (Just kidding. Sort of. I mean, it does make me angry when I encounter the inciviility, but I do try to keep calm and civil myself. It’s tough, though.)

    1. alejna, I try to remain mellow, but it seems like every where that I go someone is determined to upset my balance. It wears me out. And makes me rather sad for our society.

  6. We have fruit flies in our house, and they are driving me crazy despite the fact that they are small and harmless. Here’s to getting rid of annoying little bugs!

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