Natural Living


Well, I’ve learned that it’s easier to allow the girls to roam than it is trying to keep them in a specific area.  My dear Chloe is the escape artist and once she’s figured it out, everyone follows.  The good thing about living in the same place for nearly 20 years is that the garden, shrubs, and lawn all look nearly 20 years old.  And that is a good thing when you have free range chickens.  Now that I’ve given up on keeping them where I want them, they munch on a lot of different things and not just a specific thing.  Think of it as organic pruning and you can watch, drink your ice tea, and never break a sweat.  Add in the additional bonus of free fertilizer and well, I’m much more relaxed about the whole thing now.

Imagine my surprise when my husband noticed that we were being watched through the back door!  Seriously, they will just all sit outside the back door and stare at us through the glass.  I wonder if we are their TV???  It’s just too funny when you have that feeling that you are being watched and you ARE!  Sorry for the blurry picture but I had to try and capture Sam looking in at us.  So far no accidents on my back mat thankfully!

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They just meander whereever their hearts desire as you can see from the following photos.  I followed them as they explored the path around the back of the house.  This is a new area for them and they now have no fear of any part of the yard.

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And that is Phoebe’s butt sticking out of the grove!

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 And today when I went out to let the girls out, I found an EGG!!!  My first egg and I screamed with joy.  It was so darn cute and small that I just had to share it with all of you.  I’m not sure who had it but it had to be Rosy or Phoebe because it is a nice light brown egg.  Chloe should have a green or blue egg.

Before I post a picture of the egg, yesterday we found Sam a good home with a young family that lives on a farm.  They have MANY girls for Sam to take care of and lots of room with no close neighbors to be bothered by his crowing…. I mean singing at all hours of the day and early morning.  She fell in love with him as soon as she saw him.  He is a specimen of a Rooster for sure.  We know we did the right thing because of getting our first egg today.  Sam really wouldn’t allow the girls to have any peace.  He needs many women in his life!

And without further delay — THE EGG.

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And for comparison, here is a store bought white egg beside it.  Isn’t my little egg just too cute.  :)

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Thought you might enjoy pictures of my latest soaps.  These big bars are $5 if purchased individually or $4.50 if purchased in lots of 3 so why not pick 3 and save 50 cents a bar!  Are you out of state?  No problem, I can ship several bars in a priority flat rate box for only $4.95.  Are you out of the country?  E-mail me and I will let you know the shipping costs.

Country Kitchen – This is a great kitchen bar to help rid onion/garlic odors from hands.  Good body bar too if you can talk your spouse into washing you back with it!  (Enjoy the aroma of rich creamy vanilla with a touch of fresh ground cinnamon sticks.  Real Oatmeal added. 

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Shea Butter Supreme:   (available scented and natural)  I love this bar for my face and hair.  Yep, I rarely use the store bought detergents available for any part of me.

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And, my newest bar of Lavender/Mint!  Oh, the scents of lavender and mint in this bar is intoxicating.  The top of the bar is lavender and the bottom is mint.

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In researching soap for a long time and worrying about using the dreaded ‘lye’ I found a funny saying that says:

“No Lye, No Soap, No Lie”

And, it is true.  You cannot have soap without lye.  Apparently, even the melt and pour soaps have lye — it’s just that the lye part has already been done for you so you don’t have to worry with it.

Actually, if you follow proper safety precautions, making soap with lye is no more dangerous than frying chicken or cutting a bagel in two (long known as one of the top emergency room visits!).  I found it therapeutic in deciding what qualities I wanted in my soap.  Besides, it was also a fun and enjoyable process.  I have only made soap using the cold process (which doesn’t mean that it is made without heat — just without any additional heat like from a crockpot or oven).  There is a waiting time before the soap has hardened enough before actually using it with the cold process.  Although, from what I’ve learned so far, two weeks is the least amount to wait and four weeks is what most recommend.  I’ve decided to wait two weeks before testing out the first bar.  I’m going to also try out the crockpot (hot process) method too.  Apparently, you can use the soap as soon as it has hardened in the mold.  However, I have read that waiting a few weeks even makes hot process soaps better. 

I love the creaminess of the soap.  I hope you can see that the soap is nearly white and delicate looking.  I used coconut oil, olive oil, and shea butter and just a smidgen of a scent called neroli oil (from an orange blossom grown in Tunisia).  The smell is incredibly light and calming. It is also believed that neroli oil helps those with hormonal changes during menopause and PMS.  Now that’s a scent that I think all women should know about!

Prep work: (Note:  eye safety (wear goggles), long gloves, and I decided to also wear a mask to help avoid the fumes when the lye is mixed into the water).

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This is where I measured out all of the oils and butters.  Newspaper protected my surfaces and made cleanup easy.

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Mixing the oils and water/lye mixture:  (Note:  gloves and long sleeves worn — SAFETY first!)

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Unveiling the mold after 36 hours.  I used a quart sized half ‘n half milk cartoon.  The smell is wonderful. (NOTE:  I put my gloves back on to unmold and to test the ph level.  Safety again.)

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Time to test the PH level, which was great!  (should be anywhere from 7 to 10)  Mine is between 8 and 9 and will continue to improve during the drying period.

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Time to remove gloves and cut into bars.  The bars feel incredible in my hands even at this stage.

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Here they are drying on a rack so that bottom and tops dry evenly. 

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Now the hardest part — waiting to lather up!

Don’t forget to get in some creative time today!

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Sorry if you were hoping for the different kind of MOJO!  LOL  :)

I was so looking forward to 2010 and when it arrived a number of things happened that stressed out my family and sucked all of the joy and creativeness right out of me.  It’s tough to work in a creative field when your tired and feeling like there is never enough time to get everything done.  Add in the economy and allowing worry to creep in and well — my want to do was there but my desire to start was severely lacking.

Starting an online Bible study class helped immensely and led me to a more contented spirit.  Amazing how the Lord works in us when we allow it!  I’m convinced now that my peace and happiness I have right now are a direct result of my releasing of control which fast forward to today has changed the way I think and feel.  First, my back to the basics has shown me that there is joy in being able to do for yourself…whether that be in creating healthy meals from scratch to making your own soap to raising your own chickens.  My thinking is that the more we ’s.l.o.w’ down our pace, the happier we can be.  I’m sure Tracy, my soulmate of 30 years, has wondered if I’ve been partaking of a special clear spirit but he indulges me and seems to be enjoying the process as much as I. 

What I have learned is that slowing down the clock and taking time to enjoy each other has increased my creative MOJO juice and allowed me to get back on track with business and personal goals.  

I hope you enjoy following my quest to live a more natural life and provide for my family.  Perhaps something will spur you on to your own natural adventures which will lead to a healthier and happier you! 

Be creative, enjoy life, love your family, and praise God for another blessed day.  Today is only here once.