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December 3rd, 2016

Reiss’s Pieces

By Judy Reiss
I know that I promised you the name of the company that my friends “Jane” and Jeff hired to rid them of one room of bed bugs. Well, as of February 10th they appear to be bug free! Of course it took over 3 and a half months to do so. The Terminex company, a national known “expert” in ridding one of bed bugs, really fumbled the ball. They first found the bugs at the end of October or around the first of November and this young couple did everything they were told to do, including washing and drying every piece of clothing. They vacuumed twice a day and although the company came almost every weekend, it wasn’t until they finally found some way to get rid of them, including but not limited to poisonous spray, traps, which don’t appear to work at all, and finally a steaming hot spray which the bugs don’t appear to like. And it cost them upwards of a thousand dollars, which they could ill afford!

But now it appears that the Evergreen Place a senior housing facility in Waitsfield and a place for the general public to come and eat various meals, is infested with the very hardy bedbug. As far as I can see, the exterminator they have hired has only done a few things to make the entire building bug free. What makes me find this particular exterminator strange is that they said they brought in bedbug sniffing dogs! When in actual fact, three is no such thing! And to make the elderly feel safe they gave each one a bedbug trap. If you have never heard of this particular type of trap it is because they don’t work!

Nothing is worse, probably since the Middle Ages than bedbugs, and they are extraordinarily hard to get rid of. Oh well, I am hoping by the time you read this, Evergreen and its residents are bug free, but if this particular company doesn’t mend their ways, it could just be a breeding ground for these insidious bugs. Oh and yes, they bite!

About 3 years ago I decided to buy myself one of the beautiful orchids that you see quite often and they are about $19.95. For me, it was a huge decision because that is a lot of money and I am known fondly by my loved ones as Mrs. Brown thumb! Although this nickname is cruel, it is more often right than wrong. I do have a big Hibiscus tree that we take with us when we go to the Cape in the summer but I guess that one doesn’t count. I also have the biggest Old Man Cactus, but he seems to take care of himself and hardly need anything.

So, here I am with a beautiful white orchid. Of course, within a few weeks, I think, it lost it’s lovely flowers and all that was left were green leaves and the stem. Well, I did water it and took it to the Cape also. For two years it made the trip. It didn’t die but it didn’t bloom either. This past summer, Heidi, my daughter-in-law, told me to give it an ice cube about every other day and keep it in the sun. And I did, faithfully! But no flowers at all, just green, quite lush leaves. When we went home in the fall, both of my spoiled baby plants came home, too. Now, Malcolm had decided to put the hibiscus back in its winter place where it does get a little sun and of course it began to bloom the minute its pot hit its familiar place. And because Malcolm has a greener thumb than I do, he put the orchid on the window sill which is where it might get the much needed sun. He also began to water it regularly and let the ice cube be a distant memory.

Well, right in the middle of the leaves, a sad little stick began to grow. It didn’t look like anything but it did grow about 12” in what I considered a very short time. And then one day, lo and behold, the stick started to get funny little growths on the end. And then they turned into actual buds! Every day when he watered it, Malcolm examined those buds and then one day while watering, he raced over to me and said “look at this one bud, I think it is going to bloom!” I won’t drag this out but tell you that within a week or so, we now have five huge white flowers and 3-4 more buds to go!

Although I am not the person who has actually nursed this middle-aged plant back to blooming, I am planning on taking credit for it! Who knew that you could actually bring this elderly stick back to life and now we have the most beautiful and lovely orchid you can imagine. Now a Brown Thumb couldn’t have done that, right?
I had planned to send a picture of the orchid that I took with my cell phone but I couldn’t pull it off. So, you will just have to trust me and don’t rethink getting your own orchid too much. If I can keep one alive this long and then have it actually bloom, I know you can, too.

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