terra, not terror

sharing ideas about a simpler way to live

Lavender spray July 26, 2007

Filed under: environment, garden — terra @ 5:22 pm

IMG_7028I have found the best mosquito repellent ever! My sister-in-law recommended it a few years ago and I’ve been using it ever since. Lavender oil. I just put a few drops in a bottle of water, spray it on, and the mosquitoes don’t touch me! My husband uses it too, and we both swear by it. (10-15 drops in 6 oz.) The best part is, you don’t have to shower off some sticky, chemically spray before you go to bed at night. And don’t worry about using it on the kids. Unless they’re allergic, it’s safe for the little ones.

You can find lavender oil in the essential oils part of the natural foods section of a grocery store, a natural health foods store, or an herb shop. It costs about $8 for a small bottle, which will last well over a year. During spring and fall, I put a few drops in my lotion so I smell good, and already have my mosquito repellent on in case we eat outside. This site recommends putting it in a massage oil, but I’ve found water to work just fine.

Lavender water is also an excellent way to give you a refreshing clean feeling on a hot and humid day. Skip the 2nd shower on those sticky nights and just spritz on some lavender oil-water.

Tip of the day: Download music instead of buying cds – saves on packaging and transportation costs and waste.


HomeGrown Saturday Mornings July 26, 2007

Filed under: food, garden, local — terra @ 2:57 am

Get some fresh, local food at the Saturday Farmer’s Market at Lock 3 every Saturday from July 28 – September 22. Homegrown Saturday Morning begins at 9am and features fresh fruits and vegetables, plants, and all sorts of other local vendors.

Buying local fruits and vegetable helps our community, and also reduces pollution because your produce travels less to get to your table. And it tastes excellent!

(I’ve just returned from Baltimore and will update you soon on my trip. Yesterday’s flight was canceled.)


Rain Barrel Day July 21, 2007

Filed under: conserve, environment, garden, reduce, reuse — terra @ 2:22 pm

IMG_7811The Akron Beacon Journal featured a story about rain barrels in today’s paper! I hope everyone takes advantage of this natural, renewable resource. We can have green plants, and not use treated water. I don’t expect my water bill to go down because I just haven’t been watering my plants this summer. But, now I can water them for free! And, they’ll be healthier for it.

Link of the day: Calculate your carbon footprint, and find ways to reduce it.


My new Rain Barrel July 18, 2007

Filed under: conserve, garden, reduce, reuse — terra @ 5:21 pm

IMG_7435My new favorite thing… rain barrels. They collect water from your gutters via the downspout and store it for later use. It is beneficial to the plants, which don’t need cold, treated tap water. Rain barrels also help you save money on your water bill, and re-use a resource that otherwise goes to waste.

I recently installed a rain barrel in my back yard. I am thrilled! My barrel holds 50 gallons, and originally held Greek pickled peppers. I plan to use it to water my wilting flowers, and keep the lawn more green than yellow. Mine cost $80 for the “blemished” barrel + $24 for the downspout diverter. I put it on a hose box, so the hose and the barrel are in one place, and to get more pressure from the elevated barrel.

The picture shows water rushing into the barrel, just minutes after we set it up. It took about 5 minutes in a heavy downpour for the barrel to fill, so it’s important to have a hose diverter to move the water away from the house. The downspout diverter I got is nice because when the barrel is full, I just close it and the water flows down the downspout as normal.

Make your own!
The Nature Center at Shaker Lakes is having a workshop in August on making your own rain barrel.

Tip of the day: Lower your thermostat 2 degrees in winter, and raise it 2 degrees in summer.