So bath salts have come to Castle Row.
No need for panic just yet, though. They're actually salts for the bath, not the latest drug epidemic. Or at least I think that's the case.
Alison have moved on temporaily from concocting edible treats to those that she thinks might be suitable as Christmas gifts and as one of her most coveted gifts is a spa trip, these things she's making have a spa-like use..
She'd started with the idea of making bath bombs -- I know! It scared me too -- based on a recipe she'd found on the Internet. It called for citric acid and sodium laural sulfate, jojoba oil, cream of tarter and vanila color stablizer among a reporters' notebook sheet of other ingredients that I'd never heard of. Mixed together, they apparently result in a cupcake creation that explodes into fragrant, soothing oils when properly detonated in the tub.
I convinced her that we should start with a smaller project, which led to her asking for my friend Kelsey Taylor's recipe for soothing bath salts. It also required a trip to the local herbal remedies store and the purchase of some Dead Sea Salt, epsom salt, essential oils and almond oil -- stuff I'd never bought before but at least I recognized and didn't fear could be combustible. I considered the idea of plain old vegetable oil. Oil is oil, right? But Alison wanted to follow the recipe exactly.
Twenty-six dollars later, we were in the kitchen mixing it up and scavaging the house for interestingly shaped and correctly sized jars.
If you come to be blessed with homemade soothing agent this year, I expect you to ooh and ahh long before you hit the tub. She worked really hard and chattered nonstop about which colors to use for boys and girls and just who should get them. It's a big deal to her.
She's been mixing it up in her bathroom, too. She's invented an overpoweringly frangrant facial scrub, a lotion and several different types of cleanser by taking the household inventory of cleaners, potients and lotions and recombining them. I tend to be her guinea pig, though she does try them out on herself, too.
She asked me to put her hair in a high bun so she could indulge in a soothingly salted bath and when I did, she saw herself and started laughing. "This is why I quit ballet," she said, pointing to her head.
Next week she'll be back to the real cupcakes, making the treats for her class Christmas party.
Seems hard to believe the year is almost over. We're all very excited about our annual trip home to Maine. We've been online shopping and shipping fools.
No great stories from the week other than Alison's assessment that my party outfit last night -- a sparkly top and leather skirt -- made me look like Michael Jackson. Silly girl. I'll never be that thin. I did, however, sparkle up the place.
The party was fun. Judy has this 17-layer (or something close) chocolate cake and we brought champagne. As always, there were a ton of really interesting people. Usually we know only the Judy and Ken, and this year wasn't much different, but this new collection was even more interesting than last year when we met a couple who then invited us to their wedding. You never know what you're in for at the Beaches -- except you know you're in for great food and fun conversation.
This year, the party was also informative. As you know, I can, on thed occasion, be a little skeptical when people around me speak out loud. But now I know how to find the Real Truth. The guy who turned me on to it didn't tell me it was a secret, so I'm sharing it with you.
The Real Truth -- proof that pretty much every terrible thing that's happened in America in the past few decades occurred far differently than we all have been told -- is waiting at www.YouTube.com
I'd give you all the examples of truths revealed that I was let in on, but you don't have time for that. The guys on Death Row don't have time for that.
And just in case you're wondering, I was a perfect guest. I might have questioned him, politely, a time or two. But mostly I nodded and listened and widened my eyes at appropriate times. I might have even said, "golly, gee-whiz" a time or two.
But I was very nice.
So, if you a little time on your hands or if you question anything you hear or read or see, all you have to do is go on YouTube. I'd give you the guy's name and number but somehow it didn't make it home with me.