Garden Chick - Notes from the Garden

Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year!
Picture from Better Homes and Garden E card

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Danger of vermiculite

I received an interesting email today from a site on mesothelioma. As many of you know, mesothelioma is a type of lung cancer. My father died in August of lung cancer, so of course this interested me. My father was raised on a tobacco farm, and smoked most of his life. During his examination with the pulmonologist, he was asked if he had worked around asbestos. He had not, but I was surprised to find out from the email I received, vermiculite has been associated with asbestos. I have asked Joshua, who sent me the email, to comment on this at this site.
You can read more at to read how vermiculite is mined near asbestos.

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Saturday, December 6, 2008

Handmade Christmas Gifts

My girlfriends and I are getting together next Saturday for our Christmas Lunch. We will be having a "Chinese" christmas exchange. You know the one where you bring a gift under 10.00 and everyone gets to exchange gifts. I plan to purchase a gift from a local shop in Downtown Chickamauga, but I always want to give each friend a little gift. This year I am going to give them a dream pillow, lavender linen spray, and bath salts as a relaxation present. I think I will purchase an inexpensive votive candle, and place a bag of chamomile tea in it too. I have some little brown Kraft bags, and bought an old picture of some bathing beauty girls on the beach to use as a gift tag. I need to copy the picture (there will be six of us) and punch a whole to tie on the bag.

Here's my recipe for Linen Water. This is great for spritzing your pillow before sleep. (look for these on my website in the next couple of days, I need to take a picture and send to my webmistress Cherie at

8 ounces of distilled water

2 oz vodka or perfumers alcohol (you can purchase at ) if you plan to sell, you need to use perfumers alcohol

20-30 drops of lavender essential oil (this can be purchased a number of places online, or go to your nearest herb store of natural food store.

Bath Salts

Bath salts are EASY

Order bath salts online (or again these are at my local "green store", and can be purchased by the pound.

You can use epsom salts also, which can be purchased at your local pharmacy (walgreens, walmart etc)
Baking soda, which is very soothing can also be added.

To each cup of salts, add 10-15 drops of fragrance or essential oils. Allow the salts to sit for 4-5 days. package in a pretty container or bag.

The name of the salts are "Better than a Martini" and scented with Lavender and Vanilla

Dream Pillows
I bought some vintage lavender material with flowers on it at a yard sale last summer and put it aside. I am going to use this for the dream pillows since Lavender seems to be the theme of this "restful" gift.

After making the pillow (leaving one end open), I will place the following herbs in it.
equal parts of lavender, mugwort, and sweet hops. I place the herbs between two thin sheets of fiberfill (like you use in quilting). This keeps the herbs from sticking you. All of these herbs will promote a restful sleep. Do not add any essential oils or fragrances to dream pillows. The pillow may be place in your pillow case or near your head.

You can purchase a dream pillow from my website at

You can also read an article I wrote on sleep for The Essential Herbal Magazine
Read it here:

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