Thursday, April 16, 2009

Dee Dum, Dee Dum, Delightful, Redux

When I opened the curtains this morning, the sky was overcast. Our streak of nice-ish weather seemed over.

A while later, after The Spouse and children left, I looked out the window and saw people on the street carrying umbrellas.

That's not good.

Just a moment ago, I thought it suddenly seemed quite dark in here. I looked up.

It's snowing.

The kids went to school today in sneakers.

Yeah, yeah, I know. It's Moscow. Expats tell me they've seen snow here in June.

But, see, the thing is . . . we now also have . . .

MOSQUITOES.

I had to shut the windows last night and turn on the AC (since the central heat is still on . . . good thing, too, cuz, it's like, snowing out there . . .). I went through my stash of plug-in mosquito repellent gadgets. I have no repellent to put in them. I even looked at the grocery store yesterday, but they still have the shoe polish display front and center.

It's too early for the mosquito repellent products.

But poor Spouse and Skittles: mosquitoes ignore me, but find them delicious. Especially Skittles. There was a rush for the anti-itch gel this morning.

In cheerier news, I seem to have solved the pussy willow mystery. All over town, I have seen people carrying small sprays of pussy willow. There are often babushkas outside the Metro selling them. I like pussy willow okay, but always preferred forcing forsythia in an effort to bring a little spring indoors.

Well, it seems there is a religious significance to the pussy willow here. It's not Palm Sunday, but Pussy Willow Sunday.

Palm branches weren't something one found this far north (although, you don't see many palm trees in the American Midwest either, yet everyone has a palm for Palm Sunday). Further, it seems, the people of Jerusalem cut "leafy branches" to lay before Jesus. The Orthodox Church doesn't see any strict requirement there, so any type of branch may be used.

So there you have it: your fun fact for the day.

5 comments:

Tina in CT said...

I had not thought of packing insect repellent for my trip in a few weeks to Moscow but I'll add that to my list. Thanks for posting about the pesty insects. They love to bite me so I'll come prepared.

I sure hope it doesn't snow in a few weeks. I want sun and dry sidewalks.

valentina said...

Oh I too am a mosquito magnet so I am really sympathetic to Skittles and Da...

And snow? Who'd a thunk it?

Pussy willows are lovely but they attract Japanese beetle so we don't plant them much. But they are easy to sprout in water from a switch and we had a big bush in the backyard when I was a kid and I'd take them to school.

Here the Japanese quince are blooming with their
translucent coral petals and are really lovely.

My tulips are going strong; the narcissus are waning and Lowell brought a bunch of lilacs which smell so sweet.

I hope the spring returns there tomorrow.

xov

Anonymous said...

The Russian name of pussy willow is verba, and the Palm Sunday is called Verbnoye Voskresenie.
Olga

kate said...

Doesn't your apteka have the refills? Ours do even in mid-winter...when we occasionally have a rogue mosquito.

I don't know what's in that stuff but it must be TOXIC because it always works! (But I make sure to unplug it every morning. Don't want to kill the cats, too.)

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