Wednesday, November 18, 2015

NASA and Mars

By Levena Lindahl

A really exciting fact came from NASA on November 4th, and it might affect future trips to the red planet.  During the press conference, NASA confirmed evidence that liquid water flows on Mars, an announcement that is incredibly important to the question of, “Could there be life on Mars?”  This also is important for the possibility of future human colonies on Mars, as water is essential for life.

As seen here, these dark lines called recurring slope lineae, are thought to have been formed by contemporary flowing water, though it must only be present intermittently.  The bands come from hydrated salts and the mineral pyroxene.  The streaks ebb and flow, seeming to darken during warmer seasons, and fading during the cooler seasons.  The bands have also been seen in several locations on Mars.

The water on Mars would be briny, kind of like what would be found in runoff in areas that salt roads during the winter.  Briny or not, the shallow run off is enough to be noticeable by scientists here on Earth.  What makes this briney water special is the presence of minerals called perchlorates.  These are important because they have the ability to keep liquids from freezing in temperatures as low as -94 degrees Fahrenheit. 

This discovery of water on present day Mars is exceptional due to the fact that, before this, all discussions of water were about ancient or frozen water, not water that is currently there.  This lets scientists learn and discover how life could be supported on Mars and what resources are there to support life now and in the future.

If you’d like to read more on this, check out NASA’s website at !

NaNoWriMo, what is it?

By Levena Lindahl

Perhaps through October you have been seeing things posted on social media about NaNoWriMo, or National Write a Novel month.  It takes place every November, and the goal is to write 50,000 words, which is the average length of a novel.   If you have ever wanted to write, this might be the thing to motivate you to try your hand at writing your very own novel.
I know that can seem like a lot, but it averaged out to 1,667 words a day, or roughly the length of your typical college paper.  The best thing about this is that it can be about anything!  Do you really love zombies?  Go ahead and write that new post-apocalyptic take on zombies.  Are Victorian romances more your thing?  Make your readers swoon onto chaise lounges with your work instead.  There is no limit to what you can write, and if you are nervous about people seeing what you are doing, just know that you don’t have to share if you don’t want to.  Just post your word counts on the NaNoWriMo site, and keep plucking away at it.  If you want to share, great!  There is a massive online community out there ready to welcome you to the finish line.

I myself am working on this this year, and have a pretty good start going!  Just remember, if you miss a day, don’t give up!  Yes, you are playing catch up, but it is not the make or break sort of situation.  Keep working, and keep trying.  If you get stuck, reach out to people; there are tons of forums designed to help people stuck with writers block on the website, and there is no shame in asking for opinions. 
Happy NaNoWriMo to everyone, and good luck writing your novels!

November Men’s Health Awareness

By Levena Lindahl

Hey gentlemen, this article is for you.  October was all about breast cancer awareness and getting women in to see their doctors, and now November is about men’s health and encouraging you to do the same! 

Statistically, men are less likely to go to the doctor to get annual physicals and exams, and that can lead to dangerous health issues.  Most guys think of ‘no-shave November’, but there are men going around sporting just moustaches.  Have you ever wondered why?  It’s to raise awareness for men’s health month, and odds are if you ask that fellow why he is rocking a moustache instead of a beard, he will tell you about men’s health month. 

This November, think about going and seeing your doctor for a check-up, especially if you are over 25.  Men of all ages should go and see their doctors for yearly check-ups but as you get older it becomes more important.  Starting the habit now will keep you in good health for years to come, letting you wear those moustaches and beards in November with pride.

Looking out for One Another

By Levena Lindahl

It’s getting to be that time of year, with Thanksgiving and Christmas approaching fast.  Many people love this time of year, thinking of fun and family, and the general good cheer that is present.  However, this is also the time of year with one of the highest rates of suicide, which is why as people we need to come together and look out for each other.
I know many people who are not fond of this time of year due to family deaths.  When a beloved family member dies, it can be incredibly difficult to handle, and can sometimes take years to really handle or come to grips with.  When people get older and they have fewer family members still alive, each death gets even harder to deal with.  People don’t like being alone; humans are social creatures.  This year, think about calling or visiting relatives or friends who might not have many people around during the holidays.  An act of kindness can go a long way in preventing a suicide.

Students are under a lot of stress during this time of year as well.  Midterms and final exams are all taking place during this stretch, and sometimes the pressure to be perfect or to be what people expect them to be can make even the strongest person crack.  Be a friend; if you see someone acting unusual or becoming withdrawn, talk to them.  Let them know that they aren’t alone, that you are there to listen.  It is so important to just be there; sometimes just sitting quietly with someone is all they need.

This time of year is all about giving; think about giving some of your time to others to try and reduce the number of self-harm incidents this year.  A few minutes can change and save a life.

Unsolicited: The Saga of the DudeBros

By: Dallas Jones


Buzz buzz.

I picked up my phone and checked. “It’s a Match!” blinked happily across my screen. I set the phone down to go back to homework.

Buzz buzz.

“You have a new message from DudeBro!” said my notifications bar. No, the guy’s name wasn’t really DudeBro, but you catch my drift. I set my phone down once more to regain focus on my work. The convenience of being able to respond to the message at a later time is one of the great benefits of dating in today’s day and age.

Buzz buzz. Buzz buzz. Buzz buzz. Buzz buzz.

All messages from DudeBro with an alarming escalation of content. It started with “Hey” and ended with a rather raunchy, unsolicited picture. (You know the kinds I’m talking about. If you don’t, I’m a little jealous.) Well then, moving right along. One of the great downfalls of dating in today’s day and age.

Except there wasn’t any sort of moving right along, even after I caved and silenced my phone so the buzzing would stop. The next four guys were essentially DudeBro 2.0 through DudeBro 5.0. Not the exact same progression in message content, but generally after a handful of text exchanges they were once again sending unsolicited pictures, or requesting to receive pictures.

What I really want to know is how often does this tactic work? Somewhere along the line I imagine it had to have worked. How else would all of these guys have decided this was a good idea? It’s not that they were unattractive, but if all I wanted to do was ogle a guy and be interested because of his looks, I’d Google myself up a batch of Gerard Butler pictures circa 300 and call it a day.

Kindly, this isn’t geared toward just guys. They’re just who I get messages from. I’m not mistaken enough to think that sometimes women can be just as forward. All I’m saying is that maybe we should start reconsidering how we approach one another.

Buzz buzz.

“You have a new message from Gentlemanly!”

“Hi there. I was reading over your profile, and it seems like we have some things in common. Any chance you would be interested in meeting up for a hot beverage sometime?”

Generic, but at least it’s not another dude with his tongue hanging out his mouth, shirtless in a messy bathroom…

Buzz buzz.

“You have a new message from DudeBro 6.0!”


You Need A Budget

By: Dallas Jones

A common issue for, well, just about everyone is money. The way you handle your money as a college student sets a precedent for how you will do after you graduate and get into your career path, so why not get a jump on how you budget now? It may not work for everyone, but I found the solution to years of stress with budget in a simple program: You Need A Budget.

You Need A Budget, or YNAB, has four very simple rules to follow:
1. Give every dollar a job.
2. Save for a rainy day.
3. Roll with the punches.
4. Live on last month’s income.

This extremely forgiving budget system helps you keep track of every single penny you spend, and how you spend it, without causing undo stress if you go a little over in one area of your budget. They offer a myriad of online classes to help you not only navigate the program, but also give you tips and advice for future budgeting needs. They also send out a “weekly roundup” e-mail (but only if you want it!) containing even more content.

YNAB is wonderful on its own, so much so that it’s one of the few programs I was willing to pay for to help me continue budgeting. Thankfully, you don’t have to! YNAB is a free, yes, free resource for college students.

All you have to do:
1. Send an e-mail to and include a proof of registration* at your college.
            *Just something that shows your name, the college name, and proof of current enrollment such as a student ID card, report card, transcript, tuition bill or statement, etc…
2. They’ll send you a special license key good to the end of the calendar year.
3. At the end of the calendar year, if you’re still in school, simply repeat Step 1 and they’ll send you a new license key.

Just to tell you how ridiculously simple this process was for me, I pulled out a copy of my Trident student ID card, set it on my leg, snapped a picture with my cell, and sent the e-mail from my cell while sitting in my car between classes. I received an auto-reply message, but within an hour of my initial e-mail I already had my activation key for the program.

While this may not be the perfect program for you, I highly recommend it, at the very least to get you in the right money mindset until you find what works best for you. Happy budgeting!


Hello, Listeners…

By Levena Lindahl

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in a small southwestern town where the sun is hot, the moon is beautiful, and mysterious lights are seen over the Arbys?  If you have, you might be a fan of Welcome to Night Vale, a popular podcast series set in the town of Night Vale where all the conspiracy theories are true. 

I love this podcast; it is like a community radio show as done by a conspiracy driven H.P. Lovecraft.  It started in 2012, and releases an episode the 1st and 15th of every month.  Listeners learn about the town through Cecil, our very unreliable narrator.  There is a mayor with many powers, the Town Council, the Sherriff’s Secret Police, and many other memorable characters.  The wonderful thing about this town is that weird stuff happens, and people just go on with their lives because they are used to it.

Night Vale, in addition to podcasts, has also done live shows, and this year I was lucky enough to go to one such show in downtown Charleston.  It was amazing to see so many people who were in to the same, rather weird and nerdy, thing gathered in one place to enjoy a show.  Kind of like old radio dramas, it was fascinating to see how people interacted with the people on stage, and how the audience affected them. 

Then on October 20th, a book set in Night Vale was published, and if this sounds like something you would be interested in, I really recommend it. Cecil isn’t the focus of this work, and it really expands the world of Night Vale, letting the reader see other parts that might not have been focused on in the podcast. 

Welcome to Night Vale is a wonderful series that embraces the weird and the unusual and just runs with it.  At 77 episodes and counting, one can only hope that it continues on for years to come.  (And remember, stay away from the dog park.)

Andrew Tracy: A Man with a Plan

By Levena Lindahl

I met Andrew in a hospitality class that I took in Fall 1 this year.  He was very outgoing, and incredibly driven.  A student in the culinary and hospitality programs, his goal is to open a food truck when he graduates, as well as promote his line of grown up desserts, many of which have a splash of liquor in them.  (I got to try a few, and they are so good!)

Andrew is a fan of making bold flavors, and then pairing them with the perfect side and drink.  He really knows his stuff, thanks to his own skills and to those he has learned here at Trident Tech.  His favorite thing right now is making amazing briskets for people to enjoy.  However, my favorite thing that he makes are his chilled desserts!  I have a sweet tooth, and his sorbets are mind bogglingly tasty.  His strawberry mango sorbet is so good, and I know it is all organic with no added sugars.  He has also made a pumpkin spice-cream, which I have heard great things about.

If you would like to get some of these tasty treats for yourself, Andrew is often on campus in the culinary building 920.  If you would like to fund a fellow student’s dream, he also has a GoFundMe started! This is the link if you are interested,

Good luck, Andrew!  I know you will do great things in the future.

Card Games for Everyone

By Levena Lindahl

Have you ever wondered what all of those card game are that people are playing at the tables in the 410 building?  Here is a quick introduction to a few of the games you might be seeing!

As the biggest card game around, Magic the Gathering is likely one of the games you will see being played.  Created in 1993, the collectible trading card game is still going strong, with new expansions and sets coming out on a regular basis.  The set out now is dealing with the monstrous Eldrazi, colorless creatures bent on destruction.   The cards have six colors, colorless/artifact, red, blue, black, green, and white, and each color has a different play style.  Blue is control, red is burn, green is all about big monsters, white is protection and life gain, and black is death touch. The basic card types are creatures, land, instants and sorceries.  It’s really interesting to see how the cards interact and how you can build a deck that fits your unique play style.  Local game stores host Friday Night Magic if this seems like a game you would be interested in.  There are also big tournaments that are held for top players, where there are pretty impressive prizes!


A newer card game that has come out is Force of Will.  This game is also done on a color system like magic but instead of just colors, each color represents a type, like light or darkness and the like, but the characters in this game are based around historical, fantasy, and mythological figures as they battle for supremacy at the summons of Gods and Demons.  Here the basic card types are rulers, J-rulers, resonators, spells, addition, and magic stones.  Each type has interactions with the others, and makes for a quick playing style.  While new, this game is becoming very popular!

Card games have always been popular as a way to get together and have fun.  These are just two of many kinds and styles of card games; if these seem interesting, I recommend checking them and others out!




Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Finding Calm after the Storm

By: Dallas Jones

After several days of record-breaking rainfall last weekend, many people and animals have been displaced from their homes. The Charleston community is well-known for coming together to help one another out, and here are some of the many ways you can help. Likewise, you can reach many of these same people if you yourself are in need of assistance during this time.

 Food Donations
  Monetary Donations
WBTV and Harris Teeter Accepting donations in $1, $3, and $5 increments at check out
The Raging Idiots Concert (Funds will go to the Red Cross)
Saturday, October 17th, 2015 at 7:00 PM
Buy Tickets ($20)
This is just a small example of some of the many opportunities available to lend a hand! Be sure to check in with your local churches and businesses to see what they are doing in the community to help and for more opportunities to assist. If you know of more ongoing opportunities, please don’t hesitate to share. Stay strong, Charleston!

Press Button: Receive Food

By: Dallas Jones

What a time to be alive! No longer will you need to fret about your cram session for the weekend and having to stop to worry about silly things like ordering food. At long last it’s finally happened—with a single button press you could have a hot, steaming fresh pizza delivered to your door. Or Chinese food. Or, well, whatever it is you choose, really!

If you haven’t heard of it Amazon has a product called the Dash Button. As advertised on their website:

Never run out of your favorite products with Amazon Dash Button—exclusively for Prime members. Simply press Dash Button and relax while Amazon reorders and delivers your favorite items.

All of this for a mere five dollars: as if the convenience of being sprawled on your couch in sweats and still able to shop to your leisure wasn’t enough.

Granted, to get your pizza delivered you’re going to have to do a little bit of work. You have to “hack” the button in order to sync it to the service you’re trying to get it to provide. I also highly doubt that you would be able to easily change your order between each transaction, but hey, if all you’re eating is pepperoni pizza day in and day out, who cares?

While the process may not be that simple right now, the time is certainly coming that it will be. Everyday people around the globe are creating new pieces of technology, and for every new piece of technology created there’s someone just waiting to give it secondary use. Don’t just enjoy it, but be a part of it. Maybe you’ll be the one who really gets the system put in place. In the meantime, I think I’m craving some pizza…

Look Alive!

By: Mary Kiser

            I can admit that I take my safety for granted. My morning commute to the Mt. Pleasant Trident Campus has the same level of excitement as the lull of movie credits, and I have more fingers on one hand than thoughts about my general well-being on a college campus. But on October 1, 2015, yet another gutless act of violence on college students plagued America with its prescence. While my Thursday morning consisted of Diet Coke, lectures in Spanish, and prep for final exams, the students attending Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon were fighting to save themselves and each other. A man, identified by some officers as Chris Harper Mercer, shot and killed multiple students. While police eliminated the problem, nine people lost their lives and seven were injured due to a senseless and morally devoid act of gun violence.
            While the media seems to have been more focused on Republican debates, Syria, and the Clinton emails, the ugly issue of gun control comfortably hid in the groves of this country’s significant drama. But not even four months after the Emanuel AME shooting, yet another grisly crime has been executed on innocent people who weren’t harming anything or anybody. If you watched President Obama’s response on BBC, then you could hear the stress, disappointment, and demand for tighter gun laws and stricter regulation of firearms. And I agree with him. How many more people are going to die because an unstable man or woman has easy access to weapons? Enough is enough! If guns aren’t regulated or background checks delegated, then the price to pay won’t be cars, clothes, houses, or even financial security. It will be someone’s mom, dad, brother, sister, son, or daughter. 

Your Opinion Matters!

By: Mary Kiser
       On November 4, 2008, the first African-American president was elected into the White House. This was, and still is, one of the greatest feats against racism that the United States had ever experienced. President Barack Obama was on a mission to save this country from what could’ve resulted in a second Depression and the constant iron grip of the Iraq War. During his time in office, he has accumulated more than several achievements to showcase for it. He signed the Affordable Care Act in 2010, repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” increased the 2010-2011 Department of Veterans Affairs budget by at least ten percent, and signed the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act in 2009. These are only a few out of at least fifty accomplishments that he and his team have made possible during his first and second terms.
     However, another man or possibly a woman will resume the presidency with (hopefully) even more vigor, verve, and vivacity than the U.S. and its’ citizens have ever seen before. Either he or she will be responsible for our country’s next phase of development. But before President Obama becomes the lame duck, somebody else will have to succeed him. And that’s where you come in.
     Don’t just sit, wait, and sit some more while you can still apply for it. Get your Voter ID! It’s not only important but absolutely essential if you want to be able to vote for your favorite politician in the upcoming 2016 Presidential Election. After all, if you weren’t a fan of President Obama’s policies, then what better way to prove it by voting for somebody completely different? If you think that your vote doesn’t matter because you’re too young, party too much, or are too lazy, you’re wrong. It does matter, and sometimes it can take just one vote to make the difference. If you’re still not convinced, look up the 1876 Presidential Election.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

My Skin, is

By: Shanice Green

My skin, is
too dark to be seen, but not too dark- not to be missed
only considered a good thing when-
it is doing a “good thing” like-
going to school or driving the speed limit-
to a job I have held longer than the last six months

My skin, my skin, is a sore thumb-
sticks out on paper from the Jessicas-
the Carys-
the Wendys-
long before I step into the room
their eyeballs etching confusion deep into my skin

My skin- my skin
like, are you in the right place?
did you make the right turn?
the Cosmetology Department is at the other campus.
 My skin- my skin- my skin- my skin-
is what separates me from you
it is the reason I avoid certain streets- subconsciously-
praying to my God that the cop car following behind me-
for the last seven blocks-
is a man or woman who shares, my skin
My skin, my skin, is ugly!
or at least that is what I would think when my mother would try to buy me-
a black Barbie-
that was supposed to be-
the same as the white one-
except with fewer accessories-
most of which-
was “sold separately” – which meant
that she would have to spend twice as much money to equal what the white doll had-
for the low, low price of $19.95
but the sign on the shelf read – “Rollback Special”
so in essence, it would have cost $10 more?
too much math- she’d just settle and buy  me the white one

 My skin- my skin- my skin
is confused!
all of these white celebrities in the news
The Angelina Jolies
The Kim Kardashians, and her sister-
and her sister’s sister-
and her sister’s
sister’s sister-
and her sister’s
sister’s sister-
and their mother-
and their father-
all paying good money to be “bronzed” or “blackenized”-
as people of my skin would put it-
adopting and birthing black babies is probably the trendiest way of saying-
I am not a racist
My skin- my skin-
my skin, my skin- my skin-
is tired.

“Life on Legendary Mode”

By: Dallas Jones

I’ve spent years procrastinating on starting college. When I graduated high school I had already spent one unpaid year and one paid year as an intern for a small mortgage company, and that chair at their front desk had already molded perfectly to me. After graduation I planted myself in that comfy chair, and that’s where I stayed for the next two years. It never occurred to me I should be trying to go to school at the same time. I already had my foot in the door of the grown-up working world. So I worked, and I worked, and I worked.
That was eight years ago. Finally I’m here, a college student at long last, college student who also works full-time, college student who not only works full-time, but is also a mother. As a friend so kindly put it the other day, “You’re playing life on Legendary Mode.” The first three weeks of school I felt invincible. Now that week four is closing out, I feel like my body is mostly composed of Red Bull, espresso, and trail mix.

At this point I’ve skipped a class solely because I was tired. I’ve missed an assignment because I didn’t write it down properly. I’ve discovered only on the day that a particular assignment was due that I didn’t even have the proper edition of my textbook and I’ve been using the wrong textbook for the past four weeks. I’ve watched dozens of YouTube videos, and I’m still fairly certain I don’t have a grasp on D2L (though from what I’ve heard, that may never occur.) However, I’ve really been hit hard by something that is said to every generation: you have to fight for what you want.

Every minor obstacle has felt like another sign that I shouldn’t be doing this. Sometimes it’s overwhelmingly discouraging. Especially since it is just my first semester here at Trident Tech, but I know what I want. I’ve known since middle school what I want to do with my life, and I know that the pursuit of my degree is the first major step of accomplishing it. So, I’m going to grab my gear, grab my espresso and trail mix, and keep at it. To any other students out there who are feeling discouraged: keep fighting. You can do this. You are legendary.

Monday, September 28, 2015


By: Jennifer Harris

Where Ignorance is Bliss…

We are living in the age of New Consciousness. Some people still speak of the Industrial Revolution and the Technological age but we outgrew them a long time ago. Science is no mystery even to a child in grade school. We’ve explored this planet with planes, boats, satellites and spades. We’ve duplicated every part of the human body with the best machinery we can design. We’ve explored our space and reached further than our ancestors. Although, it is possible, we’re not as superior as we think in that arena.  Time will tell. But, some people still don’t seem to be getting it and where ignorance is bliss you dwell in your own folly.

Charleston made the list AGAIN. We are number one when it comes to VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN.

But not just violence; murder. Is it wrong for a woman to have a desire for a man or a man to have a desire for a woman? Certainly not. In today’s society, we know as much about desire as the Buddha and he was a master in the subject.  Pleasure is a blissful state and so is love and happiness, but without self- control and wisdom, these ‘states’ of desire will kill us faster than prejudice or hate. But, what is the root of violence? Is it really jealousy or anger or even passion? No, it is neither jealousy nor anger nor passion. It is ignorance; the lowest state of the human mind. An undeveloped mind, starving for light, is like a child behind the wheel of a racing car. You will crash and burn carried away by your own unbridled excitement.

If your mind is incapable of growing along with your money, education, titles or position, then you are still an ignorant person. If your desires are incapable of controlling your senses, then you are still an ignorant person. Ignorance means ‘lacking knowledge or awareness in general’.  Ignorance does not mean stupidity; it means I lack knowledge or general awareness of what’s going on, but I am capable of learning the knowledge and awareness of what’s going on.

Unfortunately, misunderstanding our own ignorance of why something is not going the way we expect it to go, leaves us with no choice but to fall into a state of nonchalance or misplaced bliss. This ‘bliss’ has many conditions. The dictionary says bliss means to reach a state of perfect happiness, typically so as to be oblivious of everything else. There is great suffering in thinking you are blissfully happy in a relationship based on passion to such an extent that you become oblivious to all its imminent dangers. The outcome of such thinking, whether you be a man or a woman, is violence that can lead to death.

Knowledge teaches us to be patient, become a person of reasoning, seek counsel, or even create a space between the two opposing forces. For men to be engaged in violence so willfully speaks for the need of an educated male within today’s society. Neither men nor women are superior genders as long as we rely on the same elements to survive (air, water, sunlight, and land). I spoke with a man about these numbers reported in the New York Times. He smiled blissfully in response and exclaimed, “Yes, number one again!” I looked at him and replied blissfully, “I guess this means that today’s educated woman will have nothing to do with a man from Charleston”.  We need to come out from our caveman era. A fool is not born. A fool is made.

BECOME A STAR – TTC Annual Talent Show 2015

By: Jennifer Harris

It’s time for the stars to come out and shine! The Trident Technical College Annual Talent Show, presented by the Student Activities department, is two months away. This is a ‘bring down the house’ event. Hot! Hot! Hot!

When? November 20, 6:30pm – 8:30pm

Where?  Building 410


Production crews are already signing up. Are you ready?

Solo Acts or Groups Welcome

Live stream Radio broadcast and video recording, social media exposure, photographers, stage, TTC Media Arts full production crew, professional DJ, Master of Ceremony, CASH prizes for 1st , 2nd and 3rd place, TTC faculty/staff judges, food, fun, all your friends and fans. Do not wait. Do not hesitate. Bring us your talent. November 20, 6:30pm – 8:30pm, Building 410.


Friday, September 18, 2015

A Breath of Fresh Air

By: Levena Lindahl

It’s that time of year, and students like me have been buckled down into the semester for about four weeks of college life. College can get busy, and if you aren’t on top of it, things can get put off to later, and that can sometimes include deep cleaning your apartment. This can lead to times when these spaces might not smell so, well, fresh.  Being away can make them smell stale or sometimes smell like the neighbors and their garlic steak cookouts.  One way to combat these invading scents is with essential oils, or potpourri.  The best thing about these odor fighting tools is that they are inexpensive and can be made to fit any d├ęcor or scent preferences.  Don’t be afraid to experiment to find something you really enjoy!  (Right now my house is rocking some orange and vanilla potpourri I made myself and it smells crisp and refreshing every time I open the door!)

I have written about essential oils and potpourri before, but that is because it is a very easy ‘set it and forget it’ way to help keep your place smelling fresh and not like your neighbors.  Here is a bit of a refresher on potpourri, and a recipe to get you started.

Potpourri is a mixture of dried, naturally fragrant plant material, used to provide a gentle natural scent inside houses. It is usually placed in a decorative (often wooden) bowl, or tied in small sachet made from sheer fabric.  Keep in mind, some potpourri can be toxic, so be careful to keep it out of the reach of young children and pets.

Typically, potpourri is used inside the home to give the air a pleasant smell. The word "potpourri" comes into English from the French word "pot-pourri." In English, "potpourri" is often used to refer to any collection of miscellaneous or diverse items.

To make fresh potpourri in the 17th century, herbs and flowers were gathered in spring and throughout the summer. The herbs were left for a day or two to become limp, and then layered with coarse salt, like sea salt.  This dried the plant material, and prevented molds and fermentation. In fall, spices would be added to the aging mix until a pleasant fragrance was achieved, and then scent preserving fixatives in the form of other plant material or essential oils were added. Did you know that there was a potpourri vase specifically designed for holding potpourri? In the traditional designs a potpourri container is provided with a pierced fitted lid, through which the scent may slowly diffuse.

Much modern potpourri consists of any decoratively shaped dried plant material with strong natural or synthetic perfumes, with colored dyes added.  Many times the scent often bears no relation to the plant material used. Sometimes, items which do not originate from plants are mixed in with the potpourri, to give it bulk and to make it more aesthetically pleasing. It is possible to spray scents onto potpourri; however, a fixative is needed so that the scent is absorbed for slow release. Generally, orris root is used for this purpose.

Now, on to making potpourri!  There are several different ways to make your own potpourri, and it’s easy to customize the scent that you want to achieve.  If you are interested in other ways of making your own, follow the instructions here.

 Simple Rose Bowl Potpourri

The earliest recipes for potpourri always used rose petals and were often referred to as "rose bowls". That’s why I picked a rose potpourri recipe to share.

Assemble the following ingredients:

    • 8 cups fragrant rose petals, dried (if possible, use "geranium red" rose, as it mimics the scent of rose geranium)
    • 3 cups rose geranium leaves, dried
    • 1/2 cup orris root powder
    • 3 drops rose oil
    • 2 drops rose geranium oil.

Place the rose petals and rose geranium leaves into the mixing bowl. Add the fixative and stir thoroughly.

Add the oils, drop by drop. Stir constantly as you add the oils so as to distribute them evenly.

Place in an airtight storage container. Store in a dark and dry place for six weeks or more to cure. Shake the container from time to time to help redistribute the ingredients evenly.

Use in a display container. Use the revival method above when the scent begins to fade.

And there you go!  You have made your own potpourri to give or enjoy all year long.  Try different scents and different flowers to get your own personal look.  Have fun, and enjoy your personal potpourris!