Wrap-a-thon?

Is there such a thing as a wrap-a-thon? If there is – well I think I’m having one this weekend. 

I’m still working on getting things buttoned up (as one might say I guess if you were in England) for my upcoming show in town next weekend. And I guess you can say that I’m kind of getting pretty excited for it! But before I can have the Open House I really need to get the soap that has been curing these past couple of weeks all packaged up and ready for the display. 

Now in the past I always printed my labels for the soaps at home with paper that I found at a local discount store. But when I realized the other day that the craft paper that I bought had glitter flowers and other designs on it that  just was not going to work with my project. 

So instead of making the trip to the discount store to buy more, I decided to try out the local print shop that isn’t too far from our farm. 

To be honest I wasn’t sure that I was going to like it so I took a sample that they had printed for me to try out the other night. Surprisingly I really did like it and when they made me enough labels to wrap around 1200 bars of soap in about 25 minutes – well I was sold on the idea! 

I had to laugh because there is no way that I will need 1200 labels right? But the owner kept trying to figure out just how much soap did I have? and who was going to buy it? 

Well I figured I have maybe 400 to 600 bars of soap that needs wrapping and I’m hoping that someone was going to buy it…  eventually. But I don’t think he was too sold on the idea that there are that many people out that they like soap. I think he’s wrong. 

So that’s why I was wondering if there was such a word as wrap-a-thon? If not – well maybe there should be if you are a soap maker and especially if it’s a week before your show! 

 

 

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Nice weather

The weather today was so nice and it was even a Sunday! Go figure! See it seems like lately we’ve been seeing really ugly weather on the weekend so some sunshine on a Sunday – well it a great thing!

So how can we have this go to waste? Seriously you shouldn’t right?

Well with putting away quite a bit of the ‘summer stuff’ into the Roadhouse, and to get ready for our family Christmas, the Chevelle needed to come out for awhile to make some room. And what a great opportunity to take it for one last ride.

Now I think it was perfect weather for this car ride today. I mean the heater was on to just keep the chill out of the air in the car and the sun was shining. Yup, it was going to be a good day!

We ended up going shopping for some things that we needed and then headed out for some supper before going home. And the one thing about living in a small community is that no matter where you go, you’ll always find someone that you know. And that’s exactly what happened. We ran into a bunch of friends that also thought Sunday night wasn’t a good night to make supper!

What a great way to end the weekend. 

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Saturday chores

Daryl spent most of the afternoon today working on putting away some of the things in the yard to get ready for the upcoming cold months. 

Now I’m not for sure just all what he was doing, but I could hear some tractors headed up to the shed and of course the skid loader was busy going back and forth in the yard. 

But one of the times that I did actually see what he was doing, I could see that he was working on taking down the trampoline. And of course the dogs were close by to help him! Well they were close by getting into trouble would probably be more accurate. 

So as the afternoon went on and when it was time to take the porch furniture away, I could hear Daryl laughing so out side I go to see what’s up. What happened was that when he took the first chair off the porch and just like that the dogs ran and jumped on the other couches. I think they must have been thinking if they laid on those that they could keep them. Yea, not so lucky! 

But after the furniture was gone and the only think left was the cushions, I think they still found a good spot to lay! Well at least for tonight that is. 

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It’s all in the delivery

Another project this year was to get a new feed bunk for the cows. So check it off the list! 

Daryl had one ordered and tonight they delivered it. I was excited to see how this was  all going to work because see our cows have this totally weird eating routine. 

First of all they can hear when someone is in the in the barn while they are standing in the cow yard. At first I didn’t believe this, but tonight I was outside when Daryl got a couple of pails of feed and it’s true! The funny thing is that they stood on the outside of the barn facing the outside of the barn just waiting for someone to come out. 

Now normally we just dump the corn on the cement on individual piles. See No Ears doesn’t like to eat by Scarlet, and Audrey likes to eat by Luther the bull. Well you get the picture right? We literally would have to have around 6 or 7 individual piles so no one’s corn pile touched each others. Yup, pretty much very bad behavior if you ask me! And heaven forbid if someone touched or even got too close to their pile. They’d do this little around the corn piles dance and then start chasing each other. While they were chasing each other, a different cow would come up and then it would start all over again. I have no idea how any of them every got the corn ate! 

So with the bunk in the cow yard the cows were going to have to stand by each other and actually play nice so they can eat. No more chasing each other or even head butting one another. Yes, they were going to have to play nice. 

And how did it go? 

Well the majority of the cows took the change in stride

I said the majority of the cows didn’t I? 

But by the end of the night, no one really cared how the corn was delivered or who they actually were standing by. Well at least for tonight! 

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Next season is here!

I’m afraid that we are seriously going into the next season. I know that I’ve been in denial lately and that it’s actually happening. With all of our lawn furniture still out along with having other things that need to tucked away for the winter, it’s about time to face the facts.  

Most of the plants died

and our pumpkins aren’t looking so good either. You know that it’s rotten when you pick it up to give to the chickens and the handle come off and the rest is a pile of mush! But the chickens will eat it and so it won’t go to waste. I just have to be creative on how to get it to the chicken coop. 

But I must say that I did actually get one big job done. I finally got my summer clothes switched over to the fall/winter selection. This is such a bad job and if I ever had a couple of million dollars I would have a closet that you could have all your clothes in it once! 

Come to think of it – if I had a couple of million dollars I’d have Another set of summer clothes somewhere maybe in Costa Rica that I could wear in November to March 🙂 

OK, enough day dreaming. 

I took some of the flowers that I could in and for now they look pretty good. Just not so sure how I’m going to water them other than taking them in the shower. And I’ve even got a big plant in my shower so that one will be easy! 

So this upcoming weekend will need to be spent getting lawn furniture put away along with making some bath supplies for my upcoming show. 

Whew! It’s going to be busy!! 

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Open House for soap

Have you ever done something and then wonder if you really should have done that? 

Well that’s what I’m thinking about something that I did tonight. 

Tonight I took the plunge and have organized an Open House for my soap business in our local town. YIKES! 

Seriously, I’ve never done anything like this before! But when I stopped and thought of what was the worst thing that could happen, all I could come up with is that I’d lose my hall deposit. And how bad is it to lose $40? Really not that bad. 

So I did it! 

And I’m not sure how much soap that I have for both this Open House and the Christmas season,  but take my word for it – it’s a LOT! I ran out of room on my shelves in the laundry room and have now started to take over the counter space in the kitchen. I can even smell the soap in the house these past few days so you know that it’s got to be pretty smelly in our house! 

With all the soap curing for the Open House, I’m starting to work on some lotions and new bath bombs & scrubs. I’ve got a couple of weeks to have everything ready so I’m kind of sitting good right now. 

So I wanted to make my last loaf of soap one that I’ve never made before and I decided on a soap that has a lot of nice oils in it and also some cocoa butter to make the soap nice and moisturizing. And it also has some egg yolks in it. Yup, you heard me right – EGGS!! The eggs are supposed to make a nice rich lather. Weird huh?  I guess we’ll just have to wait and see if that’s true. What you have to do when you are making this soap is to get the liquids really at a low temperature and then slowly add the oils to the egg yolks to temper them before you add them to the final mixture to be blended. This soap is quite a concoction if I say so myself. See the chocolate balls on top and the brown soap in the bars are made with soap and some cocoa out of the kitchen cupboard to make it brown. Daryl was eye spying them on the table before I put them on the soap and I was afraid he was going to eat them. He was wondering if they were malted milk balls.I guess they do kind of look like that and it’s a good thing I was in the kitchen when he was there or I’m afraid he was going to have a soapy snack that he wouldn’t have liked too much! 

Well I wanted to try something that I’ve never done before and I think I was successful in doing just that tonight! And just look how nice the soap looks. It looks good enough to eat.

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Hauling hay

Daryl usually has most of our hay made into round bales and stores them at the other farm until he gets time to have them moved to ours. 

So he spent the weekend cleaning out the cow yard and hauling manure. After that was done, then he started to move in the hay bales for the winter and then gave the cows some bedding. 

At first I was thinking that he must really woke up this morning feeling ambitious. But as the day went on and as I was checking on him, I came up with another possibility for his over ambitious day. 

Now first of all I have to say that I know that he wanted to get this all done while he had time. 

But I also would like to add that he scooped up the manure, moved the bedding into the shed, and then stacked the hay bales in the shed all with his new skid loader 🙂 

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What to do?

It’s that time of the year again when the weather turns colder and you know that Fall is in the air and Winter isn’t too far behind. 

And also what you know if that you now have to decide what you’re going to do with your outside flowers. 

Will you leave them to die in the first frost of the season or will you try to keep them alive for… well for hopefully warmer weather? 

It’s quite a dilemma that I go through pretty much every year. 

But you just know that your flowers are looking their best by about now and you’ve literally been keeping them alive all summer. 

So what are you going to do? 

Well I know what I’m going to do.

So I started to dig in the bottom of the linen drawer and pulled out as many sheets and old blankets and I could find. Next thing is to head outside. 

Yup, it’s for sure getting cold out here! As I make my rounds from the porch flowers, to the garage flowers, to the barn and old wagon flowers, I’m wondering just how long I’ll keep this up? I know that it’s supposed to be windy tomorrow so either the wind is going to blow them off or the dogs pull the blankets off to lay on them during the day in the yard. 

But whatever the case, for this weekend they are all on survival mode and I’m spending more time that I want to admit keeping these flowers alive for, well just for now! 

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Green Snap

We had some high winds that literally blew through our area in July and we knew that it did knock down some of our corn. But if you took a look at the fields, they didn’t look just too terrible. 

Yea. 

Well it’s combining season and when Daryl asked if I wanted to ride around in the combine – now how can I resist that? But part of his plan was to show me just what he was seeing in the fields, and it wasn’t good! It was kind of like trying not to look at a car accident when you’re driving by it. I mean you know it’s going to be bad but you just have to look. And that’s how my combine ride went. The fields had sections in it that looked so bad but you couldn’t look away. 

The winds that blew through our section in July was probably one of the weirdest winds that we’ve ever seen on the farm. See it randomly picked spots out of the fields and broke the stalks off all at the same heights. And when the stalks are broken off before they have a chance to get ears of corn on them – well you end up with literally nothing but dead corn stalks. I learned the hard way that this wind damage is called Green Snap. 

But there really isn’t much you can do because it’s a done deal and you just hope that next years crop will be better. It’s been such a crazy year for the weather in our area and now that I saw our corn fields, well that just confirms it! 

So this is what the fields should look like 

And this is what we are seeing. So not cool. 

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What’s in your refrigerator?

I’ve done something this past week that I’ve never done before. 

I burnt my soap. 

Yup, you heard it right. I burnt my soap. 

See the soap that I’m making has milk, oatmeal, and honey in it and I seriously think I’ve was thinking about it too hard when I was making it! 

What I did wrong is that I added the frozen milk to the water and then added the lye to the mixture. Not so good. See this is how a bunch of people on the internet adds the milk to their soap and guess what? It doesn’t work for me! 

I had a brown mixture with curdled milk floating on the top of it. Not the most appealing batch I’ve ever made. 

So I decided to go back to how I know what actually works for me. I froze the milk, got my lye/water & oils all to the same temperature, mixed them together, added my honey slowly so I didn’t burn the natural sugar in it, added some oatmeal, and then slowly added the frozen milk cubes. 

Everything was looking really good and after it was put in the molds – into the refrigerator it goes! See you don’t want the soap to go through a gel phase or you can burn the soap again. But luckily it looks like it worked this time and honestly I am kind of glad that I ruined a batch. It reminded me that I need to be extra careful all the time and that there will be times that the batches just won’t turn out how I want them to.  And what does our refrigerator smell like tonight? Well it smells just like oatmeal & honey – or in other words Sassy Come Home soap! 

 

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