Eleven days until Christmas and no snow in the forecast. It’s like someone moved the Mason Dixon Line and I’m now living in the south. This Yankee is having a hard time believing its December.
I know many people are enjoying the warm weather but as a dog owner I am not. Having a hard time following me? Although the air is warmer than usual it’s not warm enough to evaporate water. This results in mud!
The smell of wet dogs and mud are the scent of our holiday season. Bathing my two large dogs every three days is not an option as one dog has skin issues and the other has enough hair for four dogs. No baths until the ground freezes. In the mean time I mop and vacuum floors, brush the dogs and closely monitor the weather. But the odor needs to be dealt with…
At the local big box store I visited the isle dedicated to “air fresheners.” Two thoughts occurred to me. One, wow there are a lot of choices and products to choose from. We Americans must have a lot of odor issues in our homes. My second thought was this is a smorgasbord of chemicals. I walked away thinking there are natural ways to control odors in our homes I just have to Google them!
My mom use to set a pan of water on the stove and add citrus peels. She would let this simmer on low for hours. Not only did this make the house smell wonderful it also added moisture to the dry indoor air. If you like this option I suggest finding a pan you no longer need. Residues build up and if you are not paying attention the water boils out and the pan becomes scorched, it happens to the best of us.
Here are some nice natural ingredient combinations to add to the simmering water.
Orange peel and clove
Fresh ginger (or dried) and cinnamon stick
Peppermint leaves and vanilla extract
Grapefruit peels and sage
Pine tree branches, they keep well in freezer bags. Last year I would pull a few sprigs from the freezer each week and put them in a cast iron kettle I keep on top of our woodstove.
Thanks to Google I found instructions on how to make an air fresher with baking soda and essential oils. At our local GNC store I bought three oils, lime, Juniper berry and eucalyptus. This is easy, fill a jar with half a cup of baking soda and add 8 to 10 drops of essential oil. Cover the top of the jar with paper. Next poke holes in the paper with a large sewing needle.
The oils I chose have clean energizing aromas but cinnamon and other spices also make nice air freshener scents.
Another easy way to add a pleasant scent to your home is to burn candles. I am personally very picky about the type of candles I burn. There are a lot of inexpensive candles on the market. I question their origin and what chemicals they contain. After all, we are burning them which in turn releases byproducts into the air we breathe.
As we move into the New Year it is my hope that people move away from using unnecessary chemicals. Let 2016 be the year we invite nature back into our homes.
by Jill Eudaly
photos by Jill Eudaly