Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Cheap Trick: Mosquito Bite Itch Relief

My mother believes that every family should spend a week together each year, with as many family members as possible crammed into one house. She says there will be fights, and fun, and good talks that only happen in person, and everyone will learn something about everyone else, and by the end of the week, the busy family will have a renewed bond. She insists this is the best way to keep a family close when the children have grown up and become focused on their own lives.

In this tradition, I took a few days to visit with my family at the beach this past week. The weather was nice but humid, so we spent a good deal of the time in the water; wading out to the sandbar at low tide, swimming at high tide, and trying out paddle boarding in between.

Clouds started rolling in, and just minutes later the whole sky was almost black.
One evening brought a wild sky full of dark clouds which threatened to force our grilling swordfish to be banished to the oven, but luckily the rain showers passed us by quickly, and then treated us to a perfect rainbow.

As we were watching the clouds roll in, the mosquitos took advantage of their distracted prey and feasted on our ankles. I got a couple of very, very itchy bites, and tried to relieve the pain with calamine lotion. When I woke up the next day complaining that the bites had woken me up in the night and were still terribly itchy, a family friend staying with us told me to try vinegar and salt to dry up the oils. Being a beach rental, there was only salad dressing in the house, which I was told would work just as well.

I certainly was skeptical, but willing to give anything a try. So, while feeling rather foolish, I dabbed some Italian dressing on my bites, and then sprinkled salt on top. Incredibly, it worked! My itching subsided almost immediately, and more fully than from the calamine lotion.

Natural and cheap mosquito bite relief. Also, I love this farmhouse sink.

I love these old-school frugal tricks that work as well as, or better than, treatments from the store, and am pleased to have learned a new one. I guess my mother is right that we all learn something new when we spend time enjoying one another's company.

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"There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- God damn it, you've got to be kind."
-Kurt Vonnegut