Organic, Homemixed, Non-Toxic, Pest Control

So in addition to planting my veggies among my pretty petunias, marigolds, and stinky herbs that bugs hate - I have needed an additional bug repellent this year.  My plants were covered in bugs, eating up the leaves and leaving my plants looking so sad.  Neem oil was recommended to me - and here is what I did! 

This was SO easy - and SO SO effective!  It is totally non-toxic and organic (depending on the products you choose).

I used:
1 and 1/2 tsp of Extra Virgin Neem Oil
1/4 tsp of soap (any soap you use is fine - you just need a tiny amount - I used some organic Ava hand soap)
24 oz of warm water
24 oz spray bottle 

You will need to shake it each time you use it, but spray your plants late in the evening or in the morning, leaves, stems, etc.  I did it right after a rain to ensure the oil wouldn't be immediately washed away... and have done it about once every 2 weeks since.  The neem oil smells a little like old potatoes and onions, but doesn't affect the produce.  Neem oil has lots of other uses too - so check out what else you can use it for!! 



A Word on Riding the School Bus

So... it's no secret.  My D is heading to kindergarten in the fall.  I am FREAKING out.  Will he make friends?  Will he like his school and teachers?  Will he end the year as eager to learn as he begins it?  Will he be crushed that it's not Farm School?  Will he be able to open a thermos by himself?  A granola bar wrapper?

As I sat in kindergarten orientation - all of these things rushed through my mind.

Something I didn't think about at all was taking the bus.  D has been excited to get on the bus since he could say the word - no bus-related anxiety here!  But, sitting there with 40 other parents, that was really everyone's biggest concern.  Sure there were questions about peanuts, and student teacher ratios, but most of the parental anxiety at kindergarten orientation was bus related.  The principal and assistant principal, in their kindest kindergarten voices, addressed each question with love and concern. They tried to ease the fears of all of the parents who are sending their babies on this 15 minute ride of terror in the fall.  Here is what I learned:
  • They physically put each kindergartener on the bus
  • They physically take each kindergartener off the bus and bring them to their classroom
  • Kindergarteners have all kinds of tags that they wear with all of their information: bus, address, blood type, etc ;)
  • Kindergarteners sit in a special area of the bus
  • NO ONE in elementary school can get off the bus if an adult isn't waiting for them (at the end of their driveway).
Phew.  All my fears were put to rest.

But I got to thinking... not that I am in the habit of leaving my kids (5 and 2) home alone... but might I be out back gardening? Upstairs changing a diaper?  In the bathroom?  Making cookies?  Trying to stay out of the rain?

NO ONE will be allowed off the bus without a parent at the end of the driveway.  No one.  They will bring those forgotten students back to school and call you to come and get them, supervised all the while.

What exactly is the fear?

Someone is going to kidnap this 5 year old (or 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 year old... the rule is good for the whole bus).

Isn't it more likely (just using facts and statistics here) - that a child is kidnapped/abused/etc by someone they know, a parent, you know, the type of person waiting at the end of the driveway... rather than some random person following the bus scooping up every drivewayparentless, latch key, 5 year old newbie? 

Just something to consider I guess.

PS - I loved being a latch key kid.  I walked from the bus stop to my house ALL the way down the road.  When there was no adult there waiting... the bus dropped us FARTHER from home (so they didn't have to make an extra turn.  When I was in high school, my bus dropped me off over a mile from my house.  One time, I forgot my house key, and my parents worked more than an hour away from home, and it was raining, so I broke a window to get in.  #nocellphones #neglected.



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