Miss Sky – Australian Shepherd

Originally uploaded by madaise.

Meet Missy Sky, the newest addition to our family.

Bob and the boys went to one of the local Humane Society to meet a few dogs. We were looking for herding-type dogs.. German Shepherd, Border Collie, Australian Shepherd.. one that was young, but not a puppy.

Missy Sky (her name is Sky, but I’m not convinced she really knows it very well, so I’m taking to call her Missy) caught Bob’s attention yesterday. But she was in the process of being adopted. She struck a cord with Bob, because he mentioned her to several people over the course of the evening and the next morning.

I sent them back to the HS to visit a couple specific dogs.. when he and the boys got there, Bob heard someone mention Sky. As it turns out, the adoptive “parents” called the HS this morning to cancel their adoption.

Within a couple of hours, Bob and the boys were at Old Roberds showing me the new addition.

Originally uploaded by madaise.

Missy is a very shy girl, about 4 years old – very timid around people until she gets a few minutes to know you, though she takes to kids with no hesitation. Her and Whippet Bean greeted each other fairly well, but it’s going to take a little time for them to both be comfortable each other. Right now, Bean is a little timid around her, and she does some low, but soft throat noises. I’m hesitant to call them growls, as it isn’t really menacing..

Missy had a busy evening in her new backyard. She gave Bean a run for her money – Bean is fast, but has not been exposed to a herding dog who anticipates the tight turns and so there never was a large gab between the two. Bean didn’t last too long (whippets don’t have a long endurance, as Grey Hounds, but a rather short burst of speed).

Originally uploaded by madaise.

The boys got their motorcycle and quad-runner out (12 volt) and I laughed till I had tears as Missy chased them and bit at the tires and fenders.

Bed time rolled around later than usual and I patted the boys bed to show Missy where she was sleeping.. she hopped right up there and got comfortable.

She’s currently sleeping under the table, where I’m working… Tomorrow we’ll do a visit to the pet store for a couple toys, and a new brush.. and later get a good bath.. Bean too.. they both smell like (imagine!) dogs. 🙂

See more pictures of Missy Sky, and our other 4 legged friends.

All About Soap Making: Basic Soap Making

by Gary Everson

Many areas of misunderstanding exist with regard to soap making. I am often asked “do I have to use lye?” “just how dangerous is lye?” and “will soap making save me money?” “can I really make soap and sell it for a profit?” these and many more questions arrive in my inbox on a daily basis, making it clear to me the extent of misinformation that exists where soap making is concerned.

There are really only two soap making techniques, cold process and hot process. Other techniques referred to as melt and pour and rebatching, are not actually soap making at all, instead they involve melting previously made soaps back to liquid form, then adding fragrance and color, maybe some herbs and grains and then allowing to set again.

True Soap Making involves the chemical reaction which takes place when fats and/or oils are mixed with an alkali such as Sodium Hydroxide, also known as Lye, or Caustic Soda. It’s as simple as that really, but more complex than you can imagine.

Aside from the basic fact that a strong alkali in solution will cause a chemical reaction known as saponification when mixed with fats, the exact nature of the resulting soap is dependent upon the type of fat used, the amount of lye, the curing time and a host of other factors all of which combine to make soap making a truly interesting and rewarding craft. I call it a craft because it requires skill and practice, I would prefer not to recall the number of soap batches I made when I was starting out that had to be thrown into the trash. Its important to remember that sometimes it takes a few tries to get it right, but once you’ve got the process down, homemade soap making is easy and fun. It is a never-ending source of joy because there is always more to learn.

Soap making is an age-old skill that is currently undergoing a popular revival. Home or cottage level soap making is done by the “cold process”, however this method is not recommended for children because of the potential danger that lye poses. Soap making is a fascinating, enjoyable and creative hobby, but did you ever realize that it could actually become an excellent source of income. the beauty of soap making is its adaptability to village-sized enterprises, it represents a business that requires little space, with little cost and offers numerous possibilities.

Soap making is a great hobby and makes a wonderful gift because, let’s face it, everyone needs it. Homemade soap making is not at all a difficult process. The melt and pour process makes it even easier, although melt and pour is not soap making in its true sense, it is an easy and creative way to make your own soap. It is the easiest of all the methods and is by far the least time consuming.

The most popular soap making process today is the cold process method, where fats such as olive oil react with lye, it is the process that more advanced hobbyists and small business owners use. It is certainly a more complicated way of making your own soap than melt and pour, but can yield much more pleasing results. Cold process is a method of soap making which doesn’t utilize any external heat source. Sodium hydroxide, also known as lye, is used in cold process soap making. The cold process yields no waste products of any kind.

Melt and pour soap making is an easy and creative way to make your own soap. Some soap makers prefer melt and pour because the process is easy and allows the soap maker to concentrate more on the aesthetic aspects of soap making. In its simplest form, slice off what you need, melt it, and pour it into your favorite soap molds. Learning how to make melt and pour soap is the easiest soap making method that you can learn. The joy of Melt and Pour Soap Making promotes the making of soap in the home as a fun hobby and economical craft. Learn melt and pour and cold-process soap making basics then try your hand at lotion, lip balm, salt scrubs and more. Melt and pour soap base is pre-made and purchased by the block, a natural soap base is melted and poured in individual shapes. It has become very popular in recent years. Melt and pour is not actual soap making, often called glycerin soap, it can be opaque, colored or clear. Even children, when supervised, can make soap using this method. Typical un-molding time for Melt and Pour soaps is 4 hours, after which it is ready to use. Un-molding time for cold process soaps is 24 hours or more, followed by a curing period that can take as long as four weeks.

If you are careful to shop around for the best deals and buy your ingredients in bulk wherever possible, you can create batches of soap which cost between 20 and 50 cents per bar, less than commercially available soap bars with many times better quality and a lot less than the price of other handmade soaps on the market. This provides the opportunity for a reasonable profit margin should you decide to sell your products, either simply to recoup the cost of your hobby, or to fuel the beginnings of an exciting and profitable business.

Soap making is not hard to do if you are armed with just a little bit of information. It is an age-old skill that is currently undergoing a popular revival. A fun and useful hobby, soap making is a great pastime and makes a wonderful gift because, let’s face it, everyone needs it. Cold process soap making is not recommended for children because of the potential danger that lye poses. Melt and Pour soap making is the easiest of all the methods and is by far the least time consuming. Soap making is not just for your grandmother anymore; it has become a popular hobby for many creative and artistic people.

Copyright © 2007 Gary Everson

About the author:
Want to learn All About Soap Making, but haven’t a clue where to start? Gary Everson’s FREE course will show you how, from the basic techniques with a detailed explanation of theraputic soaps, to cold process and melt and pour recipes, followed by comprehensive safety and legal information and finishing by turning it all into a business, with an extra bonus at the end.

Reverse Variegated Spider Plant

Reverse Variegated Spider Plant

Spider Plant
Botanical Name: Chlorophytum comosum

Spider plants are an extremely easy, beginner houseplant. They are very forgiving plants, tolerating neglect and thriving in nearly all conditions. Because of this, they are also very common.

The reverse variegated spider plants have leaves with white outer stripes, and a green stripe between. The variegated have an inner white stripe with green outer stripes. There is also the common all green variety.

Spider Plants are one of the plants on NASA’s Clean Air Study as an air-filtering plant.

Light Requirements:
Spider plants prefer a medium to high light area, filtered afternoon sunlight. Variegated varieties will require more sunlight than the regular all-green variety.

Watering Needs:
Spider plants have large roots which store water. They prefer to dry out a bit between waterings to prevent root rot.

Use rain water, distilled water, aquarium water or tap water if you let it sit for more than 24 hours before using. Spider plants do not like the chemicals in tap water. Brown tipping on leaves may be due to tap water.

That said, once or twice a year, I usually stick each of my plants in the bathtub and give them a shower. This gets the leaves clean, gives them a good soaking.. and just seems like it would feel good.

Spider plants are a viviparous plant, in which it produces seeds that germinate before it detaches from the mother plant. In spider plants they produce both seed and plantlets growing from stolons.

As a spider plant becomes more rootbound, the more babies – or offshoots, it will produce. The plant will require more water, as well. To reduce the stain the babies put on the mother plant as they each, in turn, grow and mature, clip the babies and put the small root system in water or soil. Each baby will quickly grow into a mature plant.

The mother plant may also be divided to gain new plants.

I found a reverse variegated spider plant at a local hardware store. It was a reverse variegated spiderplant. There were 4 mother plants in the pot. I couldn’t resist purchasing it specifically to repot.
Spider Plant

Here’s how I go about dividing and repotting. Pull the plant out of the original pot. This may require some gentle pulling. I use a butter knife to loosen the inside side of the plant and it usually comes out easily.

The plant had a lot of root system growing at the bottom. It had grown around the plastic drain in the bottom of the pot. I took a sharp knife and cut the bottom roots off. This may not be recommended by others, however, I have always cut the bottom portion off of a root bound plant, with no ill effects.

Now, the main plant is divided into sections – in this case, 4 separate sections.

I gently cleaned each of the plants root systems off, baring most of their roots.

I used a potting soil mixture with added sand for good drainage.

Finally, I repot into smaller pots, because spider plants do like a snug fitting pot.

I keep empty water jugs filled with tap water, which sits for at least 24 hours before use. Periodically, I add bat guano to it for fertilizer.


Copyright (c) 2007 Judi Cox.

Homemade Rice Crispy Marshmallow Treats

This childhood favorite treat is not only easy to make, but tastes so much better homemade.

You’ll need:
* 8 cups Rice Crispies
* 1 regular size bag of marshmallows
* 1/4 cup of butter
* No stick spray (or a touch of butter) in a 13 x 9 pan

Melt the 1/4 cup of butter in a pan over medium heat:

Once the butter has melted, add the bag of marshmallows and stir to coat in well in butter:

Cover 13 x 9 pan with foil or butcher paper and spray with non-stick spray (I just use a little butter).

Once marshmallows are completely melted, add the 8 cups of crispy rice. Stir completely to evenly coat.

Spread mixture in pan and, if you are patient enough, let cool completely before cutting.

Kart Racing


Bob started racing in Camden, Ohio at G & J Kartway. He was lucky enough to meet the Whaling’s from PKP/Yellowfin.. Mr. & Mrs. Whaling have always been tremendously kind to Bob as well as our whole family. Francis… he’s great. Bob felt really felt good working with them.

The past couple years Bob has had to take time off from much karting because of a new job. Lately, Bob has been racing online using a cockpit and playing PS3 Grand Turismo prologue.

Cas did a few Novice races. Em has expressed interest in racing. Tege is a little more timid, but maybe in time he’ll want too.. then again, if not, we’ll put him to work as “Pit Crew”. We suspect Ry will like it though. Me? Maybe they’ll eventually talk me in to a few practice laps.

Looking for more information about karting in the Ohio Valley? First, take a visit to PKP/Yellowfin and visit Francis and his parents, Mr. & Mrs. Whaling. You’ll be hard pressed to find a nicer more knowledgeable group of people to help you with your karting needs, whether you are a beginner or you’ve “been around the track”. Visit them and tell them Bob and Judi said hi!

NEXT, Take a look at Ohio Valley Karting Association (OVKA) (there politics are taxing (as in wearing) but you’ll find a good group of people to race with) which home base is Camden Ohio. Or if you are closer to the middle of Ohio, take a look at the Mid State Ohio Kart Club (MSOKC) located in Circleville Ohio. Or if indoor karting is more your style (or you just want an alternative for the winter months) there is always Ohio Indoor Kart Series (OIKS) there home base is the O’Neill Building at the Ohio Expo Center (Ohio State Fairgrounds). Northeast Ohio Karting Association operates a 825 foot paved oval for karts located near Mogadore, Ohio. In Thompson Ohio, there is , Championship Kart Racing Association, a club of karters who’s home track is the sprint asphalt road course at Thompson Kart Raceway. If you are looking for a karting forum for the Ohio Valley, look at Ohio Kart Racers Forum.

Chocolate Oatmeal No-bake Cookies

Here’s a variation on Chocolate No-bake cookies.

1/2 cup milk
2 cups white sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter
1/2 cup butter
3 cups rolled oats
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

– In a pot over medium heat, combine milk, sugar, butter and cocoa powder.
– Bring to a boil.
– Remove from heat.
– Stir in rolled oats and vanilla.
– Drop on wax paper and let cool.

Rothschild’s Honey Mustard Chicken

Rothschild’s Honey Mustard Chicken


*4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
*3 Tbsp milk
*3 Tbsp butter, melted
*1 cup Robert Rothschild Raspberry Honey Mustard Pretzel Dip
*1-2 tsp curry powder
*1 tsp salt
*pepper to taste

In medium bowl, combine milk, butter, Pretzel Dip, curry powder, salt & pepper. Mix until well blended. Roll chicken breasts in mixture. Put in greased baking dish. Bake at 350 for 25-30k minutes or until done. Serve with brown rice or couscous.

Note: This recipe was shared by Hott Commodity – I haven’t tried this recipe yet, but the Raspberry Honey Mustard Pretzel Dip is tasty-delish!

Hott Commodity – Hot Sauce Outlet

Mark, owner of Hott Commidity, has set up shop at Old Roberds Emporium ((Old Roberds Emporium, a “Mall without Wall” flea market, is located in West Carrollton, Ohio at 1100 E. Central Ave – ph. 937-424-4668)). Mark has over 280 items in stock, featuring more than 100 hot sauces! You’ll find every sauce here, from mild to blazin’ hot.

Lucky for us Emporium workers (and you shoppers), Mark brings in samples. Can we say Yummmm-O!?

Visit the Hott Commodity website for store selection as well as his sample schedule.