This summer I started watching The Walking Dead which is an AMC series about survivors and victims of a zombie apocalypse. I’m a little behind. A lot behind. Netflix is helping me catch up. Season 10 will air starting October 6. The show is making me feel like I had some good ideas back when!

I generally like scary but not gore. Never liked gore.

Zombie movies are chock full of gore what with all the eating of people’s innards and brains. So I traditionally steered clear of zombie programs … and actual zombies too for that matter. But this past year a friend suggested that I watch Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland too. Which I did. Several times. I loved the humor!

I like the premise of zombies — the allegory. The suggestion that the “living dead” exist as a result of society’s ills deadening our brains — killing our ability to think for ourselves and to behave rationally. People walk around deadlike. Extra pertinent in today’s political climate.

But oh, the blood and guts and bits of bone and brains! Still NOT my cup of tea.

I started writing a post-zombie apocalypse story several years ago. Key word on POST because my story is set in a time a bit more after zombies than most zombie stories. I don’t want too many actual zombies chowing down on my characters’ innards. But I really liked some of the ideas of living in a zombie world.

I even blogged about zombie fruit which can look like gore but tastes delicious and might come in handy in a zombie apocalypse. https://alightningbug.org/2015/09/26/summer-remnants-zombie-fruit-recipe/

As I watched The Walking Dead I realized I might actually have some good ideas if I could manage to get them into words for a story or useful if I need to survive in the real deal.

9, yes 9, years ago I posted some ideas on the blog Whatever in response to a prompt by a guest blogger. Some of my ideas turn up in The Walking Dead. Great minds?

That’s here but you have to scroll down or search to find my response:


Prisons! Right? I was thinking that. And I posted it. I didn’t read the comic before either. (Stating such either makes me more cool or less. I’m not good at judging.)

Watching The Walking Dead and their prison stronghold and beyond made me feel like I had some good ideas. Which makes me feel like I should write more. Finish the story and all that.

And it makes me wonder why Walking Dead doesn’t listen to more of my suggestions. I call out to the characters on TV what they should do next. Couch coaching! Sometimes they listen. This either means I have some good ideas or I’m a TV zombie and watch too much Walking Dead. Maybe both.


Glade Winter Scents 2016

At the store yesterday, I saw that the Glade winter scents have arrived. This follows the general trend in retail to have Christmas stuff out before Halloween’s even here. Right now, our Target has Princess Leia, vampire, and witch costumes right next to the Santas, Christmas cards, and red & green string lights. Sigh. I like my Christmas not only after Halloween but after Thanksgiving thankyouverymuch. (Though it can stay around into January once it gets here.)

Elsewhere in the store, the Glade winter scents are already on display. My least favorite part of this is that it usually means that the Autumn scents are either gone or will be soon. The good thing is that if you can find them they will often have clearance prices. They are sold out in many stores. The Autumn package art was beautiful and I thought the scents were really nice (unless you don’t like pumpkin, etc.). For somebody who usually prefers natural essential oils, that’s saying something.

So I didn’t buy any winter scents yet because I refuse to by them in October. I like to enjoy my Autumn in Autumn. (And I still have some of the holiday spruce scent left from last year. Dave doesn’t really like it). 

The fall products I saw and smelled in the store for 2016 were the following:

Happy Glow — an apple & cinnamon scent. It smells similar to autumn’s Spiced Apple Magic (apple, cloves, cinnamon). If anything it’s a maybe little more cinnamony, but I’m not sure if it’s even different. In past years, the holiday apple scent had a lot more cinnamon & spice than the autumn version, but I don’t smell as much difference this year. The candle color is a slightly lighter shade of red — a little more of a Christmas red. Comparing the color of the wax melts they look almost the same. Overall I like it. It’s a good homey scent.

Timeless Joy — a sparkling spruce scent. This is a traditional Christmas tree type scent. Smelling this type of scent always reminds me of Christmas. It’s not so much that it smells like an actual tree, but because similar tree-inspired scents have been in candles and sprays for Christmas holidays for so long. It automatically stirs up holiday memories.

Merry Fun — a vanilla scent. It’s a soft, pleasant vanilla. 

Shimmering Wonder — a plum blossom scent. I’d not have pegged this as a winter scent, but here it is. It’s a little fruity and floral. There’s a hint of candy (almost like Pez candy), berries, vanilla, and maybe violets too. If the Wondrous Autumn Nights fragrance was masculine, then this one is more feminine. I’m trying to think of it as sugar plum to tie it to the holiday spirit. A bit of spice may have been nice to make it like a plum pudding or holiday sugar plum. But not everybody likes spice. There may be a hint of anise here and vanilla, but that’s about it. I can’t think of any previous year’s fragrance that was quite like this. The Pommegranite Sparker from last year was maybe similar, but this one seems sweeter. They are definitely not the same. Not sure how I’ll like it in the home at this poin, but I smelled it a few more times and it’s kind of growing on me.

So far, I saw all four scents as jar candles and plug-ins (Walmart and Target). I saw Happy Glow (Apple) and Timeless Joy (Spruce) as wax melts, auto-spray refills, and solid air fresheners at Target. I didn’t see wax melts or room sprays at our Walmart, but it had auto-spray refills of apple and spruce. I didn’t see wax melts of Merry Fun (vanilla) or Shimmering Wonder (plum blossom) anywhere yet. I’m guessing maybe Dollar General will have one of those (which I would check if there was a Dollar General closer to my home). The Target had a $1 room spray in all except the vanilla scent. But I saw the vanilla room spray at a larger Giant grocery store (which, instead, doesn’t have the plum blossom room spray). I’m guessing there will be another exclusive somewhere, maybe?

So there you have it. These aren’t even listed on the Glade website yet, but you can expect them soon.

And yes, I’m the crazy lady taking pictures of air fresheners in the store. But no, I’m still not buying Christmas scents in October.

— ** Update 11/4/16 ** —

My Target added a scent sampler to the Galde seasonal display. It has a wax melt cube encased in perforated plastic and labeled with a description of the scent. None of our local stores had this previous years. I usually just smelled the candle or a package of wax melts or scratch & sniffed the sticker on the oil refills depending on what I could find. Sometimes the different versions have subtle differences. The wax melts usually have the strongest aroma.

Of note, the Shimmering Wonder fragrance is described as Plum, Black Tea, and Praline. I guess I can see that. Tea can smell a little floral and woodsy. The praline fits somewhat with the candy notes I smelled. And the fruitiness is somewhat plum but maybe a little blueberry-ish too.

So it appears that they do make a wax melt of both the Plum Blossom and Vanilla scents. They just don’t actually sell it at my Target (or Walmart as far as I can tell). 


And it is November now, so maybe I’ll try one of these soon. 
–** SAFETY NOTES 11/08/16 **–

I’ve read a few complaints regarding the Glade scented oil refills dripping out and ruining the finish of furniture or floors. 

Please keep in mind, that there is liquid inside that can leak out once the product is opened. So the “bottle” must be kept upright once opened. 

I saw one person post photos along with a complaint and noticed that this individual had their Plug-in inserted into the wall outlet UPSIDE DOWN. Yes, it will leak then. 

As far as causing damage, even many 100% pure therapeutic-grade essential oils will eat the finish off wood and dissolve many types of plastic if it touches it for a while. That is common with any kind of concentrated fragrance — natural or lab-created. 

So be careful not to plug in a Plug-in upside down or sideways. 

Autumn Scents 2016: Fall Fragrance Review

It’s that time of year again — the days are getting shorter. The air is getting cooler. And Glade’s Autumn Collection is in stores! Gah, how can I like Glade so much? I used to … I won’t say “hate” but … not like Glade. Now I feel a little spark of happy every time I start seeing Glade’s fall fragrances in the stores. 

Summer and spring fragrances don’t quite do that to me. (I usually just open a window.) Even the winter and holiday scents aren’t as magical to me as the autumn collection. And I still love pure essential oils. So how can I like Glade’s Aumun Collection so much?

Overall Glade has improved over the years. Many of their scents smell better (at least to my nose), they’ve stopped using a lot of harmful ingredients, and they’ve increased how much information they reveal about ingredients and specific fragrance components. While some companies just say “fragrance” as an ingredient, Glade has a special website that goes into detail on many fragrances as well as other ingredients and other SC Johnson products. If you happen to have a sensitivity to “cinnamyl alcohol” you can find out if it’s in the Spiced Apple Magic scent. That’s a good thing. (By the way many of these fragrance components are the same as those found in natural scents.)

The 2016 Fall collection is scaled back from the five(!) fragrances of the past few years. There are three (maybe four*) that I’ve seen so far.

Autumnal classics are covered with apple and pumpkin pie plus there’s a third enticing mood-setter for chilly days.

They are:

Spiced Apple Magic – classic fall spiced apple fragrance with a nice balance of fruit and spice. It’s doesn’t smell as strongly of cinnamon as the Apple cinnamon fragrance that’s available year round. Along with cinnamon  I can smell cloves, and I can really smell the apple. Spiced Apple Magic is that cup of hot spiced cider as you come in from the chill.

Rich Pumpkin Dream – classic pumpkin pie scent with a little sweetness, creamy caramel, and spice. This one smells yummy. Last year’s Pumpkin Pit Stop smelled like pumpkin pie mixed with the lingering aromas of last night’s experimental dinner. I swear I could smell something like fenugreek seed and maybe a hint of cumin last year, but this year I smell something cardamom and ginger. I definitely prefer this year’s.

Wondrous Autumn Nights – It’s like standing outside on a crisp autumn evening while wearing your love’s big cozy sweater or wrapped in his clean warm blanket. You can still smell a little soap. A breeze tickles your face. His sweet, yet unmistakably masculine cologne lingers on the warm threads as you enjoy the fallen leaves. The last bits of autumn herbs and trees sway gently. There’s probably a pine tree not far, but you can’t see it where you’re standing. Acorns plunk to the ground. A branch snaps. There’s a sliver of a glow on the horizon. The rest of the sky is a shade of deep blue that will soon give way to total nightfall and twinkling stars. When you step inside, the Wondrous Autumn Nights candle is lit and beside it a love note propped against your favorite book. He had to leave on a secret mission. He’ll be back soon. Like really super soon. He probably just left to get ice cream. And anyway you have a secret mission of your own. He also left you a slice of pumpkin pie with a dollop of whipped cream and a cup of hot apple cider. Oh, wait. Where was I? Yeah… 

And more.

*There also appears to be a fourth option at some locations called Rich Golden Spell. It’s available as a room spray and only available at Target as far as I can tell. It’s not even on the Glade website! Some folks say it’s just a repackaged version their popular scent  Cashmere Woods (which started as a seasonal scent, so go figure). I have Cashmere Woods wax melts, and based on that I’d say they are, at least, very similar. But I love the packaging and design of the Autumn Collection, so it’s nice just for that.

Now appearing as:

The sprays this year are a little diffferent. They’re mostly available as automatic-spray refills and not stand-alone cans. I don’t have an automatic room sprayer and don’t plan on buying one right now. The standalone spray is no longer sold as a Premium room spray, but instead sold in the smaller, standard Glade spray cans. That part is not necessarily bad. The regular sprays cost only about a buck ($1). (Premium room sprays were about $3.) But Spiced Apple Magic and Rich Golden Spell (if you can find it) are the only ones that I’ve seen as a room spray. I’d love a spray of Wondrous Autumn Nights and have enjoyed the pumpkin spray previous years.

Glade has also changed some other ways the fragrances are sold this year. Two of the autumn scents are offered as a solid air freshener — Spiced Apple Magic and Rich Pumpkin Dream. I think this is the first year I’ve seen Glade’s Autumn scents in solid form. I don’t often use solid air fresheners except in the little bathroom with the cat litter boxes. I’ll try these next.

All three scents are available as candles, plug-ins, and supposedly wax melts too. But I can find find wax melts of only Spiced Apple Magic and Rich Pumpkin Dream. Wondrous Autumn Nights is missing, so I suspect maybe there is only one store chain that may carry it as part of an exclusive agreement. It will probably sell out. I think I would love that as a wax melt. Oh, Glade. Why do you do this?

(I’ll update this with more photos later.)

Autumn Scents: A Fragrance Primer and Glade Fall Limited Edition 2015 Review

Autumn is one of my favorite times of year, in part, because of all the wonderful smells — autumn leaves, crisp clear skies, crackling fires, spices, apple cider, and baked goods (now that it’s not so hot outside that I don’t want to bake inside). It’s also the time of the year when there starts to be enough of a chill in the air that we start closing the windows more often. With no fresh air inside, I want to smell good stuff instead. I like smelling stuff almost as much as I like tasting stuff. More