Thursday, May 23, 2024

Good Air


It’s cold outside; the doors and windows are shut tight; we’re inside keeping warm day and night; the air we breathe gets stale; I woke up with a scratchy throat. 

Setting on Jenny, Grandma’s little orange snow blower, I got chilled. I know it’s important to get off that seat when it’s freezing, move the feet, arms, and torso. Grandpa told me long ago that a lack of movement causes the body to get chilled; getting chilled causes sickness and how as a kid growing up in the Rocky Mountains traveling and working on horseback, he got off the horse and walked to keep from getting chilled, then sick, then unable to do work. I know but I forgot.

Snow removal at Grandpa and Grandma’s is an ongoing affair; it drains my energy; it stresses my body’s immune system and keeping my immune system healthy so I can work is important to me. Usually by this time of the season I’ve already pulled out my bottle of essential oil, dripped drops from the bottle onto cotton balls and spread the cotton balls around our living quarters to combat air borne disease. This year I forgot.

It was Sonny who found the eucalyptus oil. When I saw him tilting the bottle to smell it, I started to grin. How could I forget something so easy; so effective; so sweet smelling?

When my body gets run down, I am grateful I have essential oils in my arsenal to fight the side effects of late nights (due to access to 24 hour light and digital entertainment) fast food (convenience food gives more time to plow snow) and comfortable seats. I know Jenny’s seat may not be considered comfortable by others but once in it for a bit, it gets comfy and warmish as I run Jenny’s levers. I get preoccupied blowing snow out of the driveway; I forget to pay attention to the chill that starts in the toes and finger; I forget to move enough muscles to keep my back and belly warm; I wake up with a scratchy throat that hurts when I breathe.

For some reason this year my respiratory system is at its most vulnerable. I’m taking my vitamins as always but I’d kind of forgotten about essential oils until Sonny picked up that bottle and gave it a whiff. So now, I’m busy dripping drops of eucalyptus oil on cotton balls, setting the cotton in glass containers or metal lids and placing them around the apartment. The place smells better and my sore throat is just about gone. It probably doesn’t hurt that I’m eating healthy food and getting eight hours of sleep as well.

Recipe for Better Air Quality When It’s Too Cold to Open the Windows:

4 cotton balls (per room)

12 – 16 drops essential oil (3-4 drops per cotton ball)

Eucalyptus oil, Lavender oil, Camphor oil, Tea Tree oil, Your Favorite Essential oil.

4 dishes for cotton balls to rest in that won’t be dissolved by oil. Place dishes (metal disks from used mason jar canning lids) in four places around the room where folks will be gathering. Keep the dishes out of reach of children and animals. The Essential Oils I use and recommend are safe. All essential oils need to be handled with respect. It is important to me to error on the side of safety by having respectful habits from the beginning, so people are set up for success. To do that I keep in mind the curiousness of cats and kids when I use essential oils. Put 3 to 4 drops of oil on each cotton ball and lay the cotton balls on the dishes then let the aroma disperse into the room. Repeat adding the oil to the cotton balls as needed. Note 1: Make sure the essential oil in use is not synthetic essential oil. I recommend now essential oils, or any pure essential oil recommended by a knowledgeable health food store (preferably local) as being pure.  Note 2: Paint, plastics, and some fabrics are susceptible to melting with repeated essential oil contact. This is because paint, plastics and some fabrics are made from Petro-chemicals that are oil based and then the essential oil mixes with oil in the paint, plastics and some fabrics on a molecular level dissolving them. I don’t like it when I take the paint off the dresser top because I wasn’t paying attention… so now I use the metal disks from used mason jar canning lids. Until next time.

In 2000 Michele Priddy left the work force to become a stay-at-home mother and wife. Being a one-income family in today’s society meant she had to learn to budget quickly. Food became a priority early because she wanted the children to have the best nutrition, she could offer them even on a budget. She also taught cooking classes on how to stretch the food dollar with simple ingredients at various churches in her community. Michelle has put her kitchen strategies and recipes in booklets, her church newsletter and in her hometown newspaper, The Goldendale Sentinel. We hope you will enjoy her strategies, stories, and recipes. You can contact the Leavenworth Echo at or 509-548-5286 if you have any questions or comments for Michelle.



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