Thanks to the heat, we’ve spent the last few days indoors and the old bites are scabbed over and not itching as much.  Thanks to friends, yesterday we ventured forth with a new no-see-um repellent. DEET in Back Woods Off didn’t seem to faze them.  Skinstastic, they eat it for breakfast.  Welcome EcoSmart, an organic spray from the grocery store.   No-see-ums no like it.

The first squirts are repelling.  Honestly, you want to get away from yourself.  Initially, I felt as though I’d just had a bath in an over-sized mortar bowl after the pestle creamed geraniums, rosemary, cinnamon, and lemongrass.  Each intense in its own right, but the combination... whew.  Will’s take, “This is horrible but necessary, right Mom?” looking at me for reassurance.

The trick is to spray everyone so that no one notices.  You all smell the same.  Plus, the initial smack of this concoction calms down pretty quickly.  Then at night everyone bathes or showers – or smells like the odd man out.  EcoSmart vs. Dove.

Diversion… This makes me think of the story from my uncle who lived on a Naval submarine years ago.  With stale air circulating weeks under water, everyone smelled the same air.  After being onboard for a while, no one noticed the sub aroma until the sub surfaced; then the fresh air triggered an “Ugh, what is that!”  I think this guy on a Yahoo Q&A page probably sums up sub life pretty well, particularly the smells: What's it like on a submarine?  Pretty close, Uncle Gary?

We haven’t ventured to the beach yet to test EcoSmart on the greenheads, but on the deck with the no-see-ums, it seems effective -- albeit confusing to some: early yesterday morning a honey bee lazily lingered near my arm.  Its wings whispered, “Geranium?”