Lemons and Lavender

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Lemons and Lavender – The Eco Guide to Better Homekeeping By Billee – Sharp Viva Editions, 2012, 275 pages

Reviewed by Kathy Arnason

Anyone who wants to simplify their life by going back to the basics will enjoy this bright jewel of a book.  In this grateful salute to the hippie ideals of the 60s and 70s, Billee Sharp teaches us that it’s still possible to live healthy, happy lives.  While we experience the 2014 problems our world is having, “lemons and lavender” revisits the ideas formed in those halcyon days when we thought we could save the planet from wasteful destruction.

The author revives a new feeling in me that maybe there is still hope for us if we simply adapt and use our resources wisely.  Billee Sharp says that in working towards creating the good life for her family and friends, she has found much joy, greater peace of mind and true enjoyment from the simple pleasures of life.

In each chapter Ms. Sharp gives detailed lessons on living a lifestyle of beautiful simplicity.  In “Revolutionary Budgeting,” we are introduced to guidelines for restructuring our personal finances.  Using phrases like “seek out the free” and “practice extreme thrift,” Ms. Sharp teaches us how to downsize our debts, costs and bills with common sense advice. She even gives you a “How to Save” list of everyday habits we can develop in order to save money.  “Sell, Trade and Barter” are useful skills that the author teaches us how to use.

There is also advice on using environmentally friendly items in the home instead of wasting money and the planet’s resources on throwaway items.  Use cloths and old clothes for rags instead of wasting money on paper towels, for example.  Make your own cleaning supplies with cheap ingredients instead of buying name-brand, toxic chemicals.  Re-use, re-vamp, recycle, people!

In the chapter “Health Is Wealth,” Ms. Sharp shows how to pay attention to what you buy, what you eat, how you make it and where it comes from.  Organic and Fair Trade food products can be more expensive, but the author points out that you cut your food bill by a huge amount of money as soon as you start making your own food from scratch instead of buying processed, ready-to-eat foods.  In “Eating for the Environment,” the author shows us how to cut the environmental impact of our diets and provides resources to find out more about this topic.

She shares this quote by Hippocrates: “May your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food.”

In “Detox Your Diet,” Ms. Sharp goes into more detail about how to get healthier by using simple methods at home.  She tells us which foods are safer for the body and how to do a gentle cleansing by sticking to those foods for a few days. She does recommend people check with their doctor before trying any of her advice, in case people have health issues that may be affected by this diet change.  She gives a few recipes for skin cleansing such as the yummy sounding “Scrumptious Skin Scrub” and “Sea Salt Bath.”  I am going to try both of these as soon as I get the ingredients.

I will leave the rest of the topics for readers to discover themselves.  I loved this book and I think everybody else will too!

me1Kathleen Arnason is a freelance writer, novelist, counsellor, craftperson, doula and childcare expert.  She has been writing professionally for 20 years, privately for 40.  She enjoys writing book reviews and articles, as well as editing and proofreading, all of which she has done for the Aquarian and other small papers over the years.  She has also taught a writing class for teens and used stories in a therapeutic setting. Kathleen is presently writing a Sci Fi novel.  She can be contacted any time at elfwitch5@hotmail.com or 204-415-2772.



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