Soap Making 101

Today I need to make soap. My skin is very sensitive to  soaps you find at the market. A friend of mine gave me a bar of lye soap many years and my face cleared up. I used to take special trips via scenic highway 7 toward Harrison in the Ozarks just to buy lye soap. One time while buying soap the store owner told me I should try the recipe in one of her Ozark cookbooks. I bought the book, all of her soap and headed home. While searching for supplies online I came across a recipe for soap made in a blender. I’ve been making soap for the past20 years.

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I start by measuring distilled water into a tempered glass container. You should only use glass or stainless steel when working with lye. Never ever put the water into lye. Always measure your water and add lye to the water while slowly stirring.

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I always mix in the kitchen sink. Use a long handle spoon. It’s a good idea to use protective gloves and mask. The lye water is very caustic at this point. Avoid any splashing, stir gently until lye has melted. The lye water will be extremely hot at this point. Leave it to cool down.

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Next it’s time to measure oils. I use Olive oil, coconut oil and vegetable shortening. I also use nothing but essential oils and finely ground herbs. This time I’ll be making Patchouli with dried Calendula petals finely ground. I use a coffee grinder to grind the dried herbs.

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I use coconut oil for the wonderful lather it gives. This time I’ll be using vegetable shortening that contains soybean oil and Palm mental oil. Always make sure which oils are in your shortening so you get the exact amount of lye to fat ratio.  I usually figure the oils in shortening are 1/2 of each oil if two oils are in the shortening. The shortening and coconut oil will need melting you can use pan and stove top or microwave. Which ever you choose is just fine. Please watch carefully heat slowly. We don’t want a grease fire. This website http://www.thesage.com has a calculator that’s easy to use.

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When the oils are melted add the rest of melted oil to the blender. I also add 1 1/2 teaspoons essential oil and 1 teaspoon dried herb. Next you want to have your molds ready.

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This recipe usually make nine 3 oz. bars of soap. Now it’s time to pour the lye water into the blender. Cover with lid and blend on high until it’s the consistency of runny pudding.

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Pour into molds. Be careful not to splash the mixture as its still very caustic at this point.

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At this point I allow to harden a bit then cover with towel and allow to set for 24 hours. After that I put in freezer and allow to freeze for another 24 hours. At this point you can pop the soap out of the molds. Make sure they are popped onto glass, stainless steal or wood. Cover with towel and turn over every few days. They will be completely cured by 2 weeks. When you can touch your tongue to a bar and there is no tingle or burning sensation, your soap is ready.

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This is the recipe I use. You can find this on the website above. I use 9 oz. water, 3.6 oz. lye, 6 oz. Coconut oil, 6 oz. Olive oil, 12 oz. oil in Crisco or other vegetable shortening.

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TINY HOUSE

Some people would feel cramped in a small house but after 30 years living in a large home in Hot Springs, I was more than ready to move to the country and build a home small enough that didn’t take an entire day to do my house cleaning. I wanted acreage and a garden spot. My tiny house was built in 2007. It originally was 420 square feet with barn style roof on concrete block foundation. In 2013 we added a 14×15 bedroom which gave us an additional 210 square feet. Last year Darrell built a beautiful deck attached to our bedroom. I love our TINY HOUSE. The upkeep is minimal which gives me more time for things I enjoy doing.  Our Newest Addition

In the meantime we’re giving our house a facelift with a new coat of paint. Photo shoot after we’ve finished.

Well we’re not quite finished with painting but I couldn’t wait to show you how we are coming along. First with a formal introduction without going overboard with the entire process which I sometimes am prone to do.

Road to Dunn House

This photo was taken last fall. We did have pretty colors in our neck of the woods.

Dunn HouseSay hello to Dunn House our tiny home. This was the color of our house. We didn’t get too far from our original colors, but we did change the trim. After we had gutters installed we decided the color of the gutters really complimented the color of the house so we chose to go with that color for the trim.

IMG_0642This is the back of the house after Darrell finished building the deck.

Below is after first coat of new paint.

IMG_1635Going to bed but more to come……

Tomorrow Tomorrow, I Love ya Tomorrow

Today has certainly been a much better day. My grand children 9 and 10 came to spend the night with hubby and me. We ate at DeLucas pizzeria in Hot Springs then took them shopping. We have all had a great time  I love my Grands! Sweet Dreams to All.
Awesome Phenomena
Awesome Phenomena

ONE OF THOSE DAYS

I know we have all had one of those days when you open your eyes in the morning we should have stayed in bed all day. We should have read a book, watched our favorite movie as many times as we like or maybe even had a picnic in bed. This was one of those days for me.

I think I have mentioned I have chickens. I love my chickens, they give me fresh “home grown” eggs as I call them. I have none the less a bird dog and GSD. When I let the chicks out to free range I can only let one dog at a time out. The bird dog is a big chicken without her buddy (the GSD). Well the chicks were out last evening and some how the dogs were out together. You can only guess what happened. The hen, my only layer that is, didn’t go to roost last evening so I got up bright and EARLY this morning to see if she made it back to the house. NO SUCH LUCK!

I then without thinking to prepare myself for the search, took off into the woods across the creek with the dogs. I’m in my house coat and slippers looking for the chicken and yes Gracie, the bird dog, led me right to the feathers. By this point I am so upset. I have this long house coat on, sweat dripping down my face and seed ticks crawling up my legs like they are running a marathon to find the tastiest spot and my day went downhill from then on. I knew I should have stayed in bed.

This photo is how I felt as the day wore on.

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I’m now in bed saying a prayer for a better day tomorrow.

From Egg to Chick

My last year bantam started laying early this year so I decided to take advantage and try my hand at hatching some babies without a hen since my 8 year old brooding hen passed during the heat of the summer last year. I collected eggs for 2 weeks and started with 14 eggs in the incubator. And by the way when you turn and tend eggs three times a day for twenty-one days you get a little attached to what ever is growing inside the eggs. Two power outages and twenty-one days later this is what I found when getting ready to turn the eggs…….

From Egg to Chick
From Egg to Chick
You can hear the little chick peeping while still in the egg.
You can hear the little chick peeping while still in the egg.
This is a different kind of Zip Line. Once the baby chick has pecked around the egg, he pushes the egg apart with his feet.
This is a different kind of Zip Line. Once the baby chick has pecked around the egg, he pushes the egg apart with his feet.
HELLO OUT THERE!
HELLO OUT THERE!
He! What's going on in there?
Hey! What’s going on in there?
Somebody get the hair dryer!!!!
Somebody get the hair dryer!!!!

Never Bored

Okay, I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything and I’m sorry for being so scattered. There’s no excuse for getting so sidetracked. I do have more photos of the room we added and probably thousands of photos of plants, landscapes, clouds and country living photos I could share but my husband is sleeping beside me and my best photos are on the computer and I’m on my trusty Kindle Fire HD.

Today I canned 18 pints of green beans from my heirloom, organic garden. I do stay quite busy and some days I look up and wonder where the day has gone. I have peppers and cucumbers to pickle. I was in California for 6 days and my squash simply disappeared. I have okra, tomatoes and bell peppers coming on. My potatoes are doing well. I made potato salad from new potatoes yesterday, so see I do stay busy.

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This is Dovey with her chicks from last year.

I hatched out 9 baby bantam chicks from the incubator four weeks ago and they are growing fast. I don’t raise chickens for meat. I could never harm one of those little birds. I raise them for eggs and fertilizer for my garden.