Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Thieves Essential Oil

A couple of weeks ago, I visited my friend, Lambie to learn about essential oils. I was interested in reducing my use of cleaning and health/beauty products with laboratory chemicals with names that are hard to pronounce. I wanted more natural products without dyes and chemical preservatives. I especially wanted a natural, bug repellent that would work.

Lambie brought out her collection of Young Living Essential Oils. They are high-quality, food grade or therapeutic oils distilled from plants. They can be use in a diffuser to perfume the air to enhance mood. The oils can also be combine with a carrier oil (coconut, almond, olive) and used on the skin. Some of the oils like lavender have anti-bacterial properties.

I sniffed a lot of oils. Some were quite pleasing. Some I didn't like. The one I fell in love with was called Thieves. The story about this oil goes during the Middle Ages during the Black Death, a group of thieves was robbing the dead. They didn't get sick. Confronted, they divulged their secret to smearing themselves with a blend of cinnamon, cloves, eucalyptus, rosemary, and lemon.Combined these oils may have anti-bacterial properties.

I was hooked. Ordered a starter kit (more on that later), and also ordered a bottle of the Thieves essential oil and household cleaner.

For quite some time, I've been using distilled white vinegar as an all-purpose cleaner. It works as well as commercial products, but doesn't have the most pleasing aroma. Per Young Living, added a capful of the household cleaner to my vinegar water solution plus a few drops of Citrus Fresh essential oil and now my all-purpose cleaner smells great, and it even cleans glass without streaking.

I made bug repellent, too. Mixing witch hazel, water, and Thieves essential oil. Smells way better than any of the commercial sprays. Haven't tested whether the bugs hate it.

And then my story turned weird.

Last week, a few days after the Solstice, I could feel a bout of vertigo coming on. (My vertigo seems to be tied to seasonal changes) There was a bit of pressure in my left ear and a feeling like something was dripping or moving around. Wasn't in any pain. Had gone to the doctor several years ago and told I had Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. Simplified, this is when the calcium crystals in your inner ear which tell your brain whether you are moving, clump together and the room begins to spin. My doctor had prescribed medication, but I don't like taking it as it renders me useless and makes me feel worse.

Essential oils are used for all sorts of problems like minor skin irritations. I started hunting around to see if there was something that would work for me. Found lavender oil  (because of the anti-bacterial properties) rubbed behind the ear, along the jawline and bottom of the feet was helpful for earache. Not quite what I had as I didn't have ear pain, but I figured it couldn't hurt. Only, I didn't have lavender oil. (more on that later), but I did have the Thieves. Mixed a teaspoon of almond oil with a couple of drops of Thieves essential oil. Rubbed the mixture behind me ears and along my jawline. Never put anything in your ears unless prescribed by a doctor! I felt a little better and smelled great!

Before I went to bed, did a crunch exercise to help alleviate BPPV I also smeared the remaing Thieves and almond oil behind my ears and to the bottoms of my feet. Here's the weird part, I got an electrical tingling sensation in my left foot that raced up my left leg. It was similar to the epidural I was given during labor/when I had The Eldest. I could then feel the tingling on my left side of my upper teeth, under my left eye, around my left eye and above my left eye (all the sinuses). The tingling only lasted a few seconds.

In the morning, the vertigo feeling was gone. Was it due to the Thieves oil? The exercise? Psychosomatic? I don't know and really don't care. I felt back to normal. The vertigo was gone, and I didn't have to take the nasty medication.

So that's my weird experience with Thieves essential oil. Your mileage my vary. Remember, if you are experiencing any sort of pain or medical problem, see your doctor before you try any homeopathic remedies.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Legacy Box - Customer Service

At the beginning of the month, I talked about my experience with Legacy Box I sent some home movies (8 mm film, VHS) to be converted to digital. Everything was fine, except I couldn't make copies of the discs.

Cellphone reception in the basement near my computer is sporadic.Fortunately, LegacyBox has a chat customer service tab. Type your question and you'll instantly be connected to a customer service rep to chat with in real time.

I explained my problem to Kent. I thought perhaps, LB had a proprietary copyright on their disc. He said no. He asked if I had checked off the box to have digitial files discs so that I could edit, share, upload. What box? In my enthusiasm to send the films, I must not have paid attention when I was filling out my order.

He said I could have those files made. How much was this going to cost? It would be free. It's a complimentary service that's offered. Great! Instantly, Kent sent a pre-printed, return shipping lable. Free return shipping! Pack everything up in the box, slap on the shipping label, drop off at FedEx or the post office.

Dealing with customer service was easy. Quick, no hassle, no argument. I do love a company that caters to its customers.

I'm so happy with the results (Remember the images are only digitized. They are not remastered). I now have precious memories that I can watch and share with other family members. Thank you Legacy Box

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Message from the Universe

ICAD Nbr. 25 - Challenge Prompt:
Botanic or Organic
My name wasn't drawn out of the hat to win an art supply prize in the Blick Fur and Feathers Contest It was a message from the universe that I have too much stuff.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Index Card A Day - 20, 22 - 24

Challenge Prompt: Color Wheel
Challenge Prompt: Psychedelic
Challenge Prompt: Romantic

Challenge Prompt : Geometric
Copied from one of my favorite t-shirts I found
on Redbubble.com

Friday, June 26, 2015

The Friday Five Good Things

Five good things that happened this week.

1. Himself wanted swordfish for his Father's Day dinner. He went to the fish market and bought some beautiful steaks. Baked them to perfection with lemon pepper. Mmmmm

2. Lambie gave me some home-made peppermint foot soak.

3. Legacy Box came through with sending me digitial copies of the home movies that was missing from my first order. More on that later.

4. The laptop had no sound so Master Beef to the rescue.

5. Had my hair cut for the Summer.

How was your week?

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Throwback Thursday

A Facebook friend asked what was your favorite piece from the game, Monopoly. The game board and other pieces are long gone, but I still have my cowboy.  What was your favorite Monopoly token?

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Bunny Bought the Farm

Back in May, I reported Himself hadn't eaten his Easter, chocolate, baseball bunny.At the time, the Boston Red Sox had been on a winning streak, and Himself felt it wouldn't ruin the streak if he at the bunny. Shortly after the blog post, the team began to tank. Still, Himself wanted to give his team the benefit on the doubt. Surely, they would rally. They didn't. Himself was disgusted so the bunny bought the farm.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Index Card A Day - 17 -19

Challenge Prompt: Wabi Sabi
Nothing is perfect
Nothing is permanent
Nothing is complete
Teapot sticker torn and gilded with 23 karat gold leaf

Challenge Prompt: Treehouse

Letter Play - Ancora Imparo, I am still learning

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Summer Is

Sun spiral 23 karat gold
finally here! Happy Summer Solstice! Happy Father's Day, too.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Friday, June 19, 2015

The Friday Five Good Things

Five good things that happened this week.

1. The Eldest and I have been watching a favorite anime, Cardcaptor Sakura, (a kind of Pandora's Box story) My favorite character, Yue, Guardian of the Moon, finally made his appearance. The Eldest told me "You're patience has been rewarded."

2. Finally used gift cards and went out to eat at Longhorn Steakhouse. Love that place even if they updated their Western theme and got rid of Heath's chaps.

3. Master Beef replaced the fan in the old laptop. I can now compute from the sun room.

4. Went to Lambie's to learn about essential oils.  Had tea, sniffed wonderful fragrances. Even got a hug from her oldest grandson to thank me for giving him a lambie blanket when he was born. W is 10 now and he told me he still loves his boo.

5. Went to lunch and ran errands with my friend, Teague. Stayed for dinner which was leftover lunch. Had a great time yacking about houses, furniture, family, movies, genealogy...

How was your week?

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Throwback Thursday

8th grade graduation, 17. June 1969.  The photo is over exposed. The dress I'm wearing is not white. Ma picked the lace dress I'm wearing in Not My Favorite Color. I'm also wearing white lace gloves.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Hand-made Journals

Quick little journals I made for A and myself for our recent trip to Tower Hill. Simple journal bound with decorative Duct tape of all things. Instructions found on YouTube.

Monday, June 15, 2015


Dick Blick Art Supplies is holding a contest, Fur and Feathers. Submit an original artwork of an animal by Wednesday, 17. June 2015, and have a chance to win some art supplies. Who doesn't need more art supplies? Since the animal project for the karate studio was put on hold, I decided to put Burly to work. Winners will be announced later this week. Wish me luck.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Index Card a Day - 10 - 12

Daisies and Clover at Tower Hill

Fabric pattern on new chair

Salt and Pepper - Oops, I forgot to color the eye of the white kitty

Friday, June 12, 2015

The Friday Five Good Things

Drawing of Friendship Urn at
Tower Hill
Five good things that happened this week.

1. Made journals for art date with A

2. My nephew graduated from Virginia Tech. He called to thank us for the graduation gift we sent. Sweet boy took time to talk to an old lady.

3. In honor of D-Day, Himself and I watched one of our favorite movies, The Great Escape. Still wish Eric Ashley-Pitt (played by baby David McCallum) had made it.

4. Himself's new comfy chair for the sun room arrived. It swivels, rocks, and reclines. Didn't arrive in time for his birthday, but perfect timing for Father's Day.

5. Met A and her sister at Tower Hill Botanical Garden in Boylston, MA for an art date. Great company, gorgeous weather, and a lovely lunch

How was your week?

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Throwback Thursday

My escort and I posing for Prom pictures outside my parents' house.  8. June 1973

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Index Card A Day - Cards 7-9

Periodic Table of Elements

Grapefruit and Cherry
From Public Enemy where Jimmy Cagney mashes a grapefruit
into Mae Clarke's face. Angered by her constant use of "I wish", he grabs
the grapefruit from his plate and says, "I wish you was a wishing well so
I could tie a bucket to ya and sink ya."
The challenge prompts for the rest of this week didn't inspire me so I made up my own.  Instructions for the Origami Kimono Girl


Monday, June 8, 2015

Index Card A Day 2015 - Cards 2 - 6

Remember I said I was just going to jump into the Index Card A Day Challenge? Just start from the day I heard about the challenge and not worry about missing the first few days. I lied. I made up the missing days because it was more fun to create art than clean the house.

I found a small, photobook  no longer being used. That will house the cards. Flipping pages will be easier to see the art than rifling through a card box. Because of the protective pages, won't have to laminate the cards so they can be handled.

The chevron card will be the title page of the book.  I used the prompts from the challenge. Cards were drawn with Sharpie pen, watercolor pencil, Schminke Gold Perl gouache.

Map - From a Bostonian Point of View


Sunday, June 7, 2015

Index Card A Day 2015

I heard about the Index Card a Day challenge from Robin at Pink House Studio

The challenge involves creating art on a 3 in. x 5 in. index card for the months of June and July. 61 cards. The idea is to create something each day, not worry about creating a museum piece. Sounds good. Prompts for themes and materials can be found on the ICAD 2015 Index page in case you want to play, too.

I found some index cards, and then....didn't like the idea of index cards scattered all over the place. Where could I put them? What could I do with them? I know, I know. I shouldn't be worrying about this.

While picking some things up at Target, I found a spiral bound book of index cards. Perfect. Until I sat down to do the challenge. The index cards are screaming fluorescent colors. It shouldn't make a difference, but it did.

I have tons of  scrap paper inside the hope chest. I found a bunch of small, watercolor paper samples bolted together.  Really nice paper. Shades of white and pastels, one side plain and the other printed with the name of the mill and type of paper. The paper was just languishing in the pile. So I cut the paper down to 3 in. x 5 in. I'm happier though I still don't know how I'm going to corral them.

I thought I'd just jump right in not worry about catching up. To get me going I'd follow the prompts. My first card. Owl, from the Warner Bros. cartoon.

Saturday, June 6, 2015


A few weeks ago while browsing through Bed, Bath, and Beyond, I came across an imported box of Yukon Gold Tea. Didn't need it, but I liked the packaging. Tea is delightfully robust, too. What's the connection?

Blog buddy, Ann of ann@studiohyde has been sharing her gorgeous photos of her trip to Wales.  She took a video of a drive through the Elan Valley . Fluffy clouds of sheep dot the green fields just like on the box of tea.

Pop on over to Ann's blog and take an armchair trip through gorgeous countryside.

Friday, June 5, 2015

The Friday Five Good Things

Five good things that happened this week.

1. Red and I went to work out with Master Beef at Master In The Morning.  We worked on Chi Gong exercises which is aligning mind, body, and spirit through gentle movement and breathing.

2. Then had lobster rolls at Panera.

3. Had gorgeous weather for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life. Manned the Natick Wellness Group booth with Master Beef and other members. We offered Reiki  to cancer patients, survivors, care givers, and Relay participants. Had a steady stream of takers all afternoon. All proceeds were donated to the American Cancer Society.

4. Had lunch with the Young One after her CAD class.

5. Was supposed to have an art date with A at Tower Hill Botanic Gardens. Weather was cool and cloudy so we postponed until next week. Had our regular art date over Skype, or tried to. Skype kept dropping me. Ended up calling A on the phone. Old technology, but it is reliable.

How was your week?

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Throwback Thursday - LegacyBox

While trying to organize the family photographs, there was also the question of what to do with video especially my Dad's Super 8 film reels crossed my mind. We had looked into this many years ago, but the cost was extremely expensive. Something like $12 per foot and Dad took a lot of film.

From Reel 1: Italian Family Gathering a la Norman Rockwell
Front to back: Ma in red sweater, Uncle S. (Ma's brother-in-law,) Auntie P,
(Dad's Brother M's Wife,(I think), Paternal Grandpa, Paternal Great Uncle J
I saw an ad on Facebook for LegacyBox.  LegacyBox is a service that will digitally preserve your photos, VHS tapes, mini-cassette, audio tape, and film. They price by numbers of items and have a size for all budgets. Even better, by visiting their site, they offered 25% off for adding your email address to their customer list.

I decided to give it a try, but had a question about film reels. Dad loved filming. Besides his camera, he also had a film splicer. So rather than have a bunch of small reels, Dad spliced several reels into a couple of large reels. I wasn't sure how LegacyBox would count the large reel. No worries. An online chat with a LegacyBox representative answered all my questions. The large reel would count as one item. Cool!

I decided to go with the smallest box, the Starter. 3 items (3 films, 3 tapes, or 25 pictures or mix and match). I sent the large reel, a VHS tape of every second of every event of the Eldest's First 3 years, and a mini-cassette of us at the Skowhegan (Maine) Fair when the Young One was 3 years old.

After purchasing the Starter Kit, a week or so later, a sturdy, mailing box with a shipping label arrived from LegacyBox. I packed my items and shipped it back. Shipping is included in the price.

I wasn't sure what was going to happen with the large reel. The film was in terrible condition. Over the past 65 years, it had been kept in the brutal heat and cold of an attic, and a damp basement. The conversion process takes 4 to 6 weeks. The media is not restored just digitized. I half expected to get a sorry no can do email.

Along the way, I received email updates keeping me informed of the process. The LegacyBox arrived with 3 DVDs and my original film canister and cassettes.

When the LegacyBox arrived, I immediately played the film reel DVD. I knew there wouldn't have been a problem converting the VHS or the mini-cassette. It's amazing LegacyBox was able to digitize any image from the film reel. Sections of the film had heat damage and that shows up on the DVD. (Remember, these are not restored just digitized.)

 The DVDs play on the DVD player and computer. I was thrilled to see images of my paternal grandparents. I did not know these grandparents as my grandfather passed before I was born, and my grandmother passed a month after I was born. How exciting to see all the aunts and uncles when they were young parents.  I was very pleased with the DVDs, but...

I was not able to burn copies of the DVDs to share with other family members. LegacyBox states the DVDs will be in MP4 format, though looking at the file the extension is .VOB, a type of MP4 format. Apparently, the .vob file format is copyright protected. LegacyBox is copyrighting their DVD except the customer owns the images. I should be able to make as many copies as I want. I also can't find any information on their site about cost for extra DVDs. I'll be giving customer service a call to see about copies.

Overall, I was pleased with their service. LegacyBox delivered what they said they would do. Also, seems to be a sale going on starting today 50% off.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Missed the Mark

The Young One and I stopped for lunch on the way home after I picked her up from class.  This was our order number. I didn't get 3 in a row. I'm only 9.909 percent evil.