Handmade Soap – made and curing

I have been buried in pounds of soap the past week. A couple years ago, I made several soaps using Rice oil… it made for a very nice soap. But, because I have to have it shipped in, I switched back to Olive oil. However, the price of Olive oil has risen past the point of being reasonable. It is more cost effective to ship in large quantities of Rice oil, than to continue purchasing Olive. Which makes me happy, as I prefer the Rice soap anyway.

Later I will give each soap it’s own page, description, but for now here’s what I have on the cure shelves:
Lavender, made with essential oil – my all-time favorite face soap
Sheherazade, an exotic, sensual scent
Oatmeal Milk & Honey, one of my most popular scents, consistently over the years
Yuzu, citrus – still a big favorite also
Egyptian Spice, very popular, earthy, warm and sexy

On my to-do list this weekend:
Blackberry Sage
A Love Spell, maybe
Sandalwood Vanilla, maybe

On another note, I’ve opened a shop in a local Emporium. It’s a new market place located in West Carrollton, Ohio, in the old Roberd’s Furniture store. It’s dubbed, The Mall without Walls. Vendors, crafters, resellers – all are welcome to come set up shop. Hours are Thursday – Sunday from 9 a.m – 5 p.m., subject to change.

My shop is the Picket Fence Gifts – and won’t be missed – a holiday gift shop, rotating with the holidays. And of course, I’ll have soaps… and maybe soon some lotion too. Special requests welcome. It’s also my hope to start reselling other wahm products. So, if you sell a handmade product, with a low wholesale minimum, please contact me.

What a mess – apologies.

So sorry for all the *test* posts today (of which are no longer here).

I thought I’d jump on Momma Muse this morning and [quickly & simply] add a new category (pet related) with a few tweaks… I couldn’t get anything to work the way I wanted it to, first and foremost, the category archive wouldn’t even work – dratted thing.

I can only figure I’ve made some funky edit in my code, somewhere along the way and now it’s being particular. Since everything originally here works as it was intended.. I just did some minor work arounds to get what I wanted.

Mostly, you won’t see a “Listed in xyz Category”… Now, you will only see the tagged links. Of course, category pages are all still there, but this avoids my page-not-found error when looking for my furry friends category.

Also, noteworthy (at least, imo) is whenever you are viewing any new pages about the pets, you’ll see pet pictures in the sidebar. I may, or may not eventually go back to some of the older pet posts.. more likely, I’ll forget about it…

A dumbo rat and a rex rat

Em two months ago started working on talking me (and Bob) into getting a rat. After a month, we worked up some “terms” to our agreement, and Em brought home her Dumbo rat, Otis, Labor Day weekend – she was about 3 months old. We thought Otis was a male…. but it turns out she’s really female. note: dumbo refers to the ears – they are larger and more on the side of the head, rather than more upright.

Because I love animals too, I started doing my own reading on rats, joined some rat groups and am learning more myself. One of the biggest things I was reading was how social rats are and they prefer living in communities of 2 or more.

It wasn’t hard to talk Bob into another rat, when it’s for the health of both of them. So last week, Em brought home a new cage (because we really felt the 20 gal aquarium was too small for one, let alone two)… and Pumpkin May a.k.a. FuzzButt. FuzzButt got her name from me, because she’s just a fuzzy little thing. We guess she was about 5-6 weeks old when we brought her home. Em said she thinks she’s a Rex and after looking at many pics, I’d agree. note: rex refers to a curly coat… and based on my own reading, I think a blue berkshire, which means solid color (in this case, a slate-blue color) with white belly, paws and tail tip.

After a 5 day quarrantine, Em introduced the two girlies. We fixed the cage, since it’s tall, we were able to put in a couple shelves and I made (quickly and terribly) a fleece hammock to hang. Both girls are now housed in the cage, and the aquarium has become a dig tank. Rats love to dig and tunnel. Em tore up several (and then several more) peices of paper towel and filled the aquarium about 1/3 of the way.. a peice of cage flooring works as a ladder. The girls are able to climb up and out of their cage-home and directly into the dig tank.

They are just too cute!

Congratulations to all the kids born in….


1930’s 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and 70’s !!

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn’t get tested for diabetes.

Then after that trauma, our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking.

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags.

Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this.

We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank soda pop with sugar in it, but we weren’t overweight because……


We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.

No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We did not have PlayStation’s, Nintendo, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 99 channels on cable, no video tape movies, no surround sound, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat rooms……….WE HAD

FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled for them!

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn’t had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!

This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever!

The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned


And YOU are one of them!


You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated our lives for our own good.

And while you are at it, send it to your kids so they will know how brave their parents were.

Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn’t it?!

Note: Original email also said: “PS -The big type is because your eyes are shot at your age.” But I hate huge type.. so it’s just normal here.

First lost tooth – 5 years 4 months

Teigen lost his first “on his own” tooth a couple weeks ago. He’s had so many teeth issues… when he discovered his tooth was loose he tentatively told dad there was something wrong. I was at the store at the time. When I got home, T said “I’m loosing another tooth, momma.”… My heart just jumped and my stomach lurched. He really cannot afford to lose any more of baby teeth that aren’t ready yet. Of course, there is nothing we can do about his body rejecting them, either.

I immediately sat down for him to show me and to my surprise and great relief it was one of his front, bottom baby teeth – one of the few not capped. I was so excited I think I scared him, but I quickly explained it was such a good thing!

It was actually really loose. Enough so that it was bothering him when he ate. Cas gave him a warm wet washcloth and told him when she was little she’d use the washcloth to wiggle the tooth until it came out. Sure enough, within a short time, he was holding his first tooth.

The Tooth Fairy brought him a whole dollar.

The very next day, he says “momma, I think I have another loose tooth”.. sure enough, the one right next to it is loose too. That one, however, is still there.

A friend told me how loosing the first baby tooth can signify growing from a toddler/little boy, into a bigger boy. She explained it much better, but what I gained from it, and am able to apply to T is he’s getting older, bigger, smarter (always smart, but learning ever so much), and with it, come responsiblities… he’s learning more “in (home) school” and has taken on the chore of making sure the dogs have food (and helping with the cat too).

Sweet Sixteen – Happy Birthday Cas

Cas turned 16 yesterday. She celebrated first thing by us going to the BMV and her taking her driving test – and passing. She drove herself to work, the guys sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to her (except one of them) and were all surprised she got her license ON her birthday.

Got home and was ready to leave to get her boyfriend from school… and the car wouldn’t start. In the end, she did have some wheels to tool around a little bit, but it wasn’t “her” car… of which, she is now “in love” (a month ago, she hated it). Her cousin and uncle came to the rescue and managed to fix a few little things (Thank you Zach and Dan), which Bob and cousin will work on more this weekend.

Tonight she was having dinner with her dad’s side of the family. So strange for her and Em to leave without me or anyone else.

About 2 1/2 years before I start driver training all over again with Em. wow……..

Lavender, Tea Tree, Oatmeal Soap Recipe

This is one of my favorite soaps. It’s a very simple recipe. Consistently creamy lather. A wonderful face soap.

Lavender soap with Tea Tree Oil and Oatmeal


Olive Oil – 75%
Palm Kernel Oil – 25%

Lye (sodium hydroxide) – 6% discount

Water or goatmilk (or other preferred liquid) amount per your soap calculators recommendation or your own experience. When I use goat milk, I don’t discount as I do when using distilled water.

.6 ounce per pound of oils – lavender essential oil
.2 ounce per pound of oils – tea tree essential oil

I add powdered lavender, however, if you only have lavender buds, grinding them finely works just as well (in similar fashion as the oatmeal). I don’t recommend using whole lavender buds as they don’t hold their lovely lavender color throughout the soaping process and tend to look like something you’d rather not have in your soap, or anywhere else for that matter! (mouse droppings) How much lavender powder depends on your preferences; I typically use about a tablespoon per pound of oils.

Like when I make my Oatmeal Milk and Honey soap recipe, Here’s how I make my Powdered oatmeal – I toast whole oats in the oven until lightly browned. Then I ground very fine in a coffee bean grinder. Same as the lavender powder, my typical usage rate is about a tablespoon per pound of oils. I also like to add a bit of organic baby oatmeal cereal. I like that it has the extra vitamins. Whether they hold up in the soap process or not, the idea is nice.

Optional: If I am using distilled water, or infused water (e.g lavender tea, chamomile tea, oatmeal “milk” (by soaking oats in water), or similar) I like to add a few tablespoons of coconut milk powder. It seems to give a little extra bubble, as well as a nice creamy feel.

Always run your recipe through a soap calculator to ensure you are using safe amounts of lye. See a list of online lye calculators.

– Be sure to use a soap calculator specifically used to calculator amounts, particularly making sure you have the correct amount of sodium hydroxide.
– If you need to make substitutions within your recipe, be sure to recalculate, as the lye amount may change.
– Remember your safety and for those around your soap making area. Label items appropriately, wear appropriate safety gear.