I Make Cold Processed Soap, Therefore I’m….Clean

Over a year ago I learned how to make cold processed soap at a local state park. Since then, I’ve made oodles of batches and have given the soap as gifts and sold a few bars here and there. My home office is where I store my lovely scented creations. I’ve got to admit, my house smells great. Even the upstairs smells of my soapy goodness. Hardly a use for candles or wax melts anymore. The soap smells that good! And I smell good! 😜

It’s a tedious, but fun process. The results can be amazing or in some cases, real stinkers. So without further ado, let me share some of my lessons I’ve learned this past year.

What I’ve Learned from Soaping

Lesson #1- Always use a lye calculator! I’m normally a “fly by the seat of my pants” kinda gal, but a lye calculator is your friend!

Lesson #2- Lining a mold can seem like an awful task, but the key thing here is, line it properly. You do not want any leakage.

Lesson #3- There is such a thing as beginners luck. Trust me I know from first hand experience. The first few batches I made went without any hiccups. Then, here it comes, the following batches are disastrous. Throwing it out the door disastrous.

Lesson #4- Although anxious to “pop” out your cutesy, heart shaped soap from your cutesy, heart shaped silicone mold before it has completely set, is a NO NO! The soap will have cracks here and there. Breaks my heart, literally, or perhaps figuratively speaking from a silicone mold stance!

Lesson #5- Very important to use caution and safety equipment! Lye can burn your skin and nearly put an eye out!

Lesson #6- DANG! THAT’S HOT! Overheating can cause an eruption. Think volcanic eruptions, you know-Mount Vesuvius, perhaps Pompeii? Or maybe earthquake looking soap. New Madrid fault line? New Madrid earthquakes from 1811-1812? Temperatures over 160 degrees and above are HOT upon touching. OUCH! And they CRACK! ERUPT! And I cry!

So, there you have it. Six lessons of possibly many, I’ve learned from soaping. Now, go tell your friends. Or just sit there laughing at the above. It’s ok. I survived. I’m laughing, too. But before, no. Yes, now I’m laughing.

Blessings to you and yours!

JoAnn

Verse of the Day
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
1 John 4:11-12 ESV

IMG_4991

Cabin Fever Has Reared Its Ugly Head

One can take so many days inside. Case in point, the daughter with the cold and sinus gunk. And the momma dealing with said daughter’s cold and sinus gunk.

Even though we have let her shoot her bow in the house, (read here and here) that is not enough for her. I can’t blame her. I’ve not been out myself. Any errands we have had, has been completed by the hubs. Out of all of the sadness comes a little humor…she offered to take the trash out, just to get out of the house. Offering? Without being nagged? What a concept! Sorry, dear daughter of mine! 😂

Please don’t think the poor dear has it bad. We’ve excused her from her homeschool work for the past few days due to her minor cold, and made her some of her favorite treats. Have I told you how spoiled she is?

Again, I do sympathize with my daughter. I’ve got cabin fever, too. I would love to get out, but with all of us at home, makes sense to send the hubby out to do my dirty deeds. 😜

Alas, the things I’ve accomplished during this patch of nasty weather has been a mountain of laundry, cooking and washing oodles of dishes.

I wish it were spring. And we were back to work. Or maybe the hubs back to work, the daughter target practicing outside, and me in my gardens. Yeah. That’s it. That’s my wish, right now. Oh, how I miss the flowers with their bright colors!

Blessing to y’all!

JoAnn

Ps. Here’s some of last years flowers. I can’t believe I didn’t take any pictures of my veggie garden to share!

IMG_2991

IMG_3015

IMG_1692

IMG_2192

IMG_1689

IMG_0085

IMG_0900

IMG_0234

IMG_2510

IMG_2082

Baby, It’s Cold Outside and the Redneck Archery Range is in Full Swing

Maybe it’s not too cold for some, but for me, it’s absolutely freezing! The high today was in the mid twenties. Tonight it’s going to be a whopping 9 degrees! Yikes!

Morgan is still battling sinus gunk and has a low grade temperature. Still whining about not getting to go outside. And still whining about a new site for her bow. Poor, tortured soul!

Thankfully, her target is still set up in the man cave and can shoot her bow from the living room down into the target in there. Still complaining about “the going outside where she can shoot farther back.” You see, her grand idea of standing on the platform of the stairs was shot down by mean ol’ momma aka me. I will say this, she was very passionate with her argument and made great points. But, as always, mom wins out. She’ll be better soon and can go out and shoot then.

As for the new site for her bow, she really doesn’t know which to get. She has been on every social network and bow websites researching and asking. Still not sure what she wants. Suggestions? Anyone?

She’s got two bows, one for hunting (Diamond) and one for competitions (Elite). Her competition bow is the one in need of a new site. Never mind the fact she got this bow and all the amenities back last June for her birthday. Ah, the spoiled girl. Very. Spoiled.

Blessings to y’all,

JoAnn

Another day in the archery range, er, the man cave!

IMG_4975

Of Cold Weather, Colds and Yummy Recipes

Day two of sleet and snow covered ground and roads and Morgan’s sniffles are still looming large. To open up her sinuses, she asked for something spicy last night for dinner. I had made The Pioneer Woman’s Veggie Chili Sunday night and had plenty of it left over.

However, she wanted more than the chili, so the hubs suggested chili-cheese hot dogs. I do believe the Pioneer Woman herself would approve this! It was delicious! Of course, we need a little sweet to go after our spice and this frappuccino recipe fit the bill.

Unfortunately we are under yet another winter weather advisory this evening until the wee hours of tomorrow morning. I’m hoping Morgan is feeling much better tomorrow and I hope I don’t get it! She’s the second one to succumb to the cold. Tommy was the first, and he has had sinus crud going on for over a week now.

I won’t get sick. I can’t get sick. This wife and mom doesn’t take sick days for fear of what the house will look like while in bed. 😝

Blessing to y’all!

JoAnn

Ps. I had ate quite a bit of the chili before snapped the picture below! And totally forgot to take pictures of the veggie chili-cheese dogs last night. Forgive me, please.

IMG_4873-0

Impending Winter Storm Gloom and Doom

As I mentioned late last night, we were under a winter weather advisory here in Northeast Arkansas.  It sleeted more than it snowed.  Believe it or not, it was 65 degrees Saturday while we were delivering flowers. Crazy weather here-warm one day, freezing the next. I think we made it to a whopping 25 degrees today.

Unfortunately, Morgan is coming down with a cold and could not go out to shoot her bow.  So, what does dear ol’ dad do for his die-hard archer girl?  Bring her target inside and set it up in his man cave!  She opened up the door to the man cave and shot her bow in the living room.  How redneck are we?

IMG_4885

I did go outside for a few snapshots while the snow was falling. Brr! It was cold out today!

2015 Feb 15 Snow 025 2015 Feb 15 Snow 032 2015 Feb 15 Snow 002
I personally think the pines are simply gorgeous with snow. My magnolia looks lovely, too, but lonely. Probably because it’s the only one I’ve got! 😜 My quaint, yellow “Addams Family” bench looks really blah. I know, I need to repaint it. That will be a spring project, and frankly, I’m still mulling over what color I want to paint it this year. It’s been dark green and now yellow. I’m thinking a baby blue might be the color, or a bold and bright cherry red! Yes, I repaint some, not all of my lawn furniture and decor every year. I’m crazy like that!
Well, here’s to staying warm and praying for spring to make its debut soon. Very. Soon.

Blessings to y’all!

JoAnn

Valentine’s Day

For the past couple of years, I’ve helped a friend who owns a flower shop here in town, deliver flowers on Valentine’s Day. It’s always busy, but fun. This year, Morgan was my faithful sidekick. With our list of “unknowing” receivers’ addresses, and the back seat of my truck filled with oodles of arrangements, we spent all day Friday and Saturday morning delivering to young and old, male and female. Lots of smiles and tons of “thank you so much!” I guess the highlight of my two days of working, was when my daughter presented me with a beautiful arrangement of my own!

IMG_4870
Aren’t they just beautiful? Tye-dyed roses! Who would’ve “thunk” of that!?
Morgan was so sweet to do that! And to top of her sweetness, she got our next door neighbor yellow roses. My daughter amazes me with her kindness and generosity.
To top off our hard work, the hubs took his two Valentines to a local Mexican restaurant for dinner. Yay! No cooking or dirty dishes for this wife and mom!
As I sit here writing this, it’s late Sunday night, and we’re under a winter weather advisory. I can hear it sleeting outside my window now. Morgan is already plotting her day tomorrow on her four wheeler…after school work! No snow days at our homeschool or is there? Hmmm…😜

Blessings to all!
JoAnn

Ps. Monday promises to be a fun day….”Impending Winter Storm Doom or Fun?”
Tune in to find out! 😄

Lazy Sunday of Crocheting and Doctor Who

As I sit here on this Sunday afternoon, I’ve accomplished my household chores and since have been parked on the couch watching Doctor Who and crocheting. Yep, I’m still in season 1. Yep, still loving it. I wish I had my own TARDIS. But I digress.

I’ve been working on a crochet project for a friend for quite sometime now. It’s called a Mollie Flower Blanket

I’ve started it over several times. I’m just not liking how it is turning out. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a gorgeous blanket, but mine isn’t gorgeous. It’s a mess! I honestly think I’d have better luck crocheting my own TARDIS!

According to the pattern, you crochet these flowers individually then hand sew them together. Ugh. Hand sew. Just not my cup o’ tea. Again, please don’t get me wrong, I do hand sew on some of my projects. Ear flaps, eyes, snouts, etc. for hats and such. Those are just small projects next to this behemoth of one. I’m just feeling a bit overwhelmed on this one. Maybe it’s the “mountain out of a mole hill syndrome” I’m known for in these parts. Maybe, just maybe, this project wasn’t meant for me to do. However, I’m pressing on with it. Wish me luck and prayers are appreciated!

Below is the mess I’ve created thus far.

IMG_4813-1

Blessings to all!

JoAnn