Thursday, 19 September 2013

Essential Oils

A year ago, a very good friend of mine got into essential oils.

Let me define 'got into'.

She used them on herself and her family. She spread the word. She became a distributor. She even holds a weekly open house on the subject.

Up until then I had never heard of essential oils so I attended one of her Friday sessions to hear the spiel.

Bottles were opened and sniffed. Ahhhhhhhh. Divine.

Lavender, lime, orange, grapefruit...(I especially love the smell of citrus)!

In the world of oils, you can supposedly wipe out your entire medicine chest and replace it with essential oils that are plant-based.

But there is nothing in my medicine cabinet to wipe out. I don't even take aspirin.

So when my friend wanted to 'fix' me, 'cure' me, 'help' me.....I was having a hard time coming up with a condition or issue or problem that she could attack with an oil.

Until summer.

Or what I refer to as MOSQUITO SEASON.

I gathered every bottle, spray and lotion ever used to protect myself from the evil skeeter and lined them up in a row.

It took up an entire shelf in my otherwise empty medicine cabinet.

She replaced those products with this.

A pretty glass bottle which was filled with 8 drops of TerraShield (an essential oil blend) and 8 drops of Lemon oil and water.

Just shake and spray.

It smells nice.

I used it at the lake house in Finland. FINLAND. The country of a thousand lakes and therefore a trillion gazillion bloodthirsty beasts. 

And it worked. I sprayed all over, from my feet to my scalp EVERY TIME I walked out of the house.


Ok, at the end of Day 3 the sprayer jammed and I was forced to resort to Cutter Mosquito Repellent (nothing worse than that toxic smell but it was my only backup).

But for three whole days I was skipping through the mosquito jungle (i.e. the path to the lake) and I was fine. And happy. And I smelled good.

Lest you think I was just lucky, I ran outside the last day of our stay (unsprayed due to the need for speed) to chase a 2-1/2 year old that got loose. Yes, he can outrun me, especially with a head start, but we were not outside that long. I returned to the house with over 20 bites.

A month later I passed the bottle of TerraShield and Lemon oils to my sister so she could mow her lawn in North Carolina during the summer months without a Hazmat suit (or her version of one that consists of a long-sleeve crew neck shirt with long pants tucked into men's socks that reach mid-calf....can you spell A T T R A C T I V E?). She tops this suit of armor with bug spray and wears bug bands on each wrist. Yet she still gets bites and welts.

Since using the TerraShield/lemon combo spray she hasn't had a single bite!!!

Last week we started getting ants in the kitchen. Not one or two little picnic critters but more like an ant attack. We checked the crime scene and traced the source of entry to the windowsill and sprayed it with stinky toxic Raid. Then cleaned up the pile of dead ants in the morning and tried not to choke from the fumes.

The ants came back.

It was suggested that we try our magic skeeter potion on the windowsill to prevent an ant attack.

We did.

And it worked!!!

Monday, 9 September 2013

Early Halloween

The pumpkins and skeletons were out in full force on Labor Day weekend...which I guess is slightly more bearable than seeing a tinsel-decorated tree while temperatures hover around 90 degrees.

Difficult to enjoy Fall stuff without Fall weather.

That being said, I LOVE HALLOWEEN.

And Roger's Gardens knows how to set the scene!

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Succulent Purses

As lovely as they are...

Probably not an "every day" bag.

Cuz there is no room for lipstick.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Fun on Balboa Island

Rental bikes abound.

And can be ridden almost everywhere.

Balboa Bars for cooling off on a hot summer day.

Yes, the frozen bananas are famous but....

Vanilla ice cream dipped in chocolate rolled in nuts is always the better choice.

Look up.

The street names are gems.

Which makes sense because Balboa Island is one of the most expensive real estate markets in North America outside of Lower Manhattan.

Watercraft comes in all shapes and sizes.

Just one dollar to ride the ferry over to the peninsula.

Shops on Main Street.

Or rather Marine Avenue, we are on an island after all...

Sights and sounds and ocean breeze along the board walk.

On Balboa Island, even the sculptures... 

Seem to be enjoying themselves!

Friday, 6 September 2013

Balboa Island Real Estate

I was a Brownie and then a Girl Scout.

One summer, our troop spent a week at a beach house on Balboa Island in Orange County, CA.

It was amazing.

Of the house, I only remember that it was two-story (which makes sense as there were a lot of girls in our troop) and I think it was on Coral Street (or at least that sticks out in my mind).

We were young (around 12 years of age) so it was a BIG DEAL to walk into town, take the ferry to the peninsula, rent bikes, hang at the beach.

Without CONSTANT supervision.

Although there were a number of chaperones, girl scout leaders, on hand to keep us out of trouble.

Not even sure how long we were there, just a week?

It felt like a summer.

Balboa Island still holds that magic but now I am more aware of the actual houses.

The small, exquisite, multi-million dollar homes that fill this dense island....

Just enough yard for patio furniture...but with access to the water just steps away, it hardly matters.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Roses are Red and pink and yellow

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."
Wiliam Shakespeare

Blooming in the heat of Labor Day Weekend.

I wouldn't have thought that Julia Child would smell like licorice.

An indelicate moniker for such a pretty rose.

Two toned petals.

Now that is an enchanting name!