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I know this is going to sound stupid but a church friend of my mother's wants to come to the house to give her a pie. She hasn't been to church for a month because of foot surgery and is doing well. She has been going there for almost 2 yrs and this is the first time anyone has wanted to come by. My problem is we have a total of 8 little dogs in the house, 2 are my mother's. I already have a friend over today to help me with cleaning. This woman just called up this AM and wanted to come over. I hate drop bys. I can't keep the house spotless all the time for people to just drop by anytime they want. Between mother and the dogs all I do is clean, it's like chasing my tail, lol. Its' a small town church and I know this is probably a "spy" mission. I am all frazzled about this. I try to keep things as clean as I can, I am 53 and back surgery a few months ago. Keeping mother clean is my main priority so I don't care if there are some dishes in the sink, at least mom is clean. I just don't want to be judged. Would appreciate any advice about making house smell fresh and not just like bleach which I use a lot.

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boil cinammon, make chicken soup, google aromatic solutions
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lol...sherry....love the description there.....I don't eat a lot of meat but am guilty of dairy....heck, there goes my ice cream....but probably would be worth it to stop being eaten alive when I stick my toe out the door... thanks!
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Mosquitoes are more attracted to those with an acidic body. To alkalize your body, cut down on meat and dairy. Add more green leafy and sprouted veggies. It will make your body more disease resistant as well (cancer cannot live in an alkaline environment). Eat more fruit and drink plenty of water.
I still have mosquitoes that love me although I have alkalized a good bit over the years. I use AVON Skin so Soft bath oil and the bugs all leave me alone. Smells like a French w_ore house, but if you can put up with the perfume, it will keep the bugs away.
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I am being overtaken here by mimosa trees. While i normally love them, the spent flowers do cause an ooey gooey mess once they fall and they must have a rabid root system as they are coming up everywhere... I am enjoying browsing the web site and already need to pare down what I want...ha....but so many interesting items to look at....and I am hoping they will get some of the amber back as that one must be really nice...
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This is an odd year for gardening. I've also read it's a good year for Japanese beetles, which are munching their way to be big fat beetles.

It's a great year for black locust trees which are multiplying exponentially, all in my garden. It's as if they're mutant trees in some horror movie.

The intense winter we had, which lasted into spring, might have upset some ecological balances that allowed mosquitoes to breed more.

So it could be the environment, especially as you've described it, but it wouldn't hurt to get some blood work done to find out if anything else is going on.
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You know GardenArtist...I was wondering if something is going on with ME that has indeed made my metabolism "different" causing them to go bananas when I get out there...I know it is time for some blood work, so I will be interested to see what the findings are...something sure seems to have made me appealing to the mosquito population this year....yes, the new leaf drop should help make some nice mulch...it is for sure that once I get into the leaves I feel like I am in a shredder....I love working in my yards...so the bug issue is a real bummer this year...loving the websites...I see a LOT of enticing products...really wanted some of the Amber Earth but they are out of that one for now..I am going to keep an eye out as it sounds divine...
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Hope, check your messages; I just P'M'ed you with info on organic lotions suppliers that I've used.

Lots of woods, heavy vegetation and decomposing leaves can create a mosquito friendly environment. If you have any dry leaves from last year's tree leaf drop, you could mix them with the decomposing leaves for the beginning a compost pile for your garden. I've also dug under my compost to give plant roots the moisture they need, rather than use the ingredients as mulch.

It could be that caregiving has caused some metabolic changes that make you more susceptible to mosquitoes. That would be an interesting topic for someone to research.
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I would love to have the name of the place you can get the herbal and organics...thank you Garden Artist!

I am thinking one reason we have so many mosquitos is because we do live in a fairly dense area with lots of woods and hence pretty heavy vegetation on the floor of those...I'm guessing the leaves decaying makes an excellent attraction for them..I have been trying to clear away as much of the underbrush as I can, but as it will be falling again soon, it is a never ending cycle...They used to never bite me, I was one of the few folks who could be out there in them and never have a bite...now it is the opposite...sometimes I think there is something different in my physiological "chemistry" that is making them so bad...I try to do all the normal things , light clothing, cover my arms and legs, no perfumes, etc...have even put alcohol and peroxide as you mentioned on me to hopefully deter them...I love working int he yards and my garden so it is infuriating as this really ruins my outdoor activity...so anything I can try I would love it..

Tex, you are so funny....it does sound like those folks were on a spy mission and that is how I feel occasionally with some of our visitors...one pair in particular whom, thank God, I did not hear the day they stopped by, and they went on their merry way....I was extremely glad to have missed them....my brother was telling me they had come to visit and while they knew I was home I did not come to the door...that time I did not hear them....truly...but in all honesty...had I seen them there, I probably would not have seen them either...heheheh
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If the do-gooders call again, perhaps you can let them know permanently that they won't be receiving checks by telling them you're making advance plans for your mother and wonder if any of them have nursing or aide experience and would be willing to assist with housekeeping, hygience, driving to medical appointments, etc. You might not have to worry about them after that.

It really offends me that people are so snoopy; and I do think you're right - they wondered why the cash flow had stopped.
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I guess they were CM because I haven't heard from them since. It was a spy mission. They wanted to get into the house. Also when I check on my mother's checking account it appears she had been quite generous with her money to this little church. She didn't go for about a month because of footsurgery and that's when I get a phone call about how this woman from the sunday school class wanted to visit and then the day of the visit it turned into 3 woman wanted to visit. The food they brought was so obviously thrown together as an excuse, h*ll I know bad cooking when I see it because I am a bad cook.They wanted to know why she wasn't there writing those checks,didn't say it out loud but I knew.I sorta felt sorry for mother, they just wanted in the house,she has some beautiful china and they oohed and yaahed over it , but it was those checks they were really missing. Well they will still be missing them as I had a long talk with her.Tithing is fine, but who knows what the economy will be even in a year and what her health will be, I told her I needed that money to pay home aides ,health care supplies ,possibly a special bed for her if she wanted to stay out of a nursing home but that is my goal, to keep her out of a nursing home. I am a retired nurse and I know what is needed to take care of someone that is bedridden. That is the usual reason when families have to put someone in a NH when they become bedridden, but if I am able to hire health aides so I can leave the house , sleep at night and help me with bathroom and hygiene issues she won't need to go to a NH. I don't see anyone from that church helping us at all. It is a very small town church.
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I say I say I say! - my dog's got no whiskers…

Then how does he feel?

etc.

CG, that takes me back! We used to do rounds of all those lovely old music hall jokes over a curry - those, and the "my wife's gone to the West Indies" - "Jamaica?" - "No she went of her own accord!" ones…

Boom boom! Oh happy times.

Tex, how did the visit go in the end? Was the Church lady satisfied?!
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I love it!
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If you lived in the UK you could talk to her through the letter box in the front door and spray lavender oil from a mistifier at the same time. :)

After all, how bad can your home smell? We have two dogs and we can't smell them at all.

"My dog has no nose."

"Your dog has no nose?"

"That's right. My dog has no nose."

"If your dog has no nose, how does he smell?"

"TERRIBLE!"

:)
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Hope, I don't know if mint is toxic to pets, but I would keep all herbal products away from them just to be safe.

There are certain plants that are toxic to both humans and pets, and I generally don't grow those because of the multiple feral cats that prowl my garden, apparently searching for tasty bird and mice treats.

Don't get anything made in China - the lotions aren't pure.

I haven't tried mint as a mosquito prevention; my recollection is that lemon might have that property. Citronella as I recall is a mosquito repellent. Generally the best repellent I've found is a good swat on the offending mosquito.

I haven't had as many problems with mosquitoes since a massive clearing of my garden last year, which inadvertently took out all the raspberry bushes. Raspberries for some reason attract mosquitoes.

I don't use any chemical mosquito products because they're so toxic.

If you're interested, I do have an excellent supplier of herbal and organic products. Let me know and I'll PM you; posting publicly might be considered advertising, even though I do often suggest this woman's products privately.

Look around your yard and see what you have growing that might harbor mosquitoes, and observe when you go out where they seem to be the most prevalent. Are you in a rural area? Are there any bodies of water nearby?

Sometimes a lot of vegetation will harbor them, especially if moisture is held in thick foliage and can create a breeding ground.

I've read that Avon's Skin So Soft is an excellent mosquito repellent but have never tried it. I've thought of putting rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide on my skin so they'd get a bad taste if they attempt to dine, but I really don't like to use chemicals unless there's no other choice.

If you want to read up on herbal solutions, Herb Quarterly is an excellent magazine; Herb Companion runs a second behind but the art work isn't as beautiful.
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Deep Woods off is my version of Channel no.5 these days.
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Will the mint lotion keep mosquitos off? Would that not be soooo much better than that horrid Deep Woods off...that stuff almost does me in when I use it but I can't mow the yard without it for being eaten alive by the mosquitos...
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All of this sounds great GardenArtist....I so much prefer the natural things to any of the OTC stuff. I have some of the Peppermint Swirl lotion from bath and body that I know is not nearly as good as what you are talking about but I had forgotten all about that and how cooling and soothing that little zip of mint feels , especially on summer skin. Are mint plants toxic to pets? If not I think I am going to go and get me some of this...so I will not be running out...I am energized thinking about it... thanks!
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Mint products can also be good for topical application; I use a mint lotion I bought from an organic small business owner for dry skin and itching, especially from mosquito bites.

I do grow my own apple mint but have to harvest it before the bugs get to it, which is surprising since herbs can repel bugs.

Mints are notoriously invasive, but they can't compete against the weeds, so I never have enough mint.

And don't forget the pleasure of mint tea.
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I am going to get me some peppermint oil! Thanks Cricket....just thinking of that minty freshness makes me happy....great idea!
Tex....I find that in general, the store brands always seem much better than the much higher priced items...ain't it the truth...I bet a lot of caregivers could be paid testers for all these products...
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Oh ,just wanted to mention, for those that use pee pads in the house, I highly recommend the Publix brand of pads. Of all the pads I have used, my house could be a test center, these are sturdy, absorbent ,fairly large.There are also pad holders on the market where you just place the pad on the plastic bottom part and a top ring locks the pad in place. Again, Publix ( the grocery store ) brand pads rock!
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Peppermint oil is another good refreshing scent. Get a small bottle of peppermint essential oil (the real thing, not the supermarket kind). You only have to use a couple of drops at a time so it lasts a while. I put a few drops on a little piece of cotton ball and suck it up in the vacuum; makes the whole house smell great. A couple of drops in the washing machine will take the urine smell out of clothes (white vinegar in the rinse cycle is good for this too- it only smells vinegary while the wash is going). A drop on a cotton ball or piece of paper towel and thrown in the trash will keep garbage odors at bay. And I use a few drops in my carpet shampooer when I'm cleaning up accidents. Just don't let the undiluted oil sit on finished furniture; wipe up any spills as the undiluted oil can harm paint and finishes. If you have fresh mint growing, you can crush a few leaves and throw these in the garbage for a nice aroma too.
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thanks for the support. I guess this "lady" never heard of pet therapy. Really, if it weren't for my mother's 2 dogs she would drive me crazy. We never got along but on pets we agree. Your pets love her unconditionally and I would never dream of removing them from her unless I though she had become a danger to them.
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I totally agree with Garden Artist and Texarkana on this one. I have pets and my Mama loves them. I take excellent care of Mama AND my pets and they are enormous company to both Mama and me. I also keep a very clean home. On another note, there are way too many animals in shelters now because of people who just think the answer is to "dump" them in a shelter so they'll get adopted out.....which, by the way, rarely happens...most animals entering a shelter never make it out....how horrible to even suggest to get rid of beloved pets which are a comfort to those who love and care for them...way to go Tex and Garden Artist I absolutely agree!..
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Stefani,

I think you're far too harsh on the original poster, and too quick to judge someone who has that many animals.

It's been proven that animals provide therapy to humans. And humans in turn affect animals' health - petting is helpful to animals.

My sister had several cats and took excellent care of them, all while holding down a demanding job in psychiatric nursing and doing volunteer work. Her house was immaculate.

I would ask if you feel that some people have far too many children, which constitute much more of a resource drain on renewable resources? Would you also think that Octomom with her 8 children should give some of them away for adoption because she has too many?

There most certainly are cases in which a person can have too many animals, but I would ask what evidence you have to make the conclusion that the original poster "can't take care of what's really important"?

She's doing her best to balance care for her mother and their collective animals, as well as extend courtesy to people who have just invited themselves over.
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My little furbaby left us after 13 love and cheeseburger- filled years. I far preferred her company to some people I know ;-)
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Bravo Tex, Bravo Girl !!
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Hold on their Stefani,just a minute. I take it you are not an animal person. I most certainly take care of what is important,And 2 of those little dogs are my mother's and she would call the police on me if I tried to take away her 4lb yorkie and 8lb shi Tzu. We live on a mini farm, also have 2 cats and 2 horses and 7 acres. These are little dogs and loved very much. I would adopt you out before them. Also studies have shown that children that grow up with dogs have less allergies, me being one of them.Just glad that people like you are in the minority. People that don't like animal,something just is wrong with them and in your case you seem judgemental and intolerant.However, I will give you a pass as I have no idea what your circumstances are. And lastly, some of the nastiest creatures on god's earth are human. I would never worry about getting HIV or hepatitis from a dog. If you continue to come to this site I am afraid you will be outnumbered by the animal lovers on this site. Sometimes these little fellows are all that help our sanity, and the sanity of our elderly loved ones. Sometimes my mother wouldn't even try to exercise if it weren't for her dogs that she insists on taking outside herself, they keep her motivated.Oy , some people in this world, glad you aren't my neighbor.This house is cleaner that a lot of NH where my mother would be exposed to MRSA and god knows what else.Good grief woman ,calm down, have a milk bone.
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Why in this great gods world wd you want or need eight animals in the house when you cannot take care of whats really important..thats just ridiculous. .call the animal shelter and get them adopted
Tell the owner of them you've become allergic. ..first of all this is not healthy..2nd of all you have much more that come first ...
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I like Garden Artist answer. Just don't let her in - Tell her everyone there has very contagious flu so she can leave the pie at the front door. Go to the door in an old ragged robe coughing your head off.

If you must make nice and pretty, I use bleach on everything that it's safe on and run a load of white clothes in the machine then dryer. That helps along with cinnamon. I buy gallons of pet deodorizer bc we have 3 cats that all vie for top cat position by spraying the furniture. Listerine does a good job too. Either mint or the old fashioned stuff kills the germs that cause odors.
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Old breeder trick... make a pot of coffee ; )
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