Thursday, September 30, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
Over the years she has probably bought some of every Rose specimen we've offered. One of her first purchases was some Rose Absolute, back in the 90's...she loved it. I remember when we were able to find some Rosa Alba in 2005 - Laura was the first to order. A true Rose lover.
This week she seized the opportunity on the 15th to order a Rose Quartz Amulet for herself, and commented with the order: "Hi Marge! It's apple picking time up here in New England!
Saturday, September 11, 2010
We called Annie, to see if she wanted to come over...no she wanted to be alone. My daughter called..she and Steph wanted a prayer circle, could they come over at lunch and pray with us all.
I called both my sons. Both far from danger...but I think every parent needed to reach out to their children that morning.
Jen and Steph arrived, with some friends and coworkers...we left the TV 'cause not everyone could fit in this room... sat in a circle on the living room floor, held hands, prayed and cried. Prayers for those trapped in the buildings, those on the planes, the heroes trying to save lives, the families, just now learning that they had lost loved ones. Prayers for our country, for courage and strength, and wisdom.
How ironic that the two men who shared that awful day with us, Rick, my oldest employee, and my Albert were both fated to leave us before a year was out.
And today in the midsouth men who call themselves Christians are talking of continuing the hatred that caused that terrible day.
I don't understand that kind of hatred. I don't know of anyone who does.
I started this blog article with a link to a song... here's another one... Let There Be Peace On Earth.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
by Christi Pugh for Nature's Gift
We try not to get too excited over mercury retrograde around here, usually duly noting it, mentally preparing, & then having a laugh or a grumble depending on the circumstances which arise. I say “usually” because this mercury retrograde has been anything but usual. Normally speaking you expect a few mechanical and/or technical glitches, grit your teeth, and move on.
From our experience this go around (it ends on September 12th), interpersonal communication seems to be most impacted. We love our clients and are always happy to share information or point someone in the right direction, however, the calls we’ve gotten this past week have been nonsensical in the “Who’s on First,” routine, sense of the word. I suspect if it weren’t so frustrating we could/would find it comical.
I sent an email to Marge & T venting my frustration after what felt like the millionth crazy call:
Please let this mercury retrograde come to an end. I am very tired of stupid questions.
As in, "how do I know your Helichrysum you say is from Corsica & certified organic on the website, really is? How do I know it is what you say it is & also that it is not old or something else?"
Lord, please, please, stop these communications snafus. If I've ever wanted a Mercury retrograde to end, this is the one. Thank you for your attention to this matter. That is all.
Then there was the local woman who wanted to start her own aromatherapy business & after emailing a lengthy probing note, also asked Marge out to lunch to “pick her brain.” Marge politely declined via email, shared some resources that would be helpful, & gave requested input to questions she had asked. Initially, the woman responded thanking Marge. Hours later she responded again, in a rage, basically calling Marge a “know it all & unfriendly.” I couldn’t help but think: how ironic that an individual who comes to someone asking for their expertise & advice, would turn around and call that same person a “know it all,” just because she doesn’t like the answers received from the inquiry. (or perhaps was just upset that Marge turned her down for lunch.)
You see what I mean. This mercury retrograde is just a bit crazy…and I am not even sharing the half of it. It almost makes one afraid to answer the telephone.
Okay, one more: this morning someone called saying we sent their order to the wrong address. I wanted to make it right & was mortified. Then they told me that they forgot to change it to their new address when they submitted the order…but it was our fault for shipping it to the old address, anyway. Huh? How could we know their new address if they never shared it with us?
Again, I reiterate my plea to the heavens. Let the retrograde be done & gone, at least until December 10th, when it makes its next unwelcome appearance. Then feel free to remind me again, “Who’s on first?”
Monday, September 6, 2010
Dessert is easy. I count on my well worn copy of The Cake Doctor. (Yes, I can bake some wonderful cakes from scratch. Just ask my children. I baked both of my daughter's wedding cakes. But that takes time and energy that I sometimes lack. So I count on recipes from The Cake Doctor and folks think I have done it all from scratch.) My big KitchenAid stand mixer will hold TWO batches of cake mix with all the add ins... so last night after I came home, two fancied up sheet cakes went in the oven. A quick pineapple/coconut glaze, and dessert was ready.
This morning I needed two Salads... time for my trusty "Instant Calico Pasta"... A secret a friend who was a caterer in a past life shared. The part that takes the longest is boiling the water.
Have on hand:
- 1 Box Salad pasta: rotini, Bow Ties, your choice
- 1 bag/package Frozen Mixed Italian Vegetables (The brand I buy has carrots, zucchini, Italian flat green beans, cauliflower, I forget what else.)
- A amall bag of frozen mixed color sweet peppers and onions is nice to have, but not essential.
- Some sort of liquid Salad dressing. Could be French or Italian, but those are more equally recognized, and the goal is to have people think you slaved. I like Store Brand "Sun Dried Tomato Vinaigrette" but a "Roasted Red Pepper with Parmesan" has worked well.
If you have time you can add whatever other goodies seem appropriate... I halved some presliced turkey pepperoni, snipped some deli ham. If you have some sundried tomatoes, snip them and toss in. Olives would be good if you are an olive person. (I'm not!) The frozen slices of pepper were fairly long, so I snapped them in half or thirds before adding. The zucchini slices were huge, so I halved them. (A big heavy butchers knife will cut frozen vegetables nicely.) Coarsely grated or finely diced cheese is a great addition...I didn't have any, and no time to dice some.
For two HUGE bowls (two parties, remember?) I used one box of small Rotini, one box of Farfalle (bowtie noodles), two packages of mixed vegetables, one package of frozen peppers, and a full 16 oz bottle of salad dressing. (Had used less, but the batch at the first party was a tad dryer than I would have chosen, so when I came home, added more dressing to the second bowl.) Leftovers work well for lunch or dinner, although there are seldom any leftovers available.
And that's what I brought to the two Labor Day parties.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
for Nature's Gift
Recent headlines about bed bug infestations across the country are hard to ignore. Just thinking about it makes my skin crawl!
Luckily, no one at Nature’s Gift has encountered the problem so far. (Thankfully!) However, Marge considered staying at a hotel in Nashville for an upcoming conference & had second thoughts after word of a developing bed bug problem in the area. We also had an inquiry from a client about to go on vacation concerned about the possibility of encountering the little pests.
So what can you do to combat these critters when traveling or staying in hotels?
Essential oils recommended for combating insects include: Lemon Eucalyptus, Lemon Teatree, Cedarwood (we would use Atlas), Australian Blue Cypress, Patchouli, & Lavender Angustifolia. Some recommend Lemongrass, but the Lemon Eucalyptus or Lemon Teatree would likely be more effective. According to client feedback, our Skeeter Beater is an effective repellent for mosquitoes, fleas, biting flies, chiggers, etc. If I were in that situation, I would definitely reach for the Skeeter Beater.
Perhaps making a spritzer from the Skeeter Beater Synergy in a 4 oz PET Cobalt atomizer bottle to spray on the mattress, box springs, & bedding, is a thought. Marge also was thinking if she did stay in the hotel, she would wear the Skeeter Beater Gel in bed, to sleep. Lavender on a tissue in the pillow case could also be helpful for sleep & relaxation.
For the spritzer use 40 drops of the Skeeter Beater Synergy, a cap full or two of drugstore witch hazel, and about 4 oz of distilled water in an atomizer spray bottle. You will need to shake it up each time before use since the oil & water tend to separate.
If you do become prey for the unwelcome parasites & develop an itch from their bites, Cajeput Essential Oil is very effective for treating fire ant & other insect bites, so it would probably work well. I know someone in Delaware who recently encountered bed bugs while visiting a friend. She was itchy & miserable. She called & asked, “What do I have that I could use for it?” I said, “Do you have any Cajeput?” Thankfully, she did. She used it on the bites & it gave her relief.
Rather than using the Cajeput neat on the skin, try a 10% dilution in a carrier oil. Jojoba & Fractionated Coconut are both good choices as carrier oils, but I like to use Apricot Kernel as my carrier for bug bites since it absorbs so quickly, is safe on sensitive skin, & is helpful for inflamed skin. Use 60 drops of essential oil to one ounce of carrier oil to achieve the 10% dilution. (Quick reference dilution chart from the website) We’ve also gotten feedback that Helichrysum is soothing for bug bites, so that is another option. I personally prefer Cajeput because in my experience it almost always instantly stops the itching.
Here’s hoping you don’t encounter bed bugs during your travels. But it certainly doesn’t hurt to be prepared!