I’m amassing an impressive/terrifying collection of powders, oils and herbs, you guys. Impressive because it takes up an increasingly alarming amount of space in my studio and it’s becoming varied enough that I find I have ingredients on-hand when I want them, and terrifying because holy crap when did I ever think I’d amass a collection of herbs and oils and powders?

I’ve started using the hashtag #goddamnedapothecary.


This morning, my kid woke up complaining of an itchy mosquito bite. So though I’ve been waiting on a delivery containing ingredients to make Humblebee & Me’s chili-oil tiger balm to use for such things (likely very light on the chili oil on account of soft soft 3-year-old skin; I may end up leaving it out entirely for a kid version, actually), I discovered I already had ingredients to make calamine lotion.

Of course, during all my months of summer camp in Upstate New York and the bug bites that went along with them, I never found that store-bought calamine lotion actually worked. But at least it provided me and the grown-ups around me something to do when the itching became overwhelming, and hooray for something to do and hooray for placebo effects and hooray for the cred of having legs with pink dots all over them.

So this morning I cobbled together a paste of sea salt, baking soda, bentonite clay, witch hazel, and a bit of lavender and chamomile essential oils (based on a few recipes I found, including this one).

Kudos to my kid for trusting me so completely that he didn’t blink an eye when I approached him with vaguely green goop on my finger and gingerly applied it to his bite.

He says it doesn’t itch anymore, so here’s another three cheers for dabbling in becoming a goddamned apothecary and also for the placebo effect!