Homemade Deer-Repellent Formula

After I posted the deer photo this week (taken from our front yard), commenters mentioned how destructive deer are in their yards. I have had NO deer damage in my unfenced yard since I saw this “recipe” 13 years ago.  Most people in our subdivision have either given up on gardening or erect high fences.  The deer just don’t enter my yard!

Homemade Deer Repellent
From BACKYARD LIVING Magazine, May/June 2004

Place in an empty gallon milk jug:

1 beaten egg
1/2 Cup milk
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1Tbsp. liquid dish detergent

Fill the jug with water and shake well.

Use a plastic quart spray bottle to lightly spray plants you want to protect. Leftover solution can be stored in the spray bottle and jug for later use. Reapply once a week and after each heavy rain.

Shake well before each use.

CAUTION: Not for use on fruit, vegetables, or edible plants


Write the recipe on the side of the gallon jug with a Sharpie so you don’t have to search for the paper copy each time.

You don’t need to spray all plants–a light spray here and there in the bed will do.  Applying after a heavy rain is important. (I don’t know how much protection remains, but don’t take chances.)

For vegetable beds spray the grass around the bed. You can also spray landscape timbers, fences, and a few spots around structures–the deer hate the smell!

This Week’s Words

Reflections on My Vietnam Service

I graduated from college on May 9, 1971, and was in Navy boot camp in Orlando, Florida, on June 1. At that time, it was not an “All-Volunteer Military”—every able-bodied man was given a number in the draft “lottery.” If you ended up with a high number, you could feel fairly safe that you wouldn’t be drafted and could continue to make school/career plans. If you had a low number, you could expect to end up in the infantry in Vietnam. Some men enlisted because they wanted to serve in the war.

I had a “medium” number, which left me in limbo, so I decided to enlist in the U.S. Naval Reserves, which would require me to spend two years on a ship followed by three years of Reserve training, one weekend a month. In order to get into the Reserves I had to choose between training to be a “Boilerman” or a “Torpedoman”—their currently needed skills. I chose to be a Torpedoman (quite possibly the only one in the entire fleet who had a B.A. in English).  Torpedoes are fired from tubes up on the bow of a destroyer, not underwater

Although my ship ended up going to Vietnam, and our ship was occasionally fired upon as we shelled the coast, I use the title “Vietnam Vet” with some reservations, because I believe that the guys who earned that distinction were the ones on the ground dodging bullets. My “war stories” come from life aboard the relative safety of an old WWII-class destroyer.

When the war officially ended for the U.S. by the Paris Peace Treaty on January 27, 1973, my ship was sent home a month early. (The South Vietnamese didn’t lose the war until Saigon fell on April 30, 1975.)

Although I didn’t experience the abuse personally, the way Americans treated returning Vietnam veterans remains a national disgrace that deeply wounded those who risked their lives in the war. People in the Anti-War Movement labeled anyone who served in the war a “baby killer.” The threat of harm to us was so bad that the admiral in charge of the Navy ordered us not to travel in uniform while in the states. We had to travel in civilian clothes while on leave.

Every time I see how the current vets returning from combat are greeted at the airport by crowds of total strangers (even in the middle of the night) I have to hold back tears (1) because the country finally got it right, and (2) because this was the way returning Vietnam vets should have been treated.

I can’t honestly say that I am proud that I served in the Vietnam War. It didn’t seem to me that our country “was in it to win it.”  I am proud that I served my country and didn’t dodge the draft by going to Canada. The many foreign ports I visited as a sailor were an eye-opener for a small-town boy who had seldom traveled beyond the borders of his state.

Copyright © 2017 by John Arthur Robinson

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This Week’s Words


I have six siblings.  We were so poor that our mom couldn’t always afford lunch meat or peanut butter for our sack-lunch sandwiches for school (and we certainly couldn’t afford the 25 cents per day for the hot lunches).  Once in a while my “sandwich” consisted of applesauce between two slices of buttered bread.  It never became a family favorite.

Back then, plastic wrap or plastic sandwich bags to protect the sandwiches didn’t exist.  The only choices were aluminum foil (too expensive), waxed paper, or waxed-paper sandwich bags (neither of which kept the air out).  Mom would save the plastic bags that store-bought items came in and use those to protect our sandwiches.

I had a friend who always bought the hot lunch, but he didn’t like it when they had spaghetti, so on those days he would give me his quarter so I could  buy the hot lunch, and he would take my sack lunch in trade.

On one such “spaghetti day” I returned to our usual table with my tray of food and found my friend’s face a vivid shade of red and the other guys at the table doubled over laughing.  I had failed to caution my friend to always unwrap the sandwich inside the lunch sack before pulling it out.

That day, my frugal mother had protected my sandwich in a plastic bag that had once protected a brand new girdle.

Copyright © 2017 by John Arthur Robinson

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This Week’s Words


I have created a two-line poem for which almost endless possibilities exist for the second line.  I’ll give some examples and then invite you to add your own suggestions:

“Downhill from Here”

(1) Of that time and from that place three things remain:
fruit of the vine, taste of the grape, head pain.

(2) Of that time and from that place three things remain:
social awkwardness, major screw-up, lasting shame.

(3) Of that time and from that place three things remain:
weight gain, weight loss, weight gain.

(4) Of that time and from that place three things remain:
My delivery route, my tanker truck, propane.

(5) Of that time and from that place three things remain:
John Doe, baby Doe, wife Jane.

(6) Of that time and from that place three things remain:
that old line, that old ache, that old flame.

You get the idea.  Click on the heading above (“This Week’s Words”) to leave your suggestions as a “comment.”  You don’t need to give the first line; just leave your suggestions for the concluding line.

Copyright © 2017 by John Arthur Robinson

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