Deborah J. "DJ" Martin

A Witch and a Bitch with an Herbal Itch - and an overactive imagination

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Month: January 2014

A Tale of Two Soaps

Awhile back (dang! nearly 3 years ago!) I wrote a post about using soap as a way to incorporate magic into your hectic life. I’ve been faithfully making my magical soap – until about a month ago, that is. I ran out of base & kept forgetting to order more. Having used even the slivers up and still not remembered to order base, I bought a bar of commercial soap when doing the grocery shopping. Clean’s the main thing, right?

Clean is the main thing but it ain’t the only thing for this witch. A shower is more than just washing my body & hair. It’s one of my rituals. I use the “morning soap” to gear up for the day ahead. A shower in the afternoon or evening with the “calming soap” gets rid of the stress I seem to accumulate during the day. (Don’t want to insult any of my friends but several of my accounting clients really should have blond hair.) The commercial soap accomplished the clean but not the cleanse, if you get my drift. I tried charming the commercial bar but nothing happened so I think for me, the magic is in the making.

SONY DSC

I’ve learned my lesson. A new supply of base is on the way.

Herbal Dryer Sachets

A few weeks ago, I was in the mood to be crafty. Me being me, it had to involve herbs in some way and I didn’t have anything on the agenda in the shop. So, a few minutes on the Interwebs gave me an idea: herbal dryer sachets. I haven’t used a commercial dryer sheet in years (read this for why) and although the dryer balls work okay, I’m just not that thrilled with them.

I always have unbleached muslin on hand for experiments so sewed up a square, filled it with about an ounce of dried Lavender flowers along with 10 drops of the same essential oil and did a load of laundry to see what happened. It worked! No static electricity, the clothes were just as soft as with the dryer balls (but no softer, unfortunately for my towels) and although I could smell the herb when I opened the dryer door, thankfully, my husband’s clothing didn’t smell like lavender. (That was a concern: it’s not a scent typically associated with the male of our species.) Then I got to thinking:

What makes it anti-static? Is it just the heavy concentration of volatile oil in the dried herb? (Volatile oil is what gives the herb its scent.) If so, there are other herbs that smell as strong when dried. So, I sewed up a few more squares and filled them with some other strong-smelling herbs I had in stock: Rosemary, Peppermint, and Rosebuds (with drops of the matching essential oil). Because there’s only two of us and my husband wears company-laundered uniforms to work, there’s not a lot of laundry so it took a couple of weeks to see what happened. The results:

lavender

Although clothes were soft-ish, the other three herbs did not eliminate static. I can’t find any scientific research to tell me why it’s just the Lavender but it is.

Experiment complete. While I like to use herbs when & where I can, I don’t like to unnecessarily spend money. Since nothing was any better than the dryer balls, I guess I’ll stick with those.

Out with the Old, In with the … Old?

Happy New Year! Sun’s New Year, Gregorian Calendar New Year … whatever floats your boat. Nothing prevents me from celebrating twice!

It’s custom at this time to review the last year and make resolutions plans for the new year. I’ll let you in on a secret: mine turned out to be a lot bigger than I’d thought. You see, I got called by a god. I’ve never done deity. Not that I haven’t believed in something bigger than me but that’s been amorphous – until now.

We first met a few years ago when I was doing research for a book I’ve yet to write (2 huge binders of information are gathering dust). He sounded like the kind of god I’d like but since I didn’t do deity, well … Fast forward to a few months ago. He kept popping up in my mind. The call became as irritating as a telemarketer … all hours of the day and night. I looked at Caller ID and sent him to voice mail. In the meantime, my mood kept getting shittier and what little I have in the way of creativity went down the crapper. My fiction writing looked a lot like my business letters: dull and to-the-point.

I finally answered the call last week & we talked. What he gets: acknowledgement of his existence and a small altar in my bedroom. (Notice I’m not capitalizing the pronoun. No worshipful subject here.) I cautioned him about the altar: my kittens can be destructive. He claims they’ll leave it alone. What I get: my mood has lightened considerably and the writing light bulb has reappeared over my head.  Those binders of research? A lot of it will go into the book I got stuck on. Hmph.

So, here I am in my later years, doing something I never thought I’d do. It kind of pisses me off but then again, one doesn’t argue with a god. They can make your life hell if you try.