Bubbly Bubbly

Reducing Your Cost of Things  

 Soy Wax Bears  

          A Model Customer       

A Customers Funny Episode

Gold Labels for Packaging

    FLU and Sinusitis Solutions & Surgery


London and Bill Nighy

Donating Blood

Letter from the Editor:        Shipping Fee Solutions

*Photo courtesy of Bentley Bears.  This guy is on loan from Judea Bentley, Nebraska. 

This issue:    

I have been very preoccupied with making sure we keep our prices down, and continue to show you ways to save money.  I spent a lot of time on the article "reducing your cost of things" because Mabel will not raise prices unless there is a real situation.  After a lot of research these past two weeks, I found no price increases of any merit.  I did have to switch a few small vendors who were "full of it" and absorb some needless expense I refused to pass on to my customer base.  I met some very neat vendors in doing so.  We are good to go for 2006!  I truly hope you enjoy! 

I must also thank Judea Bentley, Nebraska, (tucked in a Corn Field,) who covered my back in many ways, and came up with awesome craft ideas for  this issue!  For once, I was too busy to play and report.


     Other news, the first print of The London Apothecary went out on Valentines Day to be sure to secure that postmark.  One is going to a Museum in Williamsburg, Virginia, how cool!  Michie Tavern I believe is the name of the Curator.    I also signed and dated this first print of 600 books with the Valentines Day mark. Pre-purchasers did seem to love that gesture, although the first issue was late, par usual.  (It due out just after New Years.)  Mabel Media is also now in London, serving Europe. All major books have been adjusted to include the metric system  While I was re-doing the major books--I also updated them with better photos and more current information.  I can say I just re-learned the metric system as well as a bit on balancing the National Budget.  Or so it felt.  But the U.S. and Metric formula's are fantastic for teaching because with each project you cannot help but learn by doing.

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Soy Wax Bears by Judea Bentley

Great for Mothers' Day, Easter, and Birthdays as well as retirement home and dorm living.  Yes, for years I have avoided dipping stuffed animals into hot wax because I felt it just "sounded" cruel.  Part of my job is to avoid fads and focus on classics.  Well, it seems obvious whoever did start the bear dipping, did create a classic.    (Click bunny to see full detail.) 

     I know the first versions were in paraffin, a wax I find very volatile (catches on fire fast) and I simply refuse to use if I can help it.  Another still valid reason I would not "join in."       Since Judea Bentley happens to also work for the Mabel White DIYCorporation, out of a Nebraska, she did hers with SoyWaxTM.  We are not talking about the container blend.  That will not work.  But these are so darn cute!  I am in love, I admit it.  Thanks Judea.

I believe Judea is the first contributing editor to use SoyWaxTM P-1 (made by NatureWaxTM) as a dipping medium.  P means "pillar blend."  Judea did try using paraffin and felt it was to clumpy and just not workable.  I have answered enough questions about these bears, (even though we never talked about them until today) and Judea agrees, it is possible not enough fragrance oil was used.  Or the fragrance oil used was inferior.    Her method was not enough to fit in a newsletter--and enough to justify a cute e-book, so I do not mind selling her e-Book for her here. 

Judea said bears can be re-dipped--if they are not too mucked up already with paraffin using her method. Please click here to buy Judea's affordably priced eBook that shows you not only how to make them, but where to get bears for almost nothing and how to market them.  And you will get bonus material from me in Judea's e-Book.  Yes, I will be dipping bears, I am positive my collegiate daughters and friends will go berserk over them. Click here for the Soy Dipping Wax.  Judea feels each pound will do two bears.  The instructions have the U.S. as well as Metric system. 

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Bubbly Bubbly

I have to admit this is THE coolest product we have ever had in.  Why?  I guess because you can SEE the results as soon as you want to see them.  Bubbles and LOTS of them!  Unfortunately even Ringo thought it was good and I found him eating some of my dry buttermilk bath experiment I had sitting in the bathroom.  Hey, it was in a bowl--on the floor--so I guess he felt it was free game.  Lucky I was testing the lowest percent, 10% bubble powder to 90% buttermilk.   He did not eat too much, before I caught him. Still, I think Ringo may be having "bubbles" come out the other end.

Subby and Co., C.E.O.  and one of Mabel's accounts, asked more about percentages.  I told her I was just crazy to get it, for bath bombs, and really had not studied uses beyond that mission.  We then agreed to "take the challenge" and see who could find out first.  My results are in.  I do not think she ever got started.  No mystery about this "Bubble Powder." It is Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate found in almost every shampoo, detergent, bubble bath, and anything that bubbles.  I am not sure I "care" what the health advocates have to say on this one.  I am cheatin.  For balanced journalism, I looked for the down sides--I really could not find any on a fairly deep search. 

Dry product testing. This would include powdered oatmeal, dry milk, buttermilk, and other dry products.  In this case I used dry buttermilk.  After blending very well in a food processor,  I used a big tablespoons per bath testing below.  Faucet pressure really does make a difference.  In the UK their pressure is screaming and can make water itself bubble.  So, only a teaspoon of any bubble type material is needed.  In the states, we have such lousy pressure, I am thinking about getting an adaptor to make my pressure fast.  It is fun and saves money on the most important thing in my life, my bath time!


Observations: Medium=Dry Buttermilk and Bubble Powder

Dry Testing Results:

1/3 Bubble Powder to 2/3 Dry Buttermilk = Outstanding long lasting bubble even after the bath tub is drained.  The stuff shown in movies.

1/4 Bubble Powder to 3/4 Dry Buttermilk = Excellent long lasting bubbles, some even bath tub is drained.  Still, enough bubbles I did not need any gel to shave my legs.

10% Bubble Powder to 90% Dry Buttermilk = Very nourishing on the buttermilk side (the point of the buttermilk) and  bubbles comparable to what we get in the stores when we buy bubble bath.

Liquid Soap Testing Results:

1/10 Bubble Powder gently stirred into 90% hot water and gently brought to a boil (or it will not really combine) and keep stirring for a a minute or two.  Set aside and while still warm, add a drop of food color, (optional) as well as a few drops of fragrance or essential oil.  Unfortunately, you are dealing with water, so you will need 1% of a preservative.  Click here for our bubble powder.

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Reducing Your Cost of Things  by D. R. Dolen

      In  response to supposed higher raw craft material prices, many people in my industry have raised prices, may start cutting product more with cheaper fillers and/or both.   Neither idea pleases me.   I am retired, so I need not attack purity to save a dime.  I would not TRY to do that even if I was not retired.  These are ways I can see we can all save money and get more bang for our buck in just about every area I can think of--except plastics.  The plastics market seems just fine--(no matter what your being told.)

     Old Fashioned Soap (cold/hot process) is looking better and better.  Why?  Melt and Pour is getting out of hand price wise, heavier to ship, and often cut so bad with cheap fillers to save on glycerin the end user stills thinks they got a deal.  The better the quality of glycerin the more water will attract all over it.  We sell the highest quality--but I noticed my wholesale rate is rivaling with my farmer made old fashioned soap rates.  Since I have a choice on where to save money--my vote is for the farmers! Too many metro guys get part of the M&P money all the way down to the slave labor coconut glycerin usually comes from.  And there NEVER was such a thing as Olive Oil M&P or Oatmeal M&P, etcetera.  Any company who sells that is selling a teaspoon maybe in a pound of M&P is what I heard from actual manufacturers, i.e. Mike Lawson, Columbus Foods.  And he is not afraid for me to quote him.

     As far as Melt and Pour Soap goes, there is just clear. And then there is white with Titanium dioxide thrown in to make it white.  I still love Melt and Pour, but if you are into manufacturing look seriously at the good old fashioned soap.  It cannot be put into a microwave--(that outcome is quite gross if you ever tried it)--but old fashioned soap can be shredded and "rebatched" with awesome results in a crock pot. 


Back to the attributes of old fashioned soap:  Thanks to the new silicone molds coming out in bake ware, old fashioned soap has a better chance of taking a better form.  And it lasts MUCH longer.  It makes you smell clean and sexy.  Why?  The stuff they sell in the stores is not "soap."  They usually read "Bar."  So, I called the farmers who make our soap and they are working the numbers down for Mabel. Already a good price. This makes rebatching awesome, if you do not want to mess with lye.   Thus my two books The Natural Soap Maker and The Soap Rebatcher, now have a new meaning.  I forgot I even wrote The Soap Rebatcher last year, and never did put it into hard copy form.  But I had fun making the recipes and writing that book.  So, it will be available next week in hard copy.   Even last year I saw rebatched soap had a lot of merit.  As far as your marketing goes, like the Clinique facial soap, focus on the fact that soap lasts far longer than most other soap.   I would charge $1 per ounce retail, easy, of real old fashioned soap and price it just that way.  *All books have been converted to add the metric system as well as the U.S. system of measurements.

     What is another answer?  In part--"Buy it locally WHEN possible" which does not promote our cause.  But do turn to us, when you cannot get it local. Which does help us.  Carrier Oils:  Safflower oil is VERY high in vitamin e and antioxidants.  You can get that right off the grocery store shelf. Better yet, Sam's Club or Costo.  Oil is a main component in almost everything we do at Mabel.  Get your high end oils (that are truly best quality) from us.  Such as Rose Hip just came in and Borage (Starflower) that is awesome for eczema and other skin conditions.  In fact, enough women bought the Borage oil--I was able to lower the price a few days ago.  I will also continue to do that now for my customers, meaning pay more attention to trying to lower prices as long as it is moving.

     Regarding Borage, great oil, but I pay almost $200 a gallon wholesale for it.  So, yeah I was scared to plop that down on just one item.  At worst, I figured I would be making lots of lotion.  But it sells great and that is a good thing.

      Accordingly, Mabel will also drop a few things you can just get locally--and hope to gain your business on those materials, that are just hard to find.  We will buy more of them and get better prices on our end to pass along to our customers.  We are not known for being the fastest shippers on the planet, but we are known to have the highest quality goods and that you can depend.  We have improved greatly though--on the shipping issue.  Buying local when possible not only saves you money--as is always our goal--but makes you more independent of being "cornered by your passions."   As far as dropping items, I just have not found anything to drop yet. I tried to drop the shampoo and conditioner pearls, but everyone wants them back.  So, they will be back in a few days.

      Fragrances:  Sure any woman in her right mind (or man) wants "all 200 fragrances" and we will show you, among other tactics, how to take 30 basic scents and make 200 scents from them.  Fragrance is pretty paramount to all crafts and we just landed a more "pure" company to manufacturer our fragrances. This new relationship will take about 6 weeks to be totally incorporated into Mabel.  But better quality and lower prices are on the way to Mabel's fragrance department.  Any orders now are going to buy from the new relationship who already makes our essential oils.  I have always trusted them and they are doing this just for Mabel.  Part of the issue here is that the newer fragrances will be double strength so you pay less for shipping and need to use less of the product.  Double strength actually smells bad because it is too much on your nose!  You do not know it until you blend a few drops into a sample base--such as lotion or a candle and then your nose will find it pleasing.  That will also vary from fragrance to fragrance.  The Self Apothecary has been updated with the metric system, and the fragrance oil blending chart is in the very back of the book.

     Flavor Oils:  Heck yes they can be used in bath, body and edible products. In fact, I have the most control in this market, of any markets, so I will reduce the price of our flavor oils to be at least 20% under that of fragrance.  I admit I use them in my bath and body preparations and find them very on point and sometimes down right succulent!  That is typically all I use, and essential oils.  Essential oils are not that expensive when you look at the fact you only need a few drops. Think about that.  Extend their shelf life with a few drops of Rosemary Oleoresin Extract.  Essential oils are the one thing I would not buy local.  It is the one area the health food stores seem to get away with--selling seriously cut stuff.  Only because no one ever asks them about quality.  I will not buy their stuff EVEN if I am out and need it.  I may as well buy water.

     Molds for Soap and Bath Bombs:  As I said in the last issue--the new floppy looking silicone bake ware are so awesome, affordable and not designed to break or warp.  They can take up to 500 degrees and easy to peel off--there is no point in us carrying any other soap mold--other than the bee and farm house soap molds I love so much.  I still love the rose cup cake mold I made that rose hip soap in--and I keep that soap in my kitchen for gentle exfoliation.  Click here if you missed that neat article.  As I said in The London Apothecary, sometimes the product is THE packaging. 

    Containers:  Yes, we are going to start selling the empty vials we deliver our fragrance and essential oils in.  Everyone has been asking about that--and since I already incur the same shipping fee--I may as well buy more of the high density plastic bottles.  They are durable and can handle even essential oils that would melt most plastic.  Orange essential is the best way to test a plastic container--the same oil that dissolves wax and glue.  Best of all--they are not glass, so they do not break.  I love the dropper that goes with them, but that is a separate item. 

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Gold Clip Art for Packaging

Due to popular demand we came up with a CD ROM that has over 400 classic gold foil looking clip art images.  Created to be as big as possible, so they are perfect when made smaller.  Images can be combined to make a bigger statement if the user deems.  Most clip art are gif files which have a transparent back ground and typically easy to place over other gold images.  Click here or any image to purchase the CD ROM.

Complete with religious, medallions, zodiac, fancy letters and filigree borders.  Click here for the previous article called Yo! Packaging Made Simple

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Donating Blood

     Everywhere I go I am noticing a blood shortage.  Although we do not have much control over the world, we can make a meaningful donation that is sure to be used.  That would be the practice of giving blood if you qualify.  Not to mention the fact you loose about 650 calories every time you donate as the body uses the energy to replace the blood you gave away. 

     I used to take my family down a few times a year, at minimum, to give.  This is a real bonding experience if the family goes together.  I have been lax the last few years.  Two of my daughters are AB- which is the rarest type (like 1 out of 1,000) and exceptions were quickly made about the "under age 17" issue for them.  I was informed after giving birth to the first one.  One hates needles with a passion and I am very proud she overcame that to still help others on a regular basis at college.  And she does not even brag to me about it.  I found out inadvertently she maintained the practice after she moved away.  When they were young, I explained if they should ever need it, it can only come from one source.  Another person who gave.  They cannot make it in a machine. 

     If you have type O- (negative) you are universal because this blood can be given to anyone.  It is the blood of choice to be given when blood type is not identified yet in an accident.  If you are up to it--you can donate as often as every 8 weeks. 

     The practice also encourages you to drink more water.  Water is probably the most overlooked element in our weight loss efforts.  I have been doing great with the Grape Nuts diet plan and lots of water.  Also, drinking the Dandelion Tea that Napier's in the UK recommended whenever I have a craving to stuff my mouth.  Preparing a cup of tea also helps distract you.  For questions about giving blood, click here for the Mayo Clinic

     Another great gesture is to be an organ donor if you qualify.  When I recently renewed my drivers license I remembered to ask for that to be on my license.  They are such a miserable bunch (at my DMV anyway, Cortez Road behind Chiles) they never make you aware that is an option.  They are toooo busy trying "not" to be working or studying their retirement program.  And they work v e r y slow on purpose!  I have seen these same exact seven people there for 25 years.  No one is going to fire them and they know it.  And these people at DMV know its your birthday, they know that is probably why you are there, and they want you to never forget they had all the power to control your destiny for one whole day of your natural life. Actually every six years if you go to the one on Cortez Road behind Chiles.   So, ya gotta stand there and look stupid--a l l   d a y.  Every six years.

     If you start getting even slightly upset, they will call the cops and claim you went postal.  (They personally hate each other--and life--but they will team up and take you down.)  I thought I was going to waltz in there, grab a number, and return in four hours.  Always worked for me like a charm in the past.  Not this time.  They are on to that trick. 

     Now you have to stand in a line of 38 people as if the Rolling Stones AND Bono (U-2), were coming into town, at the same concert.  And bring a sleeping bag to talk to ONE lady-(who also has to answer the phone) and if Lilly Tomlin was not there with her "one ringy dingy" I would be damned.  When it got down to just 30 people in line--I was damned.  She stopped and went to lunch.  I would rather take on 10 guys in airport security than ever get my DL renewed again.  At least there would be some action.  Bottom line, offer to donate your organs even if no one acts like they care. 

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Mabel's Take on Lip VenomOUS

    First, you have to dig deep to get past the buzz words and into what are really the "active ingredients."  I see the e-Bay folks like to use the word "stimulant" when the best word is "best known skin irritant."  Sure, if you irritate your skin, it will tend to swell up.  Ever sucked on a cayenne pepper?  Thought not.  Keep milk around to de-activate.  I think this is the worst idea going around--second to the push for our teenagers to stay thin.  You ingest some of that stuff. I know just how I would mix this potion--but I won't do it for a few reasons.  Health, and the idea that we are not beautiful without it.  If you want fatter lips, smile more.  It will also save you a lot of money.  2007 update?  We prefer "Lip Scrubs."

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A Model Customer: Kari Pastor

We all know I like myself, but I am not really into bragging.  I am human and at times I really do get "writer's block," not to mention just feel fat an ugly.  In fact, so bad this newsletter--I wrote one and then deleted the entire thing.  I have never been that "off" before.  I thought, maybe I should get a job.  But, I have a countless neat group of customers.   You are all the reason I stay motivated to search, experiment and write.  Kari Pastor is one.  She and a few others recently had a "feeling" God wanted them to call me this weekend, and man did they lift my sprits and "unblock" my head.  I was praying for some divine intervention and a long comes Kari, et al.

Kari has been ordering from Mabel for about five years and will say I kept her going.  I did not get to know her until last year when I had some spare time.  She recently told me her products TOOK OFF when she simply changed her packaging.  And she allowed me to share that with you.  Here is her site.  http://www.gypsyroseherbals.com/.  Her husband has a great job with the State of Nevada and Kari gets to stay home and be a "Mom."

She made sure I knew our Lavender Essential Oil really helped her child from serious post burns, (and it did me also when I spilled a bucket of lye on me last year--I should have lost my skin.)  I get a ton of letters each day like this.  Kari thinks I should post more about them.  So, here is what she wanted you all to know:

"YES!!!  I know I am a pain in the ass...but here goes Ivy's story...

   On January 28th, Ivy (not 3yrs old yet) was climbing to the mantelpiece to get a DVD...the stool slipped and she ended up hanging on the edge, with her toes bracing her IN THE HOLES/GRATE of the fireplace!

All her 30 pounds weight on her toes, on the HOT grate...The metal burned a deep furrow in the fatty ball of each big toe and burned a few of the other toes too. Sonny grabbed her up and brought her to me at the sink, and I had a bowl there and I dumped almost a whole bottle of your Bulgarian Lavender (by the way I need more LOL) and made her keep her feet in it for approx twenty minutes. Not easy to do with a screaming 2 1/2 yr old...but I did it. After about three minutes she calmed down and was letting me touch her toes and really look at them. The furrows were still there, but the redness was really minimal, and where the blisters were, it was just a plain white skin! She had at least second and third degree burns and it was already mellowing out. I put a bandage of gauze and socks with plain Lavender essential oil for a week-changing about 3 or 4 times daily, then when the blisters dried and started to crack, I put my Lavender and Boo-Boo Balms on them (all made with YOUR ingredients, Deborah!) and kept the blisters moist and clean. By week three they did not even peel-all the skin just healed up, and only one big toe with a deeper furrow had a tiny scab that is now, one month later, almost gone! Even her pediatrician was amazed that I never even used a prescribed sulfadene ointment, and it healed so fast! So THANK YOU for letting us have access to such wonderful ingredients and a world of knowledge...it saved Ivy's toes for sure!!!"

So, I want to thank Kari for this, Connie Terry, Trish Günther, Betty Jo Hash, and that list could go on.

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Flu and Sinitus Solutions by D.R. Dolen

     The MAIN lesson here is GET your strategy together now, because once you are sick, often you do not have the energy to secure what can make you feel better quicker.  Whatever "does it" for you--have an ample supply--as well as chicken broth and food items you can have on hand.  As you know--the non-sick tend to bring back the wrong stuff and then you are ..shall I say more than "happy?"  It will cost you more money later--if you fail to lock down a strategy.  I am not  ruling out plain old Nyquil tabs--I use them if I plan to sleep through the Flu and many people like Thera-Flu.  2007 update:  ColdMD (new) is OK from some reports.

     A Dear friend of mine is officially down with Sinitis which, after several months, finally explains neck pain, ear pain, crashing heach aches (now and then) as well as just over all feeling miserable.  No energy.  It also causes one to be a bit depressed, and guys are the last to like to admit that part.  That part (depression) may mask itself with the person just chronically bitching about every and anything. Sinitis is a sneaky little thing--because your nose does not necessarily run, or seem loaded--and making it all too easy to over look your sinus cavities.  (Read post note 2007 below about surgery....)

  My friend may have surgery because of the constant infection of sinus tissues and antibiotics aimed prior at different theories such as ear infection.  I am not sure what that surgery entails, but here is the letter I wrote and firmly believe in--pre and post surgery for him.  This also applies to Flu and pneumonia that laid me flat out post London.   I JUST skirted being down a week with the flu because I still had my pneumonia regimen left over.  When it hit me--it lasted 24 hours.  So, here is what I wrote: (Worthless if your really have Sinitis...a CT scan will tell...)

I am sorry--I can see now how bad that is.  I had mono (mononucleosis) ten years ago in college--same symptoms as you are having.  I dealt with it for about 6 weeks until I could no longer even get out of bed.  4 hours  of sleep a night for months--was the first cause.  College.  No Doctor could figure out what was wrong and I spent boo koo bucks desperate for a solution.

I finally DRAGGED myself to a health food store.  My body was spent, overworked and very infected.  I was exasperated as you seem now.  Golden Seal Root was the miracle for me that cleaned my blood.  As well as Capsicum and Garlic tablets.  It has always been pretty clear from what I have read, viruses cannot live in the blood stream with garlic. 

Regarding you - watch any mucus creating foods such as milk, yogurt and ice cream for now.  Take steamy baths with a few drops of essential oils and inhale.  If you were here I would rub a tiger balm type around and push that crap out of your sinuses down into your glands (under the ears/jaw) to move it out--for the time being.  If your skin is sensitive, milk should neutralize the reaction--and then do not use that.  Inhale steam from a pot and put some herbs in it.  Good herbs to steam in a pot are thyme, and rosemary from Whole Foods.  Golden Seal Root, Capsicum, and Garlic pills WILL clean your blood.  And doing all of this WILL ease the situation for now.  The all natural nose sprays ARE good if this is the case as it seems.  If you get sick of the "Viks" smelling chest rubs, try a few drops of  Cinnamon,Clove, Ginger and Tangerine essential oils in a jelly base.
Shopping List
So, TRY to get some energy up to go to Whole Foods and buy the internal tabs; Golden Seal, Capsicum, and Garlic, as well as dry herbs to steam and inhale, Thyme and Rosemary.   Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Thyme, and Camphor are great essential oils  to also put into a steamy pot.  Tiger balm for the surface to help push that crap down, and for the neck area.    Take a little aspirin per day to keep your circulation up.  They always say that is good for your heart anyway.  Try to eat only Thai food, or most oriental food will keep your energy level up and does not produce mucus--in fact it does the opposite and burns that crap out.  Anything with a chicken broth base as well as pepper and garlic, is great for your blood until you get on top of this.  Hit an Oriental restaurant, for their hot and spicy soups and such.  Keep what you cannot eat now in the freezer. 

Yes, it will get boring--but important.  Cheap starches such as rice, bread, and sugars only feed your problem.  Bacteria love cheap sugars and starches.  And dairy does not help right now.   If basic energy is a big issue for you right now--which it seems OBVIOUS, a quick trip to whole foods will feel like it saved your life.  And rather fast.  Like 24 hours.  And I doubt it will ALL exceed $80.  I swear that Golden Seal Root alone is a God send all by itself.  It is so good at taking toxins out of the blood--drug users use it to hide their drug use in urine tests.  They drink lots of water and eliminate any toxins before the test. 

Drink plenty of water and fluids as usual.  And get some Teas and real juice there.  Tea's like Echinacea.  A sure bet against infected mucus.    None of this interferes with your Doctors meds or other treatments.  These things helped me when NO ONE could figure out what was wrong with me in 1995.  It is just something hard to describe--as is what you are going through.  But I was miserable and on my knees before I was forced to make a game plan.  When I did, I had my life back.  Gee-just lecturing you about it--I think I will take Golden Seal for a few weeks.  It is the best. 

So, beyond what I wrote my friend, click this link for the Master Tonic Recipe that seems still very popular by my readers and here for a Chicken Soup for the Soul Recipe, also a tried and true Mabel Recipe from my early days.  Maybe make up a bunch of soup (with real chicken being always the best) and freeze it.   Good luck to you all and I hope you do not need this article, but I am sure you know those who do.

*If none of this works default to serious measures=  4 Krispie Crème doughnuts--(2 jelly and 2 custard) with a glass of milk.


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Sinus Surgery:  February 2007

The person I referred to as "my Dear friend" in the letter above, is, thankfully about to have surgery.  Better, because he is my fiancé and I will have to live with him soon!  (He never did like the article above about just being a Dear friend!)  I have known him several years and this has been a chronic issue between us, although silent and just "bad mood" stuff.  Great guy when not suffering various symptoms of sinus infections. Dr. did a CT scan and said he is "packed."  That means dead tissue and so on.  Finally.  Last year, he was on "Prednisone" as a last ditch effort and I skipped an article on what a Prince Charming he was during that era.  That would be a novel of it's own right.  After reading what that stuff does, he really did try hard to be sweet.  Back to sinus surgey, another staff member's son just had this done (2007) and is so relieved--he said he can smell things he could never smell before.  That is Judea's son, Nicholas.

Because of what Nick went through--I knew my fiancé will not be back to work in 2 days as he thinks. 

I will fly to be with my fiance for a few weeks just before he has this surgery done.  It sure has held a wedding off!  But I did make reading up on the surgery "mandatory" to my flight.  Surgery is always easier when you know what to expect.  Like the anesthesia tube being a real unexpected pain.  I noticed a man named Clayton Cramer wrote a total Sinus Surgery play by play and I was so grateful, I did donate a few bucks.  It saved me time and money--knowing what to expect and have on hand.  It pretty much described what Nicholas had to do also.  I can say one valuable thing, if you need this type of surgery, ask for suppository pain killers and nausea methods instead of pill forms.  Most people do not know to ask and they help greatly.  It is a little obvious it would be hard to keep anything down when dealing with the sinus area.  As Clayton pointed out, he also needed suppositories for constipation also.  Click here for Clayton's Sinus story.

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A Customers View Point by Anon-e-mous

(This lady was so darn funny, I asked her if I could re-print what she was saying in her e-mails.  She said sure and gave me more material!)  Here it is:

At this point I don’t care how the hell the natural the soap base is! I can say 99.9% of my customers will *never* use the soap. HELLO. They think it is too cute.

I’ve thought of trying to make my own soap from scratch, but I don’t really  have the desire (or $$$) to investigate. The crap they sell at Michaels is really just for little kids with runny noses to make in one afternoon. I’ve already spent about $400 in molds, testing soap bases, colorant, paint, fragrance etc.. in the past month.

My other big concern is retail price. I figure with all the price increases, I am working for $0.10 an hour.   By June, I should be at .20 cents an hour and start looking seriously at a retirement plan.

Also, the cost of the silicone molds is killing me. I found one person on eBay and she charges $22-26 per 3D mold ( – otherwise I buy the 2 dimensional  with a flat back for $15/mold.  By the way...I paint my soap with puzzle glue when it is ready--so it will shine and not suck water out of thin air...

(I asked her at this point if I could share her first letter and got this...)

Oh, if you want to talk about small businesses I could talk for hours! We started ours in 1999 and by 2001 turned to it full time when both my husband and myself lost our (very lucrative) jobs in high tech (which was going downhill even before 9/11). We have been living off of our retirement savings (cashing in our IRAs and paying a penalty) since then.

Over the past several years we actually started turning a profit (my accountant still thinks I’m nuts to be selling animal toys) until last spring when all of a sudden the market slowed down. In the meantime, I have been trying to find SOMETHING that I can produce (I am all thumbs) and sell.

Our customer base is 95% older women and men.   There is NUTHIN like spending $400+ on Google advertising to get an order for ONE stinking postage stamp ($1.00) and they are willing to pay $3.95 for shipping! Or the ones who want to start BARTERING with us over the price of an antique vintage teapot (value $80.00-150.00) and want to pay $35. So does this mean they walk into Sears and do the same thing? Or the beauts who buy something, don’t like it, email me with insults about its inferior quality and then expect ME to reimburse them for the return postage AND the original postage they paid! (The average price of our merchandise is $15, we’re not talking Saks Fifth Avenue!)

I’ve had some pretty heated email wars.

Or the people who don’t own a PC but their next door neighbor’s granddaughter showed them our website and they want to buy something with a check (which they never send or they send it 2 months later after I’ve sold out of the item) and don’t include a return address. Or the woman who misinterpreted a description and assumed we would supply her with a lifetime supply of replacement ink cartridges for a fountain pen we sell… for $4.50!

Or the men in jail who found us online and send a typewritten letter talking about the chocolate Lab they grew up with as a kid….

But my all time favorite: (We used to make custom address labels, clothing and mouse pads from pictures they sent us of their dogs.)  I can count on one hand how many white poodles we got – most with their legs stretched wide (like posing for Penthouse) and they wanted it printed on a WHITE sweatshirt. Or the fuzzy Polaroid’s (usually 2 x 3 inches) of their dog from 1972 they want blown up to fit a mouse pad – or the people who sent us pictures of their ugly kids with food and drool all over their face that they wanted made into a mouse pads…ya know, people do tend to look like their pets?

Now we get emails from women who want to start their own business selling the animal toys we do. Would I email them all the secrets and lessons I’ve learned on my own for the past 6 years just because they asked?? Back to the soap industry, I called EVERY FRIGIN BODY and their brothers, and yep--you were the last to get back to me--but the only one who actually helped.  Everyone was telling me "The sale is not final and the price may go up without notice on your credit card..." WHAT D F?

That had me in a real panic mode.  No one answering their phones prior to Mabel even knew what soap was--just knew enough to take my credit card number.  I wanted to simply know if glycerin came from a tree, bush, rock, or what.   Maybe I can make it here. 

So, you can see how I was thrilled and shocked  that you were willing to share *any* information with me about the soap industry!

Editor's Note: I am still intrigued with the puzzle glue!  D.R.D.


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Billy Nighy (Mack) and London by Deborah "Wanna Be" Nighy

The London Apothecary DVD is almost done.  We wanted it to be awesome.  So we spent some extra time on it.  Since we filmed it Christmas in the UK, it had a lot of music already in the back grounds.  One of the songs that happened to be in the back ground was Bill Nighy's (Billy Mack) "Christmas is All Around." I am sure Bill Nighy played a serious role recently in the movie "The Constant Gardener" and did a great job, and is a super rental. Oddly, that movie is about a pharmaceutical company up to no good. 

I love Billy Nighy and found his performance in the movie  "Love Actually" hysterically amusing.   He plays a self-absorbed one hit wonder who milks his life off one song.  I could not help singing this song  to myself during most of the London filming.  It is corny as hell but "catchy."  Here Billy Mack is rebranding his song "Love is all Around" to "Christmas is all Around" to squeeze one more dime from it. 

My singing the same old song did drive everyone nuts.  Hey, it was Christmas! But if you want a laugh and a little preview of our DVD, here is Billy Mack.  No, he is not in the Apothecary, film.  I am!  The photo to the left is moi, truly in front of Napiers during our filming.  No, Bill Nighy is not in the photo.  I am.  As far as "Love Actually," we stole the sound track honestly. (Not the video below.) If his lawyers write me I will ignore it.  He is worth the injunctive measures!  Love ya Billy!! XOXOXO

Click here for Billy's PC Video performance.      Love Actually Sound Track (Awesome) is worth buy the CD
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Prednisone may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • headache
  • dizziness
  • difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • inappropriate happiness
  • extreme changes in mood
  • changes in personality
  • bulging eyes
  • acne
  • thin, fragile skin
  • red or purple blotches or lines under the skin
  • slowed healing of cuts and bruises
  • increased hair growth
  • changes in the way fat is spread around the body
  • extreme tiredness
  • weak muscles
  • irregular or absent menstrual periods
  • decreased sexual desire
  • heartburn
  • increased sweating


Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • vision problems
  • eye pain, redness, or tearing
  • sore throat, fever, chills, cough, or other signs of infection
  • seizures
  • depression
  • loss of contact with reality
  • confusion
  • muscle twitching or tightening
  • shaking of the hands that you cannot control
  • numbness, burning, or tingling in the face, arms, legs, feet, or hands
  • upset stomach
  • vomiting
  • lightheadedness
  • irregular heartbeat
  • sudden weight gain
  • shortness of breath, especially during the night
  • dry, hacking cough
  • swelling or pain in the stomach
  • swelling of the eyes, face, lips, tongue, throat, arms, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
  • difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • rash
  • hives
  • itching
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