Sunday, January 28, 2007

Special Days

I love my grown up children. I have been blessed with extraordinary ones. They are of the independent variety which is something that I forced upon them. I was a single mom for much of their formative years and was known to use some unusual tactics to get their attention and listen to what I had to teach them.

Yesterday, I was able to enjoy my favorite middle child. Yes I have favorites. I have a favorite first born, a favorite middle and a favorite son.

My Erin - a.k.a. favorite middle child, called me this past week and demanded some mom time. “I miss my Mom!” Gosh, I hated hearing that. She recently advised me on purchasing my first down comforter and said that she would help me make a duvet cover.

I’m a fairly accomplished seamstress but have heard something about ribbons on the corners which meant nothing to me.

My beautiful daughter arrived around 10 am and we started the project. It was a whole day affair and I’m so glad that she brought her duvet cover along so we could examine some of the finer points. Had I been doing this alone, it surely would have been a much greater struggle.

Isn’t it only a big bag you might ask? Well yes it is, but since this is a king sized duvet cover it was a bugger just getting it laid out.

We had a fine time and gabbed our heads off while working pretty steadily. She showed me the houses that they are looking at and more that they will attend open houses for. Obviously we did not work all the time.

It was a fun day with my favorite middle child. My Joey, son-in-law extraordinaire, sent some Godiva chocolates to make me feel better. I love that young man. He knows how to treat his favorite mom-in-law!

Fragrantly Yours,

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Amazing Technology

I have just returned from a mini vacation in Colorado. This was the girls annual ski trip and we all had a blast. My sister Brigid was cut off by an out-of-control skier on a catwalk and was slammed into a tree. This was not a happy event. She was fortunate to ski away with bruises and scraped and no broken bones.

It never ceases to amaze me how many people go through major airports and how much luggage is handled. A little tag with a bar code does it all. I have no concept of how a bar code works but I am thrilled that it does! All of our luggage and skies arrived safely at both ends.

Today I was working with my new photo editing program and again, I’m amazed! It can do so many things. The training videos explained so much that was not intuitive for me.

And I will post some of this handiwork soon.

Meanwhile, I caught a bit of a bug while on the airplane. With all the security measures in place you would think the air could be sanitized in some way. Today I am drinking copious amounts of lemon balm tea. I also found a terrific recipe from Prairieland Herbs for whiskey tea.

Whiskey Tea (Irish version)

1 lemon
1 teabag black irish tea (Barry's, if you can get it)
Irish whiskey (I prefer Jamesons)
whole cloves
cinnamon stick

Cut a 1/4 inch slice out of the middle of the lemon. Stick 4-6 cloves into this lemon slice, and set aside. Juice the 2 halves of lemon into a large cup (using a clear cup is easiest). Then add a roughly equal amount of honey, and a roughly equal amount of whiskey. Stir whiskey, lemon, and honey together, and add a cinnamon stick. In a separate cup, brew a strong cup of black tea - about 6-8 oz. Remove teabag, and pour tea into the whiskey/lemon/honey mixture. Float the clove-studded lemon slice on top of the entire mixture, and drink quickly before all the "good" stuff evaporates! This really does work to help cut phlegm, soothe coughs and sore throats, make you warm and toasty, and make you feel better!

Fragrantly Yours

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


In Europe they say holiday. In the good old USA, we say vacation. Plans were made months ago and today we leave for skiing in Colorado. This is an annual trek to the mountains for a handful of women to bond and giggle. Hopefully all limbs will remain intact. That has not always been the case.

We are quite the mixed group. Mary is a land developer and is the mastermind behind all the arrangements. Cindy is a nurse from MN and is our resident musical director. She always brings her traveling guitar and plays for us. I’m not quite sure what Kim’s title is but she travels all over the country for her business. That woman can talk and keeps us entertained in numerous ways with her stories. Deb is a barber and up until this past year owned her own business. Most of us that are local go to her to be beautiful. Ellenthewench, and that really is one word, comes in from Charleston and is in the nuclear business. She is another quite fascinating woman.

We are hoping that the Colorado sisters will join us. Right now it looks like Brigid the tech writer will be up on Thursday after work with her 12 y/o son, our token male and Angel, receptionist/girl Friday and pursuer of recreational activities will join us on Saturday for our last ski runs.

We never fail to have much laughter and revelry along with some reading and some quieter activities. Our condo this year looks to be another winner. It is very large and has it’s own hot tub which we need at the end of the day.

Kim and Ellenthewench are quite extraordinary skiers and we only see them at lunchtime. The rest of us are solid blue intermediates and don’t care to take too many chances but if we get into trouble, we can get out.

We've always said, no men unless he can sling his ovaries around his neck. Christopher is the exception. He has been on the boards since he was three so he can hang with the gals or meet us at the bottom of the mountain. It is amazing sight to see him fly down the mountain. It’s ever more amazing that he actually seems to enjoy being doted on by a bunch of females who have moved into the grandma generation.

Oh yeah, our bones know that we are grandmas, just our brains have not engaged in behaviors typical of grannies. We are the Golden Girls and hope to continue with these annual treks for many years more. Hopefully, as we become more stable financially, we can add a warm weather vacation also. Several in this group are certified in scuba and some have already done the Belize trip. I missed that one. Heavy sigh. Maybe next year.

The journey begins dear reader and I remain,

Fragrantly Yours,

Tuesday, January 9, 2007


I always dread the times right after the holidays
since it means that I must do my taxes. When you are
in business it is not as simple as waiting for all the
forms to arrive in the mail, crunch a few numbers,
fill in the blanks and wait for your check to come.

In my business, my file drawers are overflowing with
invoices and I welcome the time to organize and put to
bed the ones from last year as the orders are flowing
in every day for 2007. It means that I have to do
inventory and for some reason I really dread that. I
shouldn’t. It’s not hard. It’s just counting and
weighing. It’s just tedious.

What is fun is the discovery of: “Oh wow! That’s where
I put that!” I wonder what I wanted that for is the
question that most often comes to mind.

This year is the additional complication of having an
investor interested in my company. This is someone
with real connections that could lead to a true launch
of my product in a much larger venue than my little
corner of the world. My mind is boggled. He wants me
to meet with several attorneys to get the process
started. What to do first and what would be the
outcome later on? Fear of success is a true fear and
with my age factored in there are just so many more

While I am in business, getting my mind around a
larger entity that would include having employees is
something else. Yet what I have been longing for is to
get out of the dang day job and just do this.

All of this before my morning coffee dear readers.

Fragrantly Yours,

Patti's Potions Natural Soaps
Where it is always polite to
Stick you Nose in My Business

Friday, January 5, 2007

My Day Job

I am often times asked just how got into the beauty business and am I a chemist.

The answer to this could lead to a long dissertation on where I come from, which by the way is Glidden, Wisconsin in the north-central part of the state. My family owned a town pub but we moved to the southeastern part of the state when I was around five years old.

Waterford was home to me for the majority of my life but I have been a Kenosha resident for about eight years now.

I worked in surgery at St. Luke's Aurora in Milwaukee as a surgical technologist/surgical assistant for over twenty years. No, I’m not a surgeon and I’m not a nurse. I do carry other titles and certifications but that’s for another day. Currently I’m employed at the Aurora Kenosha campus in the same capacity. Some days I hand the instruments during surgery and others I’m the first assistant and ask for them.

Years ago St. Luke’s had a surgical residency program and when it was discontinued, the doctors selected certain techs to learn the role of the residents in the first assist position. I’m part of that original group which dates back to the mid-eighties. Oh my gosh but wasn’t that a long time ago!!

The adjacent pictures show me assisting on a total knee replacement surgery. Some days we have to wear the space suits. Pretty wild & crazy hey? And that my dear readers is my day job. I work in all specialties but am the resident "neuro" queen doing the majority of the "big backs". What I don't do much of is orthopedics and rarely now do I do eyes. I did plenty of that at the big house with the retinal guys.

We do all the big cases at the little Aurora house in Kenosha except for open hearts and craniotomies and I'm the only one left that has a background in those cases. I serve as a resource person to all my colleagues.

And that is the day job. It pays the bills until such a time that my business can sustain me.