Saturday, January 31, 2015

Gifts and giving back

My daughter is attending a retreat, focused on Yoga and Meditation this weekend.  And because her Yoga teacher uses our oils in her classes, Jennifer was asked to do a talk about Aromatherapy.  Now, Jennifer has been peripherally involved with Nature's Gift since it started.  The first time I ever flew out of state to talk to people about the oils I love, when it was just me and no other staffers, she poured and labeled wee bottles for me to take and share. She was a part of it from the very beginning, but not, usually, an active participant. She is, I think, proud of what we do.  It's her definition of what we do, written in a college essay, that has always defined us. "Every day, all over the world, she sends out boxes full of joy and healing."   This is how my daughter sees Nature's Gift

Anyway.  we spent a lot of time backing and forthing about what oils to diffuse during different parts of the weekend, and what oils to talk about when she gives the presentation.  She will be focussing how the botanicals that are the source of our oils have been part of so many spiritual paths for millenium.  She'll start with some of the aromatics from the Bible, and branch out to other traditions.

We decided to gift all the women at the retreat with a small gift...  2 ml bottles of Solace anointing oil and Magdalene's Anoint... because they fit with the weekend.

The problem was that my staff was totally overwhelmed in January, between some huge wholesale orders and our 20 on the 20th sale. NO ONE had time to prepare those wee gifts.  So last weekend I spent several hours all by myself, down in production, pouring and labeling the gifts to be sent to Jennifer on Monday.

I sent Jen the picture below in the middle of the preparations... with the note "not a straight label in the batch"  

Some of you know that I couldn't put a label on straight even back in the day. Now, well, I've developed this tremor..and I don't pour and label any more. 

I wrote the following to Jennifer's teacher when she thanked me for the gift I was sending..

I need to thank you and Jennifer... I talked to her two gave me a REAL gift...

See, I don't get to work with the oils any more...  I have this tremor and some other age related problems and... I don't spend much time with the oils. I get to do all the computer stuff, and answer questions and do the importing and the researching and the studying and... the stuff that needs doing, and needs knowledge.

but I don't work directly with the oils any more, not on a daily basis.  I decide yes and no on samples that come in, I do the sourcing and I work with Jim on tweaking blends when we need to remake a product, and the raw ingredients are different... but not daily. I don't blend...and I don't package what we are sending out the door.

And because my staff was totally overloaded this week, the very nice young man who runs Production for us just didn't have time to get to the 'gift sets"...  and I told him I would..

I spent some hours at the shop earlier this evening.. pouring 28 wee bottles of Solace Anoint... and praying for the women who would receive them...that their griefs would be eased...  and then sealing and labeling (crookedly!) the bottles, and packaging them.  And then pouring 28 wee bottles of Magdalene...and praying for forgiveness, and self forgiveness, and for the gift of being ABLE to forgive, for the women who would be receiving them.  (Because the Magdalene blend is about forgiveness, on all levels.)

and I realized what a gift it was to be able to do exactly what I was doing..and how I had missed letting the oils, and the INTENTIONs of the oils be part of my daily life any more.

And so I sent Jen a picture of the wee bottles, without a straight label in the lot...and asked her to call me if she was free... and thanked her for the gift of working with my oils tonight."

And when I talked to my daughter that night, I cried, with gratitude, for having this missing part of my life restored to me.  

There is a followup to this story...   We shipped the package by Priority Mail, insured to Jennifer at her office on Monday.  And it fell into a postal black hole.  Monday night it scanned out of Madison, but never scanned in to Nashville, or any place beyond. It was scheduled for delivery on Wednesday, and, of course, was still in that black hole. By noon Wednesday, Jennifer and I were both convinced it just wasn't going to happen.  So, on Wednesday, I placed an online order for the oils that Jennifer was going to be talking about during her presentation, and the oils that they had planned to diffuse during the whole weekend, and FedExed it over night to her office in Virginia. (isn't it FedEx when it absolutely HAS to be there tomorrow?)  Of course, after we sent the FedEx order out on Wednesday, Wednesday night the USPS package showed up in Northern Virginia.   You can predict the rest.

 And... the Creator had things well in hand.  Because the list that I packed the USPS box from contained all the gifts, and scent strips, and the oils to be diffused. But I had negleced the oils that she was going to TALK about.  No Frankincense, no Myrrh, no Spikenard, no Sandalwood. The second box was necessary.    

At any rate, I just wanted to share a gift that enriched my life.  And, as I type and edit this blog post, my daughter is talking about how the oils we make available can enrich people's spiritual paths.  

What a gift, to do what we do!

Monday, January 5, 2015


Leif is fascinated by POTIONS.  When he grows up he wants to be a potion maker.

This morning I got a FB msg from my daughter in law, Candice.  Could they do a field trip to Grandma Marge's Laboratory.  Of course.  So after a day of fun and exploring and lunch they came to visit in the afternoon.

I had already discussed it with Jim, our chief potion-maker, and we decided that there would be no better potion than KleenHandz.  After all, it may not be all glittery and sparkly and shoot off fireworks, but keeping a small boy healthy when all of his classmates are coming down with everything that's going around...that's pretty magical.

So Leif and Jim set to work.  First we have to weigh and measure ingredients.

Then everything, once blended, needs a REALLY good shaking to finish blending it well.

Now to pour it - 4 ounce Boston Rounds, with lotion pumps.  Jim decanted some into a glass beaker, for ease of handling.  (Leif, where did your gloves go?)  Big sister Chelsea is waiting her turn.

Mom and Baby Roxy were watching:

Chelsea is being VERY careful. It's hard being the big sister, you have to do it right.  We can see how hard she is concentrating.

A couple of labels and we are good to go!

Two Clark young'uns should have healthy winters this year, thanks to Nature's Gift's magic potions.

(This Grandma doesn't very often use this space to brag on my grands...but they are such amazingly GRAND grands that I thought you might enjoy meeting them.)