Sunday, November 16, 2014

Rainy Night Cottage and a Giveaway!

Happy Sunday!  I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend full of the beauty of nature, some reading, hot drinks, and something delicious in the oven! 

I want to invite all of you to connect with my Rainy Night Cottage page on facebook. This page is comfy and cozy. A place where I want to share my love of home and natural health. Baking, knitting, hot tea (and coffee!), reading, and essential oils.  

The Rainy Night Cottage facebook page is almost up to 100 likes and to celebrate that, once it actually makes it, I will be giving away a FREE bottle of certified pure Lemon Essential Oil to one of the followers of that page, so to enter, please follow this link, like the page and leave me a comment on one of the last few facebook posts to let me know you've been there! Please comment here as well!

Why would you want a bottle of certified pure therapeutic grade Lemon essential oil?  Oh my goodness. Let me count the reasons. (I actually don't know if I can count that high!)

Let's see - We use lemon oil for so many things at my house. The biggest is in my "allergy bomb".  I've had bad allergies my entire life and the use of these oils has given me allergy relief that NOTHING else has ever been able to do. Every morning, I put two drops of lemon oil, peppermint oil, and lavender oil in a little shot of water and drink it. My allergies are all but gone. If I do this every day, I rarely have any allergy problems anymore. 

For respiratory support, we rub a drop or two right on the chest and it helps with congestion and to open the airways.

For a sore throat, a drop or two on a spoonful of honey works wonders, or in a cup of tea, or simply rubbed on the throat. 

Lemon oil is a very gentle cleanser for our systems, so I love to put a drop or two in my drinking water as well. Every day. 

There's so many reasons to have this oil. I could go on and on. Wouldn't you like to win one for yourself?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Homemade Hairspray ~ Removing the Toxins

We always hear about all the toxins in our environment and I have to admit that I've only recently started paying attention, and that happened because I heard something that really hit home. Recently I attended the doTERRA Convention and in several different sessions that I was in, toxins were either the main topic of discussion or had some role in the discussion.  One doctor spoke about the fact that we have always had auto-immune disorders, behavioral problems, cancers even, in our world but how those things are at epidemic proportions now and much of it can be directly linked to the toxins in our environment. As I'm listening to this, I'm thinking about the fact that I have fibromyalgia, GERDS, IBS. Not only that, but all three of my biological children have those three things as well.  On top of that, one of my kids has lupus. My two biological grandkids have GERDS. Something went wrong in my genetic line at some point, wouldn't you say? Maybe it's past time to pay attention.  

One little fact is that the general personal hygiene product that we buy off of the shelf has an average of 9 parabens in the product. Parabens are synthetic antibacterials that are added to the products and are linked to environmental and food allergies, behavioral problems, compromised immune systems, as well as other problems.  

One way I have recently started removing these toxins from our home is by making my own hairspray.  SUPER easy and the hold is just as good as anything I've ever purchased off the shelf! 

1 cup water
4 tsp. sugar (more or less, depending on the hold you want)
2 drops lavender oil
2 drops rosemary oil
2 drops geranium oil
2 drops peppermint oil
8 oz. glass mist bottle

1) Combine sugar and water. Bring to a boil until sugar dissolves. Let cool.
2) Put essential oils in mist bottle
3) Pour in cooled sugar water

That's it! It couldn't be easier!  
Use whatever essential oils you want, so totally customizable to you! 

I've been making this for a few months now and love it! Like I said, the hold is just as good as what I used to buy off the shelf at the store, free of those nasty toxins, and no, bugs don't bother me. I have to say that I was a little bit worried about that in the beginning. It was fall and bee time when I started making this and I was afraid I might be swarmed but had absolutely no problem with that at all! 

(This post is also working for my November 4th photo of the day~ Something I can't live without!)

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

November's TTP...T

For years I've wanted to be part of a book club  and Turn the Page...Tuesday hosted by the wonderful Adrienne at Some of a Kind is very much like a book club. I've always enjoyed the first Tuesday of each month since Adrienne started this and reading reviews of what others have read.  Every single month it adds to my want-to-read list, for sure!  Well, a friend of mine bought a bookstore here in town a while back and now she has started an actual sit-down-and-talk-about-it book club! I'm so excited and I am starting my reviews with the book we read for our November bookclub read. 

The Telling Room ~ A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, and the World's Greatest Piece of Cheese ~ by Michael Paterniti

I loved this book, but that wasn't the case with all of us around the table.  Different tastes in reading is why there are so many books out there, right?!

The Telling Room was a fun and enchanting tale of the author's love affair with a small village in Spain and the maker of the greatest piece of cheese. Starting out in a small deli in Michigan,  the author encounters a round of cheese that he can not afford to even nibble on, and a hint of a story of the greatest cheesemaker in the world. Several years later as a journalist, the author finds himself in Spain and makes a point to visit the small village of Guzman and try to meet this cheesemaker, Ambrosio Molinos de las Heras. It took some searching but finally Michael and his friend and translator, Carlos, were able to sit down with Ambrosio in his Telling Room and begin the story that would take ten long years to tell. During that telling, Michael visits the village countless times and even moved his family to the village for almost a year in order to immerse himself and his family in the culture.  The tale is one of an old family recipe revived, friendships, mysticism, tradition, betrayal, revenge, and of course, cheese and wine. 
I really enjoyed this book and traveling time and again with the author to this small piece of the world. The book is full of footnotes that add fun and depth to the story instead of detracting from it as footnotes usually do. I too fell in love with Ambrosio, his ideals and way of life and felt anger at the betrayal that stole his beloved cheese. One of the best and most fun works of non-fiction I have ever read. Well done!

From Amazon;
In the picturesque village of Guzmán, Spain, in a cave dug into a hillside on the edge of town, an ancient door leads to a cramped limestone chamber known as “the telling room.” Containing nothing but a wooden table and two benches, this is where villagers have gathered for centuries to share their stories and secrets—usually accompanied by copious amounts of wine. 
It was here, in the summer of 2000, that Michael Paterniti found himself listening to a larger-than-life Spanish cheesemaker named Ambrosio Molinos de las Heras as he spun an odd and compelling tale about a piece of cheese. An unusual piece of cheese. Made from an old family recipe, Ambrosio’s cheese was reputed to be among the finest in the world, and was said to hold mystical qualities. Eating it, some claimed, conjured long-lost memories. But then, Ambrosio said, things had gone horribly wrong.  
By the time the two men exited the telling room that evening, Paterniti was hooked. Soon he was fully embroiled in village life, relocating his young family to Guzmán in order to chase the truth about this cheese and explore the fairy tale–like place where the villagers conversed with farm animals, lived by an ancient Castilian code of honor, and made their wine and food by hand, from the grapes growing on a nearby hill and the flocks of sheep floating over the Meseta. 
What Paterniti ultimately discovers there in the highlands of Castile is nothing like the idyllic slow-food fable he first imagined. Instead, he’s sucked into the heart of an unfolding mystery, a blood feud that includes accusations of betrayal and theft, death threats, and a murder plot. As the village begins to spill its long-held secrets, Paterniti finds himself implicated in the very story he is writing. 
Equal parts mystery and memoir, travelogue and history, The Telling Room is an astonishing work of literary nonfiction by one of our most accomplished storytellers. A moving exploration of happiness, friendship, and betrayal, The Telling Room introduces us to Ambrosio Molinos de las Heras, an unforgettable real-life literary hero, while also holding a mirror up to the world, fully alive to the power of stories that define and sustain us.

Rebecca ~ by Daphne Du Maurier

'Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.'

I love classics, for the most part, and can't imagine why I let Rebecca linger on my shelves, unread, for so long.  I have a beautiful 1938 hardcover edition with a dust jacket that I picked up several years ago at a thrift store or yard sale and it was just hanging out on the shelf waiting to be read.   Very reminiscent of a gothic thriller, I thoroughly enjoyed this classic.

This story begins with the sentence above, dreaming about being at Manderley again, (which I imagine might be more of a nightmare than a dream!), and our heroine's name is never revealed to us throughout the story.  She is a young girl working as a companion to a cantankerous older woman when she meets Maxim de Winter, a man 20 years her senior. He's a handsome and brooding widower who takes a fancy to our young heroine, though she can't figure out quite why.  Is he in love with her or does he simply like her companionship like her employer does?  Maxim asks her to marry him and after a quick wedding, takes her to his family home, Manderley.  They arrive to a dark and sinster housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers, who has been there for many years and was quite fond of the deceased Rebecca de Winter.  It seems that everyone loved the beautiful and charismatic Rebecca and our heroine could never come close to competing with her husbands dead wife.  When she wanders in to the iconic Rebecca's old suite, she finds that Mrs. Danvers still keeps the suite up and clothes laid out as if Rebecca will soon be back to occupy them.  Spooky and sinister, this was a great October read. 

What have you been reading?  Pop on over to Adrienne's Some of a Kind to join in and see what others are reading! 

Monday, November 3, 2014

November Photo of the Day

A photo of the day challenge for November just sounds like fun! Lots of people playing along so I thought I'd give it a shot and maybe even try to keep up~ heeheehee~

DAY 1 ~ something blue
Something Blue~
This is what you see from our couch if you try to watch tv on a sunny day. Beautiful blue sky and cloud reflections.  A much better show anyway, wouldn't you say?

DAY 2 ~ I saw this!
On November 2nd, I saw this hanging out in our living room.  Our daughter, Brittany, was wearing the Big Red Dog hat that I made for our 3 year old granddaughter. Silly girl!

DAY 3 ~ weather
Here's what the weather is doing in our little corner of the world today. It's a cloudy, rainy day on the Columbia River and I love it! 


Fat Mum Slim is where you would go to check out the curator of this fun photo of the day and find the "rules" although there really isn't any rules, just fun. 

Connect with Rainy Night Cottage on Facebook as well!