A dear friend passed on to me a book from her shelf, The Pleasure of Herbs by Phyllis Shaudys. In it I found ideas and recipes for easy projects that could be fun to do with bored children and visiting grandchildren. (The book is 200 pages of gardening tips, recipes for edibles and instructions for herbal crafts. It is available on the Internet for $2.95)
Herbal home humidifier - Combine in a worn out pot: 6-cups water, 1-cup dry or 2-cups fresh mint leaves, one-half cup orange peel, 1-cinnamon stick, 1-tablespoon whole cloves. (Mint is still alive outside. Ground cinnamon and cloves can be used.) Bring to a simmer and set a timer for an hour.
Herbal skin oil - Combine 4-ounces safflower oil with 1-tablespoon dried rosemary or sage. Refrigerate for several days; use as facial cleanser.
Bath sachet - Combine 2-cups Borax with 1-ounce lavender, peppermint or rosemary leaves. For oily skin, add 1-tablespoon oatmeal or cornmeal. For each bath, use 2-tablespoonfuls of the mix in a drawstring bag. The bag can be rinsed and reused.
Scented bath bubbles - Combine 2-cups Ivory liquid or other mild liquid soap with one-eighth-ounce essential oil. Let it stand for a week and use one-fourth cup per bath.
Lavender beauty bath - Combine 1-cup baking soda, 1-quart Epsom salts and 1-dram lavender oil. Place in a large container with a scoop. Put a scoopful under hot running water or tie some in a large cotton handkerchief.