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Making My Own Perfume

Yesterday, I mentioned that I’d made my own perfume on Thursday.  I thought I’d show you a little more of the process in this post.

I started buying Young Living essential oils in 2017 to help with pain management during my ankle recovery.  I’m all about holistic treatments.

I love learning about the different ways these oils can be used, as evidenced by the groups I’m a member of on Facebook.

A few weeks ago, I’d downloaded a new app . . .

It was created by Jen O’Sullivan and has a lot of information about essential oils.  I have another app that I’d been using, but I’d been reading a lot about this app, so I finally installed it.

I’d found several recipes for perfumes, which had intrigued me a lot.  I ordered a package of six atomizers, which I believe came from China . . .

Although I ordered them off of Amazon, they took about three weeks to arrive.

Aren’t they cute though?  They’ll fit nicely in my purse!

After they arrived in the mail, I ran out and got witch hazel, which you use to top off your blends.  It was either that or vodka, which I wasn’t opposed to, but witch hazel seemed like a healthier option.

Then, I got all of my supplies together and began to have some fun.

I’d found a couple of recipes that I had the oils for, so I prepared those.

It was so easy – just a few drops of this and a few drops of that.  I felt like I was at Hogwarts in Potions class.

After adding the distilled water and witch hazel, I was set to go!

I created homemade labels by using some of the white sticky paper from address labels I’d received free in the mail.  I knew that I needed to label these because I’ve planned to make several bottles of perfume once a couple more oils arrive in this month’s Young Living order.

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The Sweet Rosemary Mint is my favorite out of the two perfumes I made.  It’s very light, and the mint aroma is soothing.  I have learned that I cannot wear strong floral scents.  They overpower my senses and give me migraines.

I’ll post updates when I try new recipes.

The Noise Sleuth

Have you ever experienced a weird sound in the car . . . a squeak or rattle . . . that you couldn’t find the source of?

If you have, then you’ll know the angst of driving along and having that sound randomly appear.

I had one of these noises crop up a month or two ago, and y’all, it started driving me nuts.

I know that’s a short trip for me, but c’mon . . . humor me, okay?

I really can’t pinpoint an exact day when I started hearing it, but all I know is that whenever I’d go over bumps or make turns, I’d hear what sounded like the seat belt in the back was hitting the inside of the car.

Back when I had children living at home, they wouldn’t always pull the seat belts tight  when they’d exit the car, so they would hang loosely and bounce around.

Being the fixer-upper kind of gal that I am, that was the first thing I checked, especially since Rooster and N had been home in March and had been in our car for two whole weeks.

That didn’t seem to be the issue, but that didn’t stop me from tightening them over and over again, in the hopes that I’d stop hearing that sound.

Eventually, I told the Mr. about it to see if he could hear the sound.

Crazy is a lonely land, y’all, and I wanted some company – or to be rescued from.

He commented that the sound seemed to be coming from the driver’s side.

Hello!  He could hear it too!  He was either crazy, like me (because the longer you’re married, the more you resemble one another), or his hearing was just as good as mine.

Sometimes, it would sound like there was a bottle of water rolling around back there.

Well, I tested so much last year that it wasn’t unusual to have cases of water in the back of my car.  I figured one of them had gone awol from the packaging.

I looked under the seats several times, praying that I’d find a bottle.

I didn’t.  I did, however, find a package of Pop Tarts under the back seat.  That must have been N’s from when they visited in the spring.

Ha!

I found ways to pull up the back parts of my car and open up compartments that probably shouldn’t have been opened.

I checked under the spare tire and relocated some of the hardware that I thought was rolling around back there.

ALL of my attempts proved futile.

I’d reached the end of my rope and was giving serious thought to driving to the Toyota dealership to get them to check for me.

But first, I prayed.

Do not ever tell me that you can’t pray for anything because y’all, you most certainly can.

God knows when a person has reached her wit’s end, and this noise was it for me.

Today, that is.

Ha!

I’d had an idea brewing in my mind that I acted on in the middle of my afternoon – right after I got home from a quick trip to the grocery store (and renewed angst over that noise, which was unbearable on the way home).

I had periodically thought about the middle of the back seat, so I went out and checked.

Sure enough, there was a place to connect a seat belt.

Hmmm.

I got out the car’s manual, visited the index, and turned to the section about seat belts.

That is when the angels sung, y’all.

There was a picture of the seat belt port – located in the ROOF of my car – on the DRIVER’s side.

This was how it looked when I saw it . . .

See it hanging there?

Yep.  That had the makings for a teeth-grinding ride – especially for a person who doesn’t like repetitive noises.

I think that it got knocked loose when I was taking one of the dogs to be groomed or when we were loading/unloading luggage from our recent trip.  Heck, it could have happened when I was taking stuff home from my classroom for the summer.

I played with it a bit, trying to figure out how to secure it.

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Go ahead and admire my talent.

I haven’t tested things out yet to see if the noise is, indeed gone.

I’m preferring to live in La La Land for a little while longer.

Actually, I was busy in the house the rest of the afternoon and never got around to taking the car for a test drive.  I’ll check in the morning, though.

Stubborn to the Core

I have a t-shirt that says “Never give up.”

It’s a motto that has defined much of my life . . . in big things and little things.

Take the case of my lawn mower.

After nursing a hurt back for almost two weeks and not getting a whole lot done (besides TV watching, gentle working out, and knitting), I decided to scoop dog poop (such a gross reality of my life, y’all), fire up the lawn mower, and take care of the back yard.  We use our riding mower for the front.

It was not the smartest decisions on many levels.

I got the mower started up on the first try.

Go me.

After cutting the grass on the side of my house, where the riding mower doesn’t fit very well, I headed to the back yard.  I made one trip around the perimeter of the yard and headed down the back of the house, along the bricked side.

Then, the mower got caught and completely shut off.  When I looked down, I realized that the starter cord, which is a little long, had wrapped itself around my outdoor faucet.  Because I had not noticed but had kept pushing the mower, the starter cord got pulled, shutting off the engine.

That’s when the trouble began.

Despite my best efforts, I could not get the mower to start up again.

I cranked it several times, checking the cord every now and then.

Nada.

I primed the engine and cranked it again.

Nothing.  The engine didn’t even turn over.

Dang.

I walked to the garage and got out my tools – a flat ended screwdriver and a set of pliers.  I knew what was wrong.  The starter line had gotten loosened up.  It needed tightening.

Y’all, that is a task easier said than done.  Just removing the line from the mower is a huge pain because you have to squeeze the black part, which has prongs that stick out, to push it through the metal piece that serves much like a sewing machine threader.

I pushed the cord up and tightened it.

I thought.

Then, I put everything back together and expected the machine to start.

It didn’t.

I tried a few more times before giving up.

Yes.  I was so mad that I gave up.

I rolled the mower to the driveway and decided to try to crank it again, on more level ground.  This time, I heard the engine turn over, so I tried and tried and tried.  It never cranked fully though.

Dirty word alert:  I was pissed.

And I’d managed to mess up two fingers.  I had a blister near the thumb joint on my left hand and had lifted the corner of the nail on my middle finger on my right hand during one of my attempts to crank the engine.  It bled like nobody’s business.

I rolled the mower into the garage, sweating something fierce and angry as all get out.

I was also sporting two band aids.

The Mr. came home for lunch shortly after I stomped into the kitchen, and I immediately told him my sob story and begged him to start the mower.

All before he’d had a chance to eat.

He couldn’t get the job done either and began complaining about having to buy a new mower – about not putting more money into this one (we’d spent a small fortune last summer getting it fixed up).

Ugh.

He went inside to eat, and y’all, I just could not let it go.

Remember my t-shirt saying?

I need another shirt that says “Stubborn to the core” because that’s what I am.

I was determined not to let that mower beat me for good.  After a quick google search (I even had to google what the starter cord was called), I found a tidbit that made me think.

Tools in hand, I went back to the garage, took apart the starter line, shortened the gap between the end, which has a hook, and this black thing (which I’d forgotten screws on – thank you, Google), and then hooked everything back up.

Then, I said a prayer and tried to crank the engine.

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It worked!

The first time.

I went back inside triumphantly and told the Mr. about my victory, informing him how fortunate he is to have a talented wife like me.

Ahem.

Of course, it had started raining, so I couldn’t finish mowing that day, but I did get back to the task at hand the next day.

Word to the wise, be it a human or a machine:  Never underestimate me.

DIY Fail

Y’all know that when something breaks around here, I’m usually pretty good at fixing it.

Well, I think I finally met my match a couple of weeks ago.

It all started when I woke up one morning and reached into the dryer to pull out what I expected to be dry towels, which I’d put in the night before.

That’s when I had an inkling that something was amiss.

Everything in the dryer was still very much wet.

I wondered if I’d forgotten to turn it on, so I did and went about my business . . . working out, showering, etc.

When I finished, my clothes were still wet.

Y’all, when my stuff isn’t working properly, I don’t function well.

I quickly googled what might be the problem and realized that I could be in for a pricey fix.  I left the Mr. a note beside his coffee . . . just so he wouldn’t miss it . . .

After posting a picture of the note on Facebook, because I’m all about posting everything on social media, or so my family tells me, the Mr.’s cousin sent me a message listing out possible fixes.

The first thing I needed was a multimeter to check the connections of a few parts . . .

I had to do some reading to understand the difference between open and closed circuits.

Then, I began taking the dryer apart – after I watched a video on YouTube . . .

One of the thermostats that controls the heating element

This is the heating element

This is the fuse.

I’m not going to lie.  I don’t think I ever quite figured out how to read the multimeter as I tried to test four different parts.  By that time, the Mr. had found a kit with the parts I needed . . . the more inexpensive ones . . . for only $30, so he ordered it.

In the meantime, we found ourselves needing clothes.

Thus began our weekly treks to the laundromat.  We’d wash our clothes at home and then carry them a couple of miles up the road to dry them.

It had been awhile since I’d had to use the laundromat and couldn’t remember how to operate the dryer.  A lady patiently told me that I’d put my money into the wrong dryer.  Then, we figured out that I couldn’t get my money back, so I had to move my clothes over.  Then, I figured out that I didn’t have enough change, so her husband gave me a few quarters.

Because this is how I do life.

Sigh.

Of course, I didn’t realize, until eighteen minutes in, that I’d set the dryer on medium heat.

I repeat, this is my life.

You’re jealous, aren’t you?

The Mr. visited the laundromat the next day, because we wash our clothes separately, and made the same mistake with the heat settings that I did.

Welcome to our life together as a married couple.

Betcha feel sorry for us now, eh?

Ha!

Unlike me, who did not enjoy the experience, the Mr. actually enjoyed the time he spent there.  He likes people watching.  We’re in a good town for that too.

It’s a good thing though because even after spending a couple of hours installing the new parts when they arrived, the heat still would not work.  The dryer was also making a funny sound when it ran – a sound that had not existed prior to my magic touch.  Ahem.

As a last-ditch effort, I pulled out the Mr.’s wet/dry vac and tried to blow out the dryer vent.

Picture the Mr. standing outside, at 10pm, while it’s cold, looking for dryer lint to fly out.

This didn’t fix the problem either.

I knew, at that point, that the fix would involve a lot more than $30.  The Mr. knew it too, so he reluctantly agreed that it was time to find a new dryer.

Truth be told, even though we’d had our current unit for about five years, it had never really dried clothes all that efficiently.  Simply put, I think we’d gotten a lemon.

So, we spent another week visiting the laundromat until we got our butts in gear and ordered a new one online from Best Buy.

The Mr. thought he was going to get away with getting me a cheap one.

Yeah, no.

I told him that I was going to pay for it, so I could get what I wanted.

We researched the heck out of them, ran to the store to look at them (they didn’t have the models I’d narrowed my search down to), and finally made our decision.

It had really good ratings, and I also liked that this model was made in America . . .

That was last Sunday.

I set up delivery for Friday afternoon, the day after my surgery.

Now, let me tell you that the only place I’ve ever bought big appliances from has been Sears, and I’ve always gone into the store to do that.  It’s usually been a bit of a hassle.

Not so this time.

I signed up for text alerts and was updated and reminded regularly that my appointment was coming up.

Not only that, but someone from the Geek Squad called us two different times to tell us they were on their way.

The second call came about ten minutes before they arrived, which I appreciated because I was in quite a bit of pain, trying to navigate around on my crutches.  I called the Mr., who’d gone to Walmart, and he made it home a few minutes after the delivery guys arrived.

They were well-dressed and uber-professional.  They carefully removed the old dryer and quickly got the new one set up.

As Yoda might say, “Thoroughly impressed was I.”

They even saved me $30 by suggesting that I keep the dryer vent I already had since it was longer and more flexible than the one I’d been required to order with the dryer.  They set up the refund before they left.

Totally cool, eh?

The Mr. and I went back and forth over who was going to use the dryer first.

I won.

Naturally.

He stuck a load of sheets in to help me out since I’m unable to put weight on my bad ankle, and when it was time to turn on the dryer, I took over.

My new dryer has a lot of bells and whistles and a fancy menu screen.

You know me and technology; we are a match made in heaven.

I used the Sanitizing setting since they are sheets that Chicky will be sleeping on the next few nights.  She’s got a lot of allergies, so I wanted everything squeaky clean for her.

The dryer was super quiet and yeah, the heat worked just fine, as evidenced by my hot laundry room.

While I’d love to brag and add another item to the long list of things I’ve fixed over the years, I can’t say that this DIY fail was, in fact, a fail.  I wound up getting an early Christmas gift out of the situation . . . From :  Me . . . To:  Me

Psycho Ice Maker

Last year, the Mr. and I bought a new refrigerator.

I have loved it, let me tell you.  The LCD lights inside make it easy to find things, and the freezer has more space because the ice maker is in the door.

But…

A few months ago, before Rooster left for Basic, the ice maker decided to quit making ice.

I tried everything that my searches on Google said to try, and then I set up an appointment with Sears.

A couple of days before they came, the ice maker started working again.  I canceled my appointment and thanked the Lord that we wouldn’t be forking out oodles of money for a repair.

Fast forward to last week and the sight that greeted me one morning…an empty ice maker.

Sigh.

So, I tried to remember what steps I’d taken the last time.

I checked the tubing to make sure it wasn’t frozen and even got out the hair dryer and blew hot air on it for a few minutes just in case.

I also vacuumed the vent in front of the fridge.  I forget to clean this regularly, and with three dogs in the house, hair builds up quickly.

I turned on the accelerated ice feature and checked on it in the morning.

Nothing.

I googled, pushed the refrigerator away from the wall to check for other blockages, and hit the freezer with more hot air from the blow dryer.

For awhile.

Then I waited a couple more days.

The Mr. bought a bag of ice while I tried to remember if I still had ice cube trays…the old fashioned kind…in one of my cabinets.

#firstworldproblems

When I checked the freezer a day or two later, I found this…

I had ice cubes!  There weren’t many, but hey, they were new!

I texted the picture to the Mr.

His response:  “Psycho.”

Ha!

But then there was nothing else.

For several days.

Nothing.

I bought a new bag of ice to get us through the weekend.

I began to pray.

No kidding.

I laid my hand right on the ice maker, blew more hot air on various parts of the freezer, and prayed some more.

I also added a note to my to-do list…”Call Sears.”

And I prayed again.

And then the next day, I had a few more ice cubes!

Then, I began hearing the sound of an ice cube or two dropping into the bin and the refrigerator’s ice tray filling with water.

This happened in regular intervals until I found this two days ago…

The psycho ice maker had a Come to Jesus meeting with the One who hears prayers.

Some Assembly Required

Summers are always about DIY projects.

You may have seen my post about my screen door project, which is still not finished.

Sigh.

My latest adventure happened this past weekend when I decided to get busy and put together the Mr.’s birthday present.

Not the Bowflex (that’s mine), but the grill, which he’d picked out at Walmart.  Here’s the photo of the one he saw in the store…all put together, mind you.

He had wanted to purchase this one, but I poo-pooed the idea and told him it wouldn’t fit in the back of my car.

I’d be forced to eat those words later.

The box sat in the garage for over a week before I decided to give it a go.

The Mr. decided that he would go to the grocery store.

Can you say role reversal?

heehee

I had to carry the parts in separately because the box was too heavy to carry in by myself.

There were a LOT of parts…

I’ve put a LOT of things together over the years.  The labeling of parts has gotten better, let me tell you.

The manual laughed at me…

Getting started was the hardest part…kind of like beginning an essay…trying to figure out which parts were which.

I finally figured out where my first pieces were and got busy.  The dogs were a little curious.

Not very helpful though.

I got the first few steps done and then ran into a problem.

Bent parts.

The Mr. had pounded down one part to flatten it out, but these parts…they couldn’t be fixed.

The Mr. was not very happy.  This kind of thing stresses him out.

As a teacher used to thinking on her feet, I came up with a plan.

I would return the grill.

And I wouldn’t take apart the section I’d put together.

Take that.

The Mr. helped me load it in the car.  We put the non-assembled parts back in the box and stuck the section I’d finished in as it was.

The people in the Garden Center were very understanding, but I had to go to Customer Service before I could do anything.  My plan was to exchange the grill for another one in a box.  The Garden Center representative told me that there was an assembler on staff who would put it together for me.  I love how they didn’t tell us this when we’d purchased the grill the first time around.

Sheesh.

The Customer Service representative told me that she needed the old box to scan.

Really?

Sheesh.

My Garmin was racking up the steps with me going back and forth across the store.

The Garden Center rep put everything on a cart for me, and we walked BACK to the Customer Service desk.

Doesn’t that assembled section on the bottom look like a dead bug with its legs in the air?

heehee

The rep issued me a Walmart giftcard since I didn’t have the VISA giftcard that the Mr. had used to buy the first one, and then I had to go back to the Garden Center to rebuy the grill.

Sheesh.

It was the most inefficient process EVER.

The grill wouldn’t be ready until the next day, so I headed home and watched a soccer game that was HALF OVER by the time I got back.

Grrr.

The next day, I went back to get the grill.

It was beautiful.

It was put together.

Ahem.

I crossed my fingers in the hopes of it fitting into the car.  Two sweet young men worked on loading it.

It did fit, much to their surprise, and I got to listen to it rattle and clank all the way home.

The Mr. and I unloaded it, and he grilled on it the next day.

The thing is HUGE.

It needs a separate handle to roll it around.  That’s our biggest complaint.

Otherwise, the Mr. is happy.

Tool Time!

A few days ago, I retrieved the following from the garage…

I was on another one of my DIY missions.

This time, I wanted to replace the screen door on my patio.

It was looking pretty ratchet…slang for nasty.

My students taught me that word three or four years ago.

Be impressed.

As you can see, there’s a hole in the door, and my doggy door looks less than stellar.

We are rednecks.  What can I say.

The door quit closing properly a year or so ago, so we’ve left it propped open, with a piece of wood and one of those stepping stones you see there on the right.

Rednecks may not have good manners, but we can improvise with the best of them.

Anyhoo, one of my goals for the summer has been to get it replaced.  After talking to someone from a local screen and shutter place, I learned that I’d have to wait four to six weeks for them to come out.  Well, by that time, I’d be back in school and wouldn’t have the flexibility of being here, so I thought about it and decided, hey, I’m Auburnchick, welder of all tool things.  Why not have a go at it.

I found the right size tool and went for it.

Look at my moves…with pretty nails.

Are you impressed yet?

I sure am.

Ahem.

So, I removed all of those bolts, or whatever they are called.

I had to remove the ones on the outside of the door too.

I removed the frame around the door as well.  It was warped and needed to go.  Everything came off without any issues, leaving a lovely empty space.

I’ve got to figure out what to do with the old door.

I headed on out to Home Depot.  I’d been looking at doors online and thought I knew what I wanted.

All I want is simple.  I found the above, but…

The holes are not pre-drilled.  I supposed this is so the buyer can decide to put the hinges on the left or the right.  Still…I don’t drill.  That requires putting holes in exact places.  I don’t do “exact.”

I think you also have to buy a separate frame.

I left this in the store and came home to discuss the matter with the Mr.

He cares not.

I went back online and started looking some more.  I read reviews, and they are terrible for this door.  Seriously awful.

I looked at other stores online, and it would seem that everyone sells the same cheap doors.

Sigh.

So, I’m in a bit of a quandary.

Meanwhile, the dogs love the open doorway.  When Gambit sees a squirrel, he can take off without running into the corner of the door that used to be there.

DIY gone unfinished.  People, this is not how my overachieving self does things.

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