Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Book Review: Sisterhood Everlasting, by Ann Brashares

     Since it's way too hot out there to do anything but plop yourself on a beach towel and read a book, I want to suggest this one, but with a disclaimer - it's SAD.

      Last week, at the start of my "I'm going to be spending 6 weeks shuffling papers in the various basements of my workplace" saga, I took my sweaty (sun-deprived) self to Costco on the way home from work to pick up a few things.  I scanned the book table, although in the past few years I've promised myself not to BUY new books when I can borrow them from the library instead.  When I spotted this,  however, I HAD to buy it.  I'm a fan of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants books, and this is a new installment.  I had learned about the Pants series a few years ago when I was teaching 7th graders.  The girls in my class talked about it now and then, and when I checked it out for myself, I loved the dynamic between Lena, Tibby, Bridget and Carmen.  I especially related to Lena and Tibby, and those of us like them can sure use friends like Bridget and Carmen.  I have friends like that. 

     So when I saw this book, I was anxious to catch up with these friends... 

     But Holy Moses, this book was not what I expected!  The book was barely underway when tragedy struck.  Was I misunderstanding the handwriting on the wall?  What was going on?    How would it all end?  YIKES!  I was looking to find out what happened to Kostos, and in that, I was not disappointed.  Other than that the book is aptly named, and if you are fan of the series, you can't not read it.  Just be sure to plop a box of tissues on the beach blanket next to your beverage.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Stinky Room Rescue

     For about 6 weeks over the summer, I have to work (filing and organizing) in a variety of stinky rooms.  Most of them are basements, but I've already experienced some above-ground rooms that are stinkier than some of the basements.  When I get back into the stinkiest of the rooms, I'm going to check the air conditioner filters and wash them out (since I doubt they're pristine) and then maybe I'll judiciously spray some Lysol.  Still, I can't stand the smell of Lysol.  Also, these rooms I've been in and basements in general are definitely dark, depressing and dusty. 

     On that note, I decided to make up some Stinky Room Spray.  I have a variety of essential oils that I just love, and thoughtout the year, I put a few drops on my plug-in diffusers; I have one in my office, and another at home.  Everyone who comes into my office for the first time comments how, "it always smells so good in here," and some of the kids even say it smells "happy" and "girly."

     I'm working with about 8 other women, so I don't want to use anything that's too unusual or allergy invoking.  I've sprayed this on Thursday and Friday and so far, everyone's commented positively.  Here are the oils I used:

Tea Tree Oil - I got this bottle at Wal-Mart for under 10.00.
Lavender Oil - about 10.00 - You'll most likely have to get this at the health food store.
Peppermint Oil - Somewhere between 5 and 10.00 dollars.  Also from the health food store.

     You'll also need a bottle of distilled water to fill your spray bottle, and a spray bottle of your choice - I got mine in a pack of 2 at Dollar Tree (that's 50 cents a bottle - 2.8 ounces each).

     Fill your spray bottle with distilled water and add an equal number of drops of each of the three oils.  Each of the two smaller bottles in the picture have dropper inserts, so it's very easy to measure the drops.  The Tea Tree oil doesn't have a dropper, but you probably just carefully approximate.  This is not rocket science here.

     Put the cap tightly back on your spray bottle and shake well, and, for an extra cooling effect, put the bottle in the refrigerator.  Mint oil is cooling and great in the summer.  I made some mint oil spray for my daughter's teacher last year and she loved it.  my daughter said she was spraying it around like crazy when their classroom was really hot.   

     If you're interested in essential oils, you have to check out The Complete book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood.  I Love, love LOVE this book.  It describes the properties of dozens of essential oils and give loads of recipes for mixtures you can make on your own.  I love essential oils.  They can even make a day in the basement tolerable.