Lemongrass Anyone?

Lemongrass Pre-Buy from Fragrance Laboratory

One of my favorite suppliers is opening up a Pre-Buy for Lemongrass in case any of you readers need, use, love essential oils.  They offer it in 8 oz and 16 oz sizes and their quality is second to none.  I’ve worked with them for years and have always loved how their fragrance and essential oils have performed.  Nothing speaks to quality like a well-produced batch of soap, lotion, or pest avoidance product.  I love using Lemongrass in my Bugs Me Not!

Prebuys work in just such a way.  They receive a sample, put in a minimum order for a certain baseline amount to their supplier, must sell a minimum numbers of pounds from this baseline amount and if it reaches that minimum baseline amount they order the oil.   Once the oil arrives, it’s bottled by our supplier, which in this case is Fragrance Laboratory, then they will notify you that it’s going out in xx days.  Most soapmakers stay ahead of the curve by working in two-month-in-advance patterns, so this method of ordering should be no problem for most of you.  This method takes longer so you cannot be in urgent need of the oil, so be prepared for a wait.  It’s truly worth it though because you get exactly what you want and the quality is beyond compare.

Their packaging is sturdy as well so be prepared to work for it when your order arrives.  I’ve never had any spills from any order placed over the many years I’ve ordered from them, which is great as a spilled oil is not usable and your precious money gets wasted as well as the oil.

Stop into their site and see for yourself.  They offer some of the best fragrance oils on the market, with testing and result posted on the site to make it easier for you to create with confidence.





Strange Times

According to every meteorologist on every news station around, we are currently experiencing the second warmest February on record and that’s saying something as the records go back to 1887.  That’s the year my great-grandmother was born and only 52 after the Civil ended.

With warm weather an itch begins.  That nagging itch to break the soil, turn it over, loosen and prepare it and plant something wondrous.  Something that brings the world back to colourful life, brings the birds, butterflies, moths, bees and even bats back to our yards. (Don’t cringe at that last one.)

I have high hopes every year though they usually don’t fall into place quite as I’d planned. This year, once again those hopes are just as high as in years prior, but this year I have a feeling they’re going to come pretty darn close to that expectation than in those other years.

Much needs to be done first though.  Edging is needed to keep the soil in place, then those bulbs are going into the ground this year and hope they’ll come back to life despite their long wait.  Every year we have moonflowers and they’re are so breathtakingly white, ethereal glowing white in the darkest of nights and those bats, Luna moths, and even hummingbirds are are overjoyed to see them appear.  Those will be planted up front as always.

Moonflower (768x1024)

A nice box planter is something I’d like to add if I can find one I like enough to bring home.  Something for the geraniums that were favorites of my late mother-in-law along with roses that we hope to add more of around the front of the house. Roses, thanks to those lethal thorns, are a great protective plant for windows around your home.  Holly bushes are also nice, but they’re literally a pain to prune.

Knockout Red Rose

The peonies, my own personal favorite are here and every May they start showing off their abundant frilly coated blooms. With these unusually warm days, I’m tempted to take a peek to see if they’re starting to shoot, but there are some close-to-freezing temps coming soon so no peeking until after the danger is passed.

Peonies beginning to bud out May 8 2016.JPG
Variegated Peony

Plans have changed for the side bed that runs the length of the driveway.  It too will need an edging as all our topsoil washes out with every single rainstorm, but the choosing is proving harder than expected.  It will be slow, but it will get closer to completion than we have seen in previous years.

So joining the hydrangeas in the side bed will be some of those hoarded bulbs, an edging to keep the soil around those green, growing beauties and cross those fingers we’ll have a vibrant floral show to enjoy come summertime when the warm weather is really here.

“Girls Waits With Gun”, by Amy Stewart

Allow me to introduce you to the sisters Kopp – Constance, Norma, and Fleurette. What makes them so special? Well, for one thing, these spirited ladies were real.  It’s a book of fiction, yes, but many of the characters are people who truly existed, but the story that swirls around them is somewhat fictionalized.  Ms Stewart aimed at accuracy in certain aspects of her telling of the high adventures of the Sisters Kopp, starting right at the beginning with a smash up between the rowdy new invention,the motor car and a horse drawn carriage by a beloved equine of the family, Dolley.

The year is 1914.  The surly, spoiled Henry Kaufman, gin smuggler of ill repute hurls his motorcar headlong into the carriage of the sisters three and Dolley, and refuses to pay for damages, which they feel is his responsibility,  What ensues is a twisting tail of stalking, harassment, and gun shooting lessons with the local sheriff.  Everyone knows of Mr Kaufman’s reputation for too much booze, too much privilege, a misplaced sense of entitlement and low morals.  This mix becomes dangerous as winter sets in in earnest and the spoiled boy and his band of thugs begin a campaign of terror against the sisters who are relying on dwindling resources to get them through the winter in a remote homestead with little going for it.

The beginning of this story was seeded from the research of a previously published book by Ms Stewart, The Drunken Botanist, which introduces us to a ne’er-do-well  by the name of Henry Kaufman.  A story in a newspaper of that day splashed the headlines of a collision between a fellow of the same name and three sisters on a horse-drawn buggy. This story was so intriguing, thanks to those indomitable sisters and the outcome of that fateful day, the story had to be told.  Of course Amy Stewart’s telling was spot on for suspense, capturing the essence of the three very different women as they struggle to get through one of  the worst winters they’ve ever experienced made worse by the kidnapping threats, arson attempts, and harassment from the Band of Surlies lead by Kaufman.

This story was a fun, intriguing and captivating read top to bottom.  It’s definitely captivated my inner suffragette’s heart with these feisty women working with little and gaining so much in return.  They’re independent and remain so throughout their time in this story though now I’m curious to hear more of their adventures. The next in this series (yes, there’s more) is entitled Lady Cop Makes Trouble, which I can’t help but feel it’s both a play on words and a teaser of things to come.  Let’s just say Constance finds her calling and runs with it.

Grab this one and you’ll be hooked to join them as they sure0footedly march along through their lives and grow into their own presences in just after turn of the century  United States.  You’ll love their quirky lovable ways, laugh with those attention-grabbing, obscure headlines Norma is so fond of and the fashion stylings of Fleurette making her mark on society as it matures into the industrial age.

An obsession with journals

There are many types of obsessions – some good, some not so good. Mine is with journals.  I love to find journals to keep notes, thoughts, ideas, plans in some semblance of organization. Journals for personal use or professional use are a tremendous help to keep thoughts, plans & ideas pinned down so there’s never a time when you think,”jeez, I wish I’d written that down!”

Each one has its unique personality.  Its target contents. Some are for fragrances and blends.  Another is for designing ideas – colours, design on the tops, textures beneath, swirling movement for certain looks within the bars. Another is for additives and their various specific characteristics as well as what they bring to a batch of soap, lotion, shampoo, etc.  They are labeled in an obvious way so as to know when I’m reaching for one, it is the right one for the moment.


Other times, when I spot a journal, I gasp with delight, not knowing what will go on its blank, lined pages, only that I must have it.  It’s too beautiful to pass by.  Such is the case with my most recent find.


I found this beauty while browsing Amazon for account ledgers.  What was a onerous search suddenly turned into something miraculous, brighter than sunlight.  There were so many beautifully crafted journals it was impossible to choose so they all went into my list of favorites.  It was a painful as choosing a favorite child.  Can’t be done.  The edges have gold leafing and the book’s inside cover paper is also a soft pearly gold.  The pages for writing are lined with a soft creamy ivory tone so it doesn’t appear glaringly white to your eyes.  Subtle beauty at its finest.

This is destined for something elegant, graceful, supremely  unique and altogether set above and beyond what’s contained in the others.  What that will be remains to be seen, but this small, not expensive investment already holds a place of honour on my shelf.

Witchy Sour #2 in theMagic & Mixology Mystery series, by Gina LaManna

Witchy Sour (The Magic & Mixology Mystery Series #2)Witchy Sour by Gina LaManna
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What fun! And this once mainstream young woman turned resident of a secret island witch has learned a lot but there’s far more yet to discover. Of course there is always chaos when others conspire to eliminate her from her inherited post as Mixologist. For fans of fantasy characters – witches, vampires (who suffer from blood intolerance) and a very sexy Ranger that keeps Lily’s head spinning and her pulse racing, this is a vacation in book form. I read at night and it’s frequently a problem to keep quiet when giggling at the antics Lily, her cousins and Grandmother Hettie get up to every day of the week. It’s a non-stop romp from start to finish and you’ll be racing to find part 3 Jinx & Tonic right away.

View all my reviews