Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Welcome to Mississippi!

Mississippi, Day 1:

Me: “I can’t believe we’re driving with styrofoam food trays on our laps.”  We laugh.
Sis: “Welcome to Mississippi.”

Mostly, MS has not lived up to all my stereotypical images and dramatic expectations. When you hear "Mississippi," you picture shacks by cotton fields. While there is a cotton field at the end of my sister’s road, this northeast corner of MS looks like any other sorta rural place: there are two lane roads, neighborhoods, a downtown, a few trailer parks... kind of like where I grew up in VA.

However, Mississippi does have some quirks.

Yesterday, I had only been in the state for 3 hours, but already my nephew had found a pinecone with a black widow in it, and I had gotten bitten by a tiny, translucent, red creature. I have no idea what it was. (Mini-scorpion?) I know for a fact it wasn’t a fire ant, because my nephew got attacked by a swarm of those last summer, and my bite, while itchy, did not form into a pustule/welt like he had all over his legs and hands.

What fire ants can do was a revelation to me.

The one thing about Mississippi that meets the dramatic expectations- not the accent, not the poverty, not the obesity- is the fire ants. Read my previous post “Fire Ants: Giving Regular Ants a Bad Name” for further info.

Mississippi has other quirks that I’ll try to capture on camera this week. This is my 7th or 8th trip out here over the past 2 years (my niece and nephews are my obsessions, besides my blogs), and I’ve never captured the area on film as much as I want. You can see some of what I have gotten on my flickr gallery.

About the eating while driving thing: my sis was behind the wheel with a cheeseburger and tater tots, I had a grilled chicken and bacon wrap, and the boys had grilled cheese. We had to eat like that because it was past bedtime and the boys hadn’t eaten yet because we had to go straight to T-ball from picking me up at the tiny Tupelo, MS airport. My husband does not let me eat in his car very often, so even though I could have waited to eat my wrap, I was hungry, and getting to eat while driving felt like a luxury.

Day 2: Had the nephew’s birthday!


Anonymous said...

First off, Darling, be careful! MS sounds like a dangerous place.

Secondly, I LOVE your photos. Keep them coming.

Thirdly, DID I SEE UNLEADED GAS FOR 2.699 A GALLON in one of those photos?! I am so moving there!

Enjoy your trip and those precious children. I can see why you are obessessed with them!

Anonymous said...

You can kill fire ants with aspartame or orange juice and repel them with baby powder - Learn how to kill pests without killing yourself or the earth......
There are about 50 to 60 million insect species on earth - we have named only about 1 million and there are only about 1 thousand pest species - already over 50% of these thousand pests are already resistant to our volatile, dangerous, synthetic pesticide POISONS. We accidentally lose about 25,000 to 100,000 species of insects, plants and animals every year due to "man's footprint". But, after poisoning the entire world and contaminating every living thing for over 60 years with these dangerous and ineffective pesticide POISONS we have not even controlled much less eliminated even one pest species and every year we use/misuse more and more pesticide POISONS to try to "keep up"! Even with all of this expensive and unnecessary pollution - we lose more and more crops and lives to these thousand pests every year.

We are losing the war against these thousand pests mainly because we insist on using only synthetic pesticide POISONS and fertilizers There has been a severe "knowledge drought" - a worldwide decline in agricultural R&D, especially in production research and safe, more effective pest control since the advent of synthetic pesticide POISONS and fertilizers. Today we are like lemmings running to the sea insisting that is the "right way". The greatest challenge facing humanity this century is the necessity for us to double our global food production with less land, less water, less nutrients, less science, frequent droughts, more and more contamination and ever-increasing pest damage.

National Poison Prevention Week, March 18-24,2007 was created to highlight the dangers of poisoning and how to prevent it. One study shows that about 70,000 children in the USA were involved in common household pesticide-related (acute) poisonings or exposures in 2004. At least two peer-reviewed studies have described associations between autism rates and pesticides (D'Amelio et al 2005; Roberts EM et al 2007 in EHP). It is estimated that 300,000 farm workers suffer acute pesticide poisoning each year just in the United States - No one is checking chronic contamination.
In order to try to help "stem the tide", I have just finished re-writing my IPM encyclopedia entitled: THE BEST CONTROL II, that contains over 2,800 safe and far more effective alternatives to pesticide POISONS. This latest copyrighted work is about 1,800 pages in length and is now being updated at my new website at .

This new website at has been basically updated; all we have left to update is Chapter 39 and to renumber the pages. All of these copyrighted items are free for you to read and/or download. There is simply no need to POISON yourself or your family or to have any pest problems.

Stephen L. Tvedten
2530 Hayes Street
Marne, Michigan 49435
When a man who is honestly mistaken hears the truth, he will either quit being mistaken or cease to be honest.

"An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come." --Victor Hugo
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." -- Martin Luther King Jr.