Monday, November 30

Consider the Library

A lot of people avoid using their libraries, because they so often end up with late books and fines. Nowadays, most libraries have electronic requesting, reminder and renewing systems. So if you've been avoiding your local library, you might check it out again. Library books are a wonderful way to read indulgently without having to spend indulgently, and also a great way to get access to books you don't want to keep, or to look over a book thoroughly before you decide to buy it. Sometimes books that are out of print and hard to buy are easy to find through the library. One of my favorite ways to unwind is to walk to our local library, take out a bunch of books on all sorts of subjects that make me happy, stroll home, and then spend the next few hours immersed in all those books.

If you do have fines on your account, bear in mind that as long as the librarian you're talking to has the authority to do so, they're usually very generous about deleting those fines. And finally, think of the occasional moderate fine as a donation to support the library.

Thursday, November 5

A Few Favorite Things

Some day I'll write some introductory posts to the subject of essential oils. In the meantime, I was reminded today that I want to post about my favorite non-oil products from my favorite EO supply companies, as I went to reorder a few of these things.

From Mountain Rose Herbs, which has a vast organic-oriented selection, I really like their Injur-Heal Herbal Oil. Applied to bruises and general ouches (that don't involve broken skin), it is amazingly effective and has a lovely scent as well. It combines the famous healing powers of arnica, calendula, and lavender... and less famous topical powers of St John's wort too.

From Nature's Gift, there's a whole bunch of nice things. One of the most useful is the 'shea souffle', shea butter whipped so that it has a creamy texture, and it's easy to apply. It's unrefined, and yet has none of the strong scent associated with most unrefined shea butter. Even better than its use as a moisturizer, it makes an absolutely fantastic lip balm. Scoop a little of this soft shea butter into a lip balm container of whatever kind, and you have yourself an instant lip balm, made with one pure ingredient only. Most natural lip balms sold nowadays contain beeswax, and in my experience wax dries my lips out over time, or somehow worsens the texture of the skin. Presumably since wax is waterproof, it blocks the natural passage of moisture in and out of one's lips. And when you see a vegetable oil as the primary ingredient in hard lip balm, doesn't the hardness of a vegetable oil suggest that it may be in trans fat form? Anyway, my point is that the shea butter will saturate your lip with a thin layer of oil and soften the skin, without any of the unpleasant effects of wax or possibly trans fats.

What else? Otherwise, I really like their Cleopatra's Secret toner and skin serum. I use them together at the same time on my face, which has a similar effect to moisturizer, which is after all oil and water mixed together. (The technical term for this currently escapes me.) To wash my face, though, I just use honey, something I plan to post about someday.

There are a lot of other nifty things on both sites, so they're well worth exploring.