Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It Sounds Promising

Met with the Oncologist on November 6th who told me that he believes this to be bile duct cancer. He says if I have the whipple surgery, I'll be "cured" other treatment is necessary (no chemo, no radiation). Sounds good to me!
Whipple surgery ("major surgery", he says...."bigger than open heart surgery", he says)....scheduled for Monday, November 17th.

And I'm scared.

Prior to the actual surgery, they'll do a laproscopy on me to see if the cancer is anywhere else. If it is, they won't bother with the whipple.

And this scares the hell out of me as this is exactly what happened to my younger brother last year. No whipple...they closed him up...nothing could be done. It was already too late and he passed away within 4 months.

If I don't die of fear prior to them putting me to sleep, I look forward to the good pain; the one that means I'm on the mend.

I am so thankful for all the prayers! Please keep them coming.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Going Into Battle

Out, Damn Spot!
On Wednesday, October 30th, after an ERCP procedure, I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The GOOD news is that doc says it is operable with a surgery called the whipple. I'm meeting with an Oncologist on Thursday, November 6th to discuss surgery and begin the battle for my life. This will be a hard already is. But, I look forward to feeling better and to know that this beast is no longer growing inside me. I have a wonderful support group of loving family and friends and will be in great hands at the cancer institute we've chosen. Thank you for all your prayers. I could sure use more as I hope to win this battle and live a long time. I've got more I want to do in this world.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Congratulations to greeneginger, winner of the "Marilyn's Oh-Give-Me-A-Home Giveaway". greeneginger won 4 peach scented palm wax tarts.

Thank you to all who took the time to enter my drawing!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Where's Aroma Fields?

Today, I temporarily closed Aroma Fields Candles & Bath because my health isn't good. A recent sonogram showed a mass on the head of my pancrease and I'm to undergo a CT scan this coming Monday. I'm not up to filling any product orders at this time. Please pray for me that this is not cancer.

I will follow through with my giveaway and hold the drawing on October 26th as planned. Winner will be notified October 27th as planned.

It is my hope and my family's that I can soon reopen my shop and resume making soy candles and natural soaps for you.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Protect Your Content Against Online Plagiarism and Theft

You Can't Have That Because It's Mine!

Ever wonder if anyone likes your website content so much that they can't resist grabbing it for their own? Find out what they've copied and who they are with this handy little gem:


Take advantage of Copyscape's free service whereby you can run a search on 5 web pages per month. Or pay a fee for extended searches. It's easy! Just type in the website page URL and get instant results.

While you're there, pick up one of these little goodies to put on your website to detour folks from snagging your stuff:

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

Neato handy dandy little tool!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Baking With Parchment Paper . . . "What's That", You Say?

More Uses Than For The Declaration of Independence! . . or . . Why I Never Bake Without It

I ran out of parchment paper so headed to the grocery store last night to buy more. Long story short; the store I went to didn't carry it and the clerks didn't even know what it was. When I explained the product and it's usefulness, they were determined to find some for themselves to use. (I wonder if it'll be on their store shelf the next time I need to shop there).

So, it ocurred to me that if not everyone knows what it is...ohhhhh, they should! Here's why:

Using parchment paper to line your cookie sheets makes clean up a snap. Not only that, but your baked item (cookies, biscuits, etc) won't burn or stick to the pan and it cuts the amount of calories in your baked item because you're not oiling the cookie sheet (adding excess oils). Use it in your baking pans, too.

You can use it to roll out cookie, biscuit or pie dough with no sticking.

Use it to make a disposable pastry bag.

Click on Learn to Use Parchment Paper in Your Baking for some neat tips.

I'm off to bake some biscuits to go along with the pot roast I'm making for dinner . . .

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Friday's Fabulous Find - October 10th

Fabulous Find: SeeSueStitch

I happened upon this new shop one day and immediately felt a return to happy childhood times as I was surrounded by the charm of smiling, vintage rag dolls. Each one has been given their own identity, there own personality and through their creator, they truly seem to come alive within the walls of SeeSueStitch's Etsy shop. I couldn't wait to ask Sue some questions . . .

Tell us about the items you sell
Right now, I'm mainly focused on dolls but I'm working on adding aprons sometime in the future.

How did you learn to make your dolls?
When I was younger, I would make these tiny handmade dolls, every part of the doll was handstitched including the clothes. . . it was very time-consuming but I just loved the whole process of embroidery. Then, I began discovering all these wonderful websites with primitive dolls and I thought "Hey, I can do that!" So, I bought a sewing machine the next day and never looked back.

What is your favorite item in your shop and why?
That's tough because all my dolls are very special to me but my most favorite is my ballerina Posy Ann, adding all those sequins to her shirt was really a labor of love and she's just so pretty!

What other places do you sell?
Nowhere else, just on Etsy so far.

How do you promote your dolls?
I'm relatively new to the whole on-line selling scene . . . I just started a blog, I have a facebook account(seesuestitch)and of course, through word of mouth.

What handmade possession do you most cherish?
The cupcake pillow I sewed in Home Ec class when I was thirteen.

Apart from creating things, what do you do?
I teach Language Arts to gifted middle school students.

Meet Raggedy Ballerina Posy Ann:

And Raggedy Ruby Ann:


Wouldn't these make terrific gifts? Or to decoratively place on a well made bed sweetly nestled against a row of pillows? Stop by SeeSueStitch's Etsy shop, read her profile to learn of her passions and take a look at her charming dolls!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Marilyn's 'Oh-Give-Me-A-Home' Giveaway

Four Palm Wax Tarts - Peach Fragrance

My palm wax tarts are made from all natural, clean burning palm wax. They also have a beautiful texture and feel silky smooth. Melt them in your tart burner and smell the burst of aroma! Clean up is a breeze...(see my blog article entitled Thank You...But What Is It?). See the paragraph entitled Clean up and handy dandy soy advantage. Palm wax clean up is the same as soy clean up. Piece o' cake!

Want to win these lovely tarts?

Go to my Etsy shop at and take a look around. Come back here and post the link to the item you liked most AND let me know why you liked it. Please remember to leave your contact information so that, if you win, I can let you know and get your permission to mention you on my blog.

Drawing will be held on October 26th and winner will be notified on October 27th.

Thank you and good luck to all who take the time to enter!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Retirement of the Fur Person

Happy Birthday to Sneakers!

Today, my sweet kitty is 13 years old. In human years, that's 68 and that means fewer birds are chased, less ricky-racing around the backyard, no more hopped fences....and a LOT more naps.

I actually hate the thought of him aging as he truly is my best pal. To celebrate his special day, I'll go out tonight and get some vanilla ice cream to share with him. He loves to snuggle and likes to share ice cream. (I promise not to enjoy my portion!)

Happy 13th birthday to my special fur baby!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Friday's Fabulous Find

Fabulous Find: AmberCripe

Unique! Convenient! Fashionable! I was so impressed with her unique product and truly, her shop announcement says it all as she writes "Who wants to carry a huge diaper bag to the restroom to change a diaper? All you need is a wipes case, with a diaper in the strap and the baby!"

Here's more . . .

What do you sell?
I try different things, but for now I am making baby wipes cases!

How did you learn to make your product?
A long time ago I saw a picture of one online and took it from there.

When did you start selling on Etsy?
I believe it was April of 2007

What is your favorite item in your shop and why?
Right now I am in love with the browns and cars. The fabric makes me feel cozy.

What other places do you sell?
Etsy is it! I love Etsy

How do you market your product?
It depends on my mood. Sometimes not at all, sometimes on my blog and others through email.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
Craft!! When I'm not crafting I spend time with my kiddos

What else would you like to share?
Crafting is my passion. I love to work with my hands and feel accomplished at the end of it all.


And she only uses fabric that she buys from other Etsy sellers. Don't you think these are adorable as well as convenient?

Stop by AmberCripe's Etsy shop, read her profile to learn her passion for crafting and pick up some of her very creative Wipes Cases!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Coming Soon To Lips Near You!

New Arrivals In My Etsy Shop
Aroma Fields Candles & Bath at Etsy - Natural Lip Balm

Who doesn't love all natural, lip nourishing, moisturizing and smoochaliciuous lip balm? Made with the very best natural ingredients including shea butter, cocoa butter and added beeswax for extra protection and staying power, my lip balms come in several flavors. I'm currently stocking Cherry, Honey, Coconut and Au Naturel (unflavored) and will be adding Vanilla, Peppermint, Chai Tea, Root Beer and Chocolate soon.

Avoid Lip Balms Containing Phenois
Ironically, as I booted up my computer this morning, ready to blog about my natural lip balms, a daily newsletter that I recieve from RealAge included the following interesting article:

If the cooler fall air has you reaching for your lip balm, flip it over and look at the label.

You might want to ditch it if you see this in the ingredient list: phenols. Why? These compounds actually strip the top layer off your lips, according to RealAge skin expert Dr. Amy Wechsler.

Peel Appeal?
Phenols are included in some lip balms (Blistex, for one) to help remove very dry, chapped skin off the surface of lips. But if you’re just trying to keep lips moist, the phenols can backfire by removing your lips’ natural protective layer. That may also explain why some people get addicted to them, Wechsler writes in her new book, The Mind-Beauty Connection -- the stripping effect can leave lips feeling raw, so you reach for more balm.

Careful Lip Care
To break this vicious lip-balm cycle, Wechsler recommends opting for a good moisturizing lip balm instead.

Article: RealAge Online

I actually intended this post to be a quickie but I thought the article was interesting and worthy of sharing. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

My Sunflower Afghan Is In A Magazine

My Lil' Moment Of Glory
Flip back a few blog posts and you'll find one I wrote after I finished crocheting a pretty sunflower design afghan for my older daughter. I also posted it on a website that I'm a member of called CraftStylish. I joined awhile back and
uploaded a photo of this afghan. Well, they must have liked it because they sent me an email last month and asked if they could feature it in their magazine called "Gifts to Make".
I couldn't wait to get the magazine and see! Well, it's here! My sunflower afghan appears in just a small corner of a page, but I'm just tickled to have this honor. My daughter is overjoyed (and proud of her Mom).


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Destash - What a Great Idea!

At first glance, my wonderful, loyal customers are probably going to wonder what happened to the list of lovely candles and soaps they're use to seeing stacked down the first page of my Etsy shop. The candles and soaps are still in my shop but, for now, buried beneath some new listings of supplies that hog up the front page.
Yes, supplies! Woo-hooo! I've joined the "Destash" wagon! These supplies will only be there until each one sells as I only have one of each. That's why I'm not going to open a separate Etsy shop. Once sold...the supply item will not be back.

Over time, I've stocked up on an abundance of products that are now just taking up space. They're not being used...probably never will. And it's time to clean house!

If you're thinking about making candles or bath and body products, come and see my supply category. My prices and shipping are more than reasonable and you'll actually be saving when you compare the cost of product plus shipping the the original supplier charges. I still need to add a few more items but there's plenty to start the supply section off nicely.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Europe It's Not

But We Still Had Fun

One of these days, I plan to take a trip to Europe. That's the trip of a lifetime, to me and I will go (she said as she looked at her and hubby's crowded schedules). Until then, adventures are in abundance right here in my little home and in my surrounding area. Each season has it's own flavor of fun affixed to it and this Summer was no exception. Before we move on to what Fall and Winter will bring, I reflect on some of the things that made me smile during the past couple of sun-filled months:

The temperatures can get a bit out of hand . . . (okay, so my smile was dripping with sweat on this day!):

Grand daughters come over frequently and love to play softball in the backyard with their Uncle . . . (use tennis balls, please!):

Fishing trip...and my 23 year old son baited his first hook...a proud moment . . . (he never did like touching icky things. Use to put baggies on his hands to help clean out the pumpkin each Halloween):

Nephew playing the guitar and singing makes for some really peaceful afternoons . . . (Air Force plane mechanic, sings, plays guitar and piano, cooks, handsome...and single, ladies!):

We developed a family love affair with Rock Band . . . (eat your heart out, Ringo!):

Hot Summer days means lots of naps for fur people . . . (as does Fall, Winter, Spring...):

Many trips to the beach and lovely walks on the Balboa pier . . . (and some great lunches at the 50's diner called "Ruby's" at the end of the pier):

And as we leave Summer behind, I'm always grateful for it's beauty and the opportunities I'm given:

(The above photo was taken on our whale watching trip . . . didn't see any whales but the water and the weather were gorgeous!)

I'm ready for Fall now :-)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

August - Lost In The Sand

Where did August go?
The summer months are normally spent doing things that we don't usually do throughout the year. (Do I hear a "Yes, same here!"?) I loved having the visitors...loved the summer fun...and really enjoyed the break from every day
routine. I did, however, keep up with my business but I wasn't able to attend to every aspect of my life. Therefore, my blog suffered as I wrote absolutely nothing last month. It's as if August was lost. And, boyyyy did it go by fast!

I'll update you soon on some of the fun things we did through August. I've got to go blow dry my hair . . .

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Thank You! . . . But What Is It?

Tarts . . . Melts . . . Melties. Whatever you want to call them, they are packed to the max with fragrance.

As a "thank you for ordering", I often include a scented soy Tart when packing an order for shipment. It's a great way to have my buyers try different fragrances that I offer. Recently, it's come to my attention that there are some who don't know what they are or how to use them. If you've never used a scented soy Tart (Melt, Meltie), you're missing out on a really fun and easy way to fragrance your home.

First, you need a tart burner, ("tart warmer", "oil/potpourri burner"). My absolute favorite is this candle warmer/tart burner combo (photo A below) as the wattage is such that it explodes the aroma quicker and sends it flying all through my home. Oil/potpourri burners (photo B below ) will melt the Tart by means of a small tealight candle. It serves the purpose but not as effective as the electric 24-watt combo.

As the wax melts, the aroma disburses throughout your home. If you did this daily you'd easily get about two weeks worth of scent from one of my soy Tarts. I had a customer tell me that fragrance of the Tart she ordered from me lasted an entire month. Not bad for a mere ounce of wax!

Clean up and handy dandy soy advantage:
Here's the benefit of using soy wax Tarts! If you are ready to melt another fragrance but the scent in the Tart you're currently using isn't all used up, simply stick the tart burner bowl (or entire oil/potpourri burner) in the freezer for about 45 minutes. Remove from the freezer, turn it upside down over a paper towel and tap the bottom of the bowl/burner. The soy wax Tart will plop out in one, nice piece. Wipe the bowl/burner just to make sure there's no remaining residue (and there normally isn't) and it's ready to be used again. You can't do this with paraffin wax. It simply will not budge (I've tried it). Store the used soy wax Tart in a baggie to use another time...or toss it if the fragrance is all used up.

If you're not so inclined to want to heat and melt this fragrant little morsel, you can place it in a decorative dish and use it as potpourri. The aroma is still amazing!

One of my buyers used it to scent her drawers. She's adorable!

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Amazing American Idol Concert Tour

American Idol . . . love it or hate it? Hubby and I love it! We really enjoyed watching the incredibly talented contestants this past season so we decided to get tickets to the American Idol concert tour. Off to Las Vegas to the Thomas & Mack Center we went this past Saturday and the experience was terrific! The audience consisted of people from all age groups including a sweet group of some retired folks sitting behind us having the time of their life. (And we thought we'd be the oldest...ha!) Young and old, people were enthralled by the unique talents of each performer.

Each of the top 10 contestants performed in the order in which they were voted off, beginning with Chikezie who opened the show. Each had three songs to perform until it came to David Archuleta with 4 songs and David Cook with 5 songs and each gave their own special thanks for the opportunity given them.

Highlights were when David A and his piano were raised up from beneath the floor and a thick mist encompassed him. After his first song, he was given a standing ovation that could only be interrupted by the orchestra starting up the music for his next song. It appeard that was the only way this young performer was going to get out of a situation of repeated, "Thank are all amazing." . . . and many giggles as the admiration of the audience was endless. What a cutie!

David Cook obliged the audience with a fabulous encore and performed his version of Billy Jean which left us knowing without a doubt that it was this kind of incredible talent that soared him to the very top.

Fun stuff!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Look, Maw! . . . No Hands!

California politicians passed a new law that went into affect today. People rushed out to purchase hands-free equipment for their cell phones because this new law states that we can no longer hold a cell phone while driving. We can talk on it...just not hold it. The California politicians seem to think this will reduce distractions, therefore reduce auto accidents. I say, "Poopie dust!" It's not the holding of the cell phone that's a distraction to drivers, it's the conversation itself. This law isn't going to prevent the car in front of you from driving 30 miles an hour on the freeway because they're into their phone conversation. If a difference is to be made, take the phone away completely. Politicians are idiots.

And get this: truck drivers will not be cited if they're talking on their CB radios. Uh...let me think about this. Hello? Did I say, "politicians are idiots"?