Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas, Happy Yule

  May your days be filled with Joy and Happiness, Newness and Wonder, Rejoicing and Frivolity, Peace and Calming this Holy-day season.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

December musings

  Here it is December 9th and we have a snow storm coming.  This is just normal upper midwest weather, so why bother to worry about it.
  Had a really good  craft show on the 5th . It was a first time  show for this venue  and they had other quality  vendors, which seemed to appeal to the public.  I 'm  happy with my results.  This was the last show of the season for me, and now I have to focus on reorganizing  my stock, weed some of it out, and plan for the future.  But, I also have to deal with income taxes.  I have been doing our income tax by myself, but, may have to alter that plan.  We had some unexpected income this year and some unexpected outgo, too and I will have to do a lot of research to file properly.
   I want to give a shout out to all of my fans from Facebook.  Thanks guys, you are all great.  More as I have time.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

A Blessed and safe Thanksgiving to everyone.  Remember all that you have to be thankful for and remember all of those who may not have anything to be thankful for.  Peace.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My website

I am soooo glad that I was directed to become a part of the Artfire community. This craft based website offers to its sellers so many business perks and business help that just blows my mind. After you pay your monthly "rent", they are really under no obligation to you, except to give you a venue to post information and pictures of what you have to sell.  Artfire goes way beyond that.  They are actually training us to be internet sellers, by giving us the opportunity to learn how to run an online business.  I know that I am astounded by what I have learned in 10 short months.  Thank you, Artfire.

  We are offering deals galore on Artfire.  Some shops are including free gifts, some are offering free shipping, some are offering percentages off, and some are offering BOGO.  You really need to visit sometime.  My shop has a preview to the right of these words.  You can click on the pictures and they will take you directly to Artfire. Hopefully, you will buy something while you are there.  It is also possible to purchase products without leaving Blogger.

Monday, November 16, 2009

computer problems

I am sorry that I haven't posted anything lately.  I have been trying to cope with Verizon's blasted DSL.  I am not a happy camper. I do not like it when others try to tell my computer what to do.  It is my computer, I pay for the DSL, and all of the other programs running on it.  Stay away from it.   Sheesh!!!

   That being said, I will try to calm down and talk soap.  I was set  up at a craft show this past Saturday.  It was not a great show. I almost doubled my rent for the day, but, that does not even come close to the cost of product, etc. Michigan's economy, and the US economy in general, is in trouble.  We need different leadership.  Not the present tax and spend yo-yos that are there now.

Monday, October 26, 2009


  There are times when my head swirls with all of the important steps one must follow when running a business.  There are so many more legalities that one must abide by. So many rules and regulations, which are meant to protect the consumer, and are a good thing.   But, they can be a headache for the business owner.
   My biggest  worry right now is finding lip gloss flavors that actually work.  Too many choices, many of which, are not good.  I need to order Bubble gum, a mild peppermint and licorice. One of my suppliers is undergoing building and storage issues, so I have held off ordering.  I also need to pay for a large shipment of glass bottles for storing my fragrances in.  Costly.
    Unscented soaps are selling well.  Many people suffer with multiple chemical sensitivities and are unable to tolerate fragrances of any kind.  I have two unscented versions on Artfire that are listed.  Aloe Vera Swirl and Unscented Jumble.  I will be making more, shortly.    More later.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

This is the view just off of the land that I hang laundry up to dry. This was taken in the spring, so nothing much is growing.
This is the Friends Good Will.

Sunday, beautiful Sunday

Went to church this morning and then to South Haven to work on beautiful Friends Good Will.  She is an 1812 replica vessel that sailed the great lakes.  We have a good time crewing on her, but, haven't had much of a chance this year.  Way too busy.  She is being de-rigged for the winter. Many bits and pieces to take apart and stow away.  We had beautiful sunshine, but, cool weather all in all, so not so much of a pain to do. The MM museum owns her and many volunteers make light work.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


  It's really great to get sales in a row.  LOL  I sold some soap on Friday at my Artfire site and today, I sold some to a friend's daughter who stopped by.  Yea!!!  Business is picking up.  I have a craft show a week from today and I still need to make lip gloss, bath fizzies and package my lotion.  Hope I get it all done.  Did I mention that I also have to label this stuff..LOL

Monday, October 12, 2009

A lesson in Soap making

Here is a little article I wrote up for a local newsletter.

 Let's explore all of the possibilities of making soap We know we need lye, water or other liquid, and fat of some kind.  But did you know that ANY naturally occurring oil from vegetable matter and ANY fat from animals, can end up as soap. One thing we don't use is any petroleum oil products.  They just don't saponify (turn into soap when combined with lye water). The most common oils used are olive oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, soy oil, coconut oil and rice bran oil. The other most important oil to use is castor oil, as it brings lovely creamy suds. Use at no more than 5 % of batch. The most common fats are lard, tallow and poultry fats. Lanolin from
sheep and many vegetable butters, such as shea , Brazil nut or mango are used regularly.
Additions to the soap can be fragrance oils, essential oils, botanicals, clays, and colorants.  The possibilities for creating are endless.  The ancients experimented with many different additions
during the Renaissance, using floral scents like rose, lavender, iris and marigold. Olive oils and animal fats were used most often.
  So, that being said, what do you want to make?  A great conditioning bar for your hands this winter, because we know that our hands are drier in the winter months? Or, a hard working
scrub bar for those dirty projects we all get into?  From a woman's point of view, what about a moisturizing beauty bar?     
  All right, we now have three possibilities for our soap making journey. But, knowing what you want to make is only the beginning. You must also consider the fats/oils that you want,
the kind of liquid to use, (water being the one used the most, but teas and milk are also used), what fragrance to use if any, and, the shape and size of your bar. There is an enormous choice of molds and other containers to choose from.  In my personal stash, I have cat face molds, dragon molds, Celtic scroll molds, guest soap molds, a log mold made from an old treadle sewing machine drawer, a flat wood mold, old freezer containers, yogurt cups, others.  Almost anything can be used, if, you can easily remove the soap from it after the proper cure time.
  One other important step to consider before beginning this journey, is whether or not you have the necessary solitary time needed to accomplish this task. Children under the age of 12
should never be around soap making.  Lye or Sodium Hydroxide is a very potent chemical that produces heat and breath-taking fumes when combined with an aqueous solution.  This is why
you must have latex gloves and protective eye-ware available. Combining the two must be accomplished under a strong exhaust hood or outside away from animals. And, remember: Never,
Never use aluminum to hold the mixture.  Having a safe and secure spot to allow it to set undisturbed until it cools down to the temperature necessary is also important.       
   For the beginner soap maker, (who is not averse to using animal fats), lard and beef tallow makes some of the whitest and hardest bars. A nice essential oil to use would be lavender or rose, as the animal fat scents will come through the soap making process and these help to mask the fragrance. There are so many available essential oils one can purchace, but a more cost effective alternative are fragrance oils, where you are then able to find certain florals that would be too expensive to get in pure essential oils, such as Lilac and Hyacinth.

    So, let's make soap.  Here are three easy recipes:

Lanolin Soap --very moisturizing

  6 oz wt Hydrogenated Soybean Oil     Essential oil or fragrance
  5 oz wt Olive Oil                                    Oil of choice 
                                                                          .7 oz/# of oils
  4 oz wt Coconut Oil
  1 oz wt Lanolin
  2 oz wt sodium hydroxide
  6 fl oz water
 Weigh all ingredients first. Stir sodium hydroxide into cool water. Stir until completely mixed. Set aside to cool.
 Combine all oils and heat gently to melt. When completely melted remove from heat.
      Since Lanolin is temperature sensitive, cool lye solution and oils to between 100°F and 110°F. Combine lye solution and oils. Stir until trace. Pour into shallow molds, cover lightly. When soap is firm, remove from mold, cut into bars and allow to cure in a warm area with good air circulation.
      Lightly Sandalwood is a good scent blend for this soap. Wrap in 4x6 Flat Bags and tie with jute. Makes about 20 to 22 oz of soap.

Salty Spa Bar # 2 --very good for cleaning your hands after working

40% Coconut  - 12.8 ounces            4.1 ounces of Lye
30% Castor     -   9.6 **                      9 ounces of liquid *see note
30% Crisco     -   9.6            approximately 14-16 ounces of med. Salt

 "Again half distilled water, half aloe for the liquid."  Scent of your choice.  Add your salts as desired. I like using a heavy hand with medium sea salt and a light hand with the coarse. You can add oats or not. Separately weigh lye and liquid. Add  lye to the water while under an exhaust hood and stir until liquid is clear. Set aside and allow to cool.  Weigh oils. Combine and heat to about 110 degrees F. When lye water reaches 110 degrees F, add to oils and stir to a trace. Add salts. Add scent.  Pour into molds. Let set for two days........   It's too simple, but it's a goodie! You have to let them cure. At least for two months.. They truly get better with age.                   **  This is one recipe where the amount of castor oil is increased due to the action of the salt.

Vinyard Raids III  -  creamy bar

Corn oil  - 16 ounces               6 ounces of Lye                      
Coconut oil - 12                    15 ounces distilled water                      
Rice bran oil  - 10.4              Essential oil or fragrance oil of choice
Castor oil      - 1.6                  7oz/# of oils                                  Weigh lye and water separately.  Add lye to water carefully under an exhaust hood, stirring constantly until liquid clears. Allow to cool to 55 to 65 degrees F.  Mix all oils together after weighing. Bring to 80-85 degrees F. When at correct temperatures, add lye water to oils and stir until mixture thickens to a trace.  Add scent and stir.  Pour into appropriate molds.  Allow to cure for at least 18 - 24 hours before removing from molds.  Please allow four weeks for curing time, before use. Enjoy.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Soap and its challenges

  I had planned to make a simple recipe, that I have made before.  My husband was out of town, I had the place to myself and I was raring to go.  ......Not so fast, Charlie.   I had already made a gallon of my favorite hand cream in the morning and I knew that I would have enough time to complete my intended soap making project. I laid out my supplies, the oils, my scale, my pots, the lye, the distilled water, my crock pot.....Oh, did I mention I was going to do HP soap?  That is where you actually cook the soap.  This process allows you to be able to use the soap sooner than the normal 4-6 week waiting and curing time.  This was going to be a man's soap with Norwegian Woods fragrance and mild green colorant.
  So, I dumped the oils into the crock pot, added the lye water and turned it on.   Easy-peasy.
 After about two hours, something looked awfully wrong.
 I had cottage cheese, albeit green cottage cheese, but, cottage cheese, none the less.  Not good.  I also noticed an awful lot of liquid. Hmmmmm!  This is the first time I had ever had this happen, so I was not prepared with an idea of what to do next.  I stirred it and it appeared to go back together to a pudding like trace. After another hour of cooking, I decided to pour.  And wouldn't you know, this was going into my antique sewing machine drawer lined with mylar and plastic.   (Another NO-NO).  Way too hot for plastic........It melted and poured right out of the bottom of the drawer.  Luckily, this was in my laundry room where I have two sinks. The drain got cleaned out as this was lye water.  Hunh? you say.  Now let me tell you the reason.
  This big dummy left out a major oil from the recipe.  Close to forty percent.  How I managed to do that, I'll never know.  The weird part of it is that I didn't figure this out until the next day.
  Luckily, I have reformulation skills from my position as QC chemist and R&D chemist.
 I dumped the semi hardened cottage cheese log back into the crock pot, crumbling and breaking it. I then weighed out the missing ingredient, added a slight more distilled water and calculated lye to the mix, and cranked up the old crock pot, again.
   After thoroughly stirring the mixture and cooking on medium for two more hours, I had what looked like normal crock pot soap. I used a different mold to pour into. It looked great.  By the next morning, I cut it.
  Would you believe the Norwegian Woods fragrance survived?  Of course, it has a pretty high flash point.
  The soap is hard, good color, great fragrance and no lye zap.   Saved by the seat of my pants.

Friday, October 2, 2009


Please look for my special coupon to the right.  It will give you 15% off of certain items throughout the month of October.  Made some pumpkins to be placed on Artfire. Keep looking for them.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A new blog

Hi, all.  In order to keep this blog more business  oriented, I have started another blog.  It is called "Cheap is Us". On that page, I will be devoting more info to how we have managed our affairs. It will include gardening tips, recycling tips and saving tips.

Sunday, September 27, 2009






            Handmade Christmas        


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Ok, it's time to get down to business

I have a lovely new soap with amber fragrance that I just can't seem to keep my nose away from.  I also completed a soap using Southern Soaper's Caramel Pecan Mousse.  Great color. I used rinsed out AAA lye bottles for the mold.  That gives the bottles one more use as I have to slice them to take the soap out.  My lowly contribution to the green movement.  I make ever so many more that this one is just an extra.  I haven't any pictures to show, yet, as I need to prepare a better setup for displaying my " beauties".
Because of my dairy allergies, I haven't prepared any goat's milk soap.  But, I did purchase some glycerin base that is SFIC Goat's milk. Perhaps that will satisfy those who  keep asking me for goat's milk. I will have to research what scents will be acceptable to this soap.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Fall is here

Well, almost anyway. It hardly seems real to think that we are already at the midpoint of the month. I have noticed, that, perceptually, time seems to go faster as you age. Durn it!!!!
I have so much to do in my business. I have so much to do to get ready for winter. Which one will go to the top of the list. It depends on "Emergency Rules". That which is the emergency, rules the list.
Now that my daughter and son-in-law have celebrated their one year anniversary, without killing each other, I think my thoughts will be calmer.

I am on Facebook. My business is on Facebook. I just have to figure out how to make the two of them link up, so that fans of each can be visible. Challenges abound. Did I mention that I am so busy???

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The fall craft show season is here.

Trying to gear up for the big show season. Just got a great supply of essential oils and fragrance oils in. Most of them are old standbys that sell well, but. one of them is a new essential oil that I am going to use to blend my own scent with. Ok, Ok. My English professor would not like that previous statement, but, I don't have time to change it. Deal with it, OK???
It seems that the weather has a lot to do with my "inclinations to formulate". I have always felt very comfortable in the closed in, shelter aspect of winter. My wisdom becomes the "hunkered down" kind. That is when my creative juices start flowing. Maybe, in the summer, there is so much to do, that I have no time for planning and formulating. I don't know. Maybe, it's just me....

My best seller is a Cranberry Orange Marmalade fragrance oil that I buy from Southern Soapers. Just got another 8 ounces delivered today. It's great in soap, but, haven't tried it in lotions or bath bombs, yet. What do you say? Should I??

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

E commerce

I am racing as fast as I am able to keep up with the e commerce race. There are sooooo many advantages to belonging to the Artfire community. Every day they come up with new "gifts" to us to enable our small businesses to survive. As one who had only one semester of any kind of computer schooling, and, that was over 30 years ago, it is a struggle for me. I am self taught by observations, by asking questions and by reading. Having a computer and high speed internet service is almost as bad as having a microwave. You know there was life before they came along, but, you sure wonder how the world survived without them. When we lose electrical power, it seems to "cripple" me. I have to stop and think, "What did I do before?"

Sometimes, it becomes overwhelming, but, I will persist.

Just uploaded some more items from my camera to be placed on Artfire. They are not soaps or lotions, but, are items from my antiques business, Old Pavilion Antiques. They are fabric pieces listed under my supplies category. Keep watching the photos at left and you will eventually see them. It has been too humid to do much soap making and my husband hasn't been driving for car dealerships, lately, so I haven't been making lotions or creams, either.

All in Good Time!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Harvest time

Made my first batch of Bread & Butter pickles today. Only put up 6 pints. Hopefully, the cukes will produce more. I have to make them using Splenda, as my husband is diabetic. This is the third year that I have made them this way. They taste just as good as those with sugar.

Waiting for some more free time to begin formulating. I need to make more things for the upcoming indoor craft season. Have been adding a few more things to Artfire. Now to just find a good spot to photograph my goodies.....sigh!!!! Too much stuff, too little house!

Need to get more creative with my soap designing. I don't want to copycat, but, by the same token, there are just so many ways that you can portray your product. Colors, scents, swirls; these are all possibilities, along with shapes and formulations. I have to decide whether there are enough soap buyers who don't mind having animal fats in their soaps. Personally, I like the hard bar that tallows and other animal fats give. But, in this day and age, many people are put off by this. I do offer vegan bars, but in order for them to be hard, you have to incorporate cocoa butter or stearic acid in them. Perhaps this is why most of my soaps are not selling on Artfire, because they have animal fats in them.

More musings at a later date.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The garden is starting to come in, the continual cleanup of the area is ongoing, I still need to concentrate on the upstairs room, family reunion time, coping with the federal government actions, and, of course, money are all on my mind at this point in my life. And, then you ask, why am I not creating? Hrmmmph! I need to push my daughter's motivation button one more time. She gets locked into the computer world and there she stays.............I have to agree. They can be very addictive. But, she needs to get the concept in her mind that there is a world out there and she needs to be a part of it.

Bought some silver gift bags today. They are used when I do special shows, like the one this fall that is a hospital auxiliary show. I like to make things a little more special for inside shows. It is very hard to do that when it is raining or gloomy outside. I seem to focus more on what that humidity level is doing to my products even though it is all under a pop-up. I guess my creative juices are beginning to flow as many ideas are popping into my mind. Now, to be able to write them down so I don't misplace them.

I have a great deal of Melt & Pour base to experiment with. Also, many unique rescued items for molds. I do like to do imbeds by using tiny ice cube trays. I have marshmallow, jelly beans, fruit slices, and two sizes of Christmas trees. If you notice my Blueberry Marshmallow Gell-o soap, I used the marshmallow mold in light blue colored opaque base and a blue colored clear base with some silver mica swirled into it. I do like using micas with M&P soap. Such a neat effect.

Keep watching my Artfire site. I will be loading some more soap soon.

Monday, August 3, 2009


Alrighty, then. Because this is supposed to be a blog about my business, I had better mention it once in a while.

The problem occurs when I have to do anything with it. Right now, I seem to be in a creative slump. Too many other issues seem to be coming at me, none of them relating to selling bath and beauty products. As with all endeavors, life seems to get in the way......That, in its self, is an eerie statement.

I haven't done any craft shows since the first of July. Fortunately, it was a good one. Because of other issues, I am not scheduled for another until almost the last of October. Maybe that is the reason that I seem to be in a business slump. I tend to be a "last minute" type of person. Not for everything, but, it does seem to rear its' ugly head every once in a while.

I have special plans to introduce a line of products, maybe three or four items, all with the same scent. I have yet to get started on this, as I am always intrigued with a new fragrance or new soap recipe.....Sheesh. Do I need help or what?

Thursday, July 23, 2009


On July 11, I posted about how great my garden was looking. Since then, I have been visited by one pesky rabbit. He nearly decimated my yellow wax beans, ate the top off of one of my pepper plants, ate several of my cucumber plants and even decided that he wanted to try butternut squash. GRRRRRRR
The garden now has a chicken wire fence around it. It makes it very difficult for me to cross over it to get inside, but as long as it keeps the rabbits out, I will make do. Of course, the cats aren't too happy as they were making one area of it their own unique potty........

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Chimney Swifts.

As we live in the northern Midwest area, it gets cold in the winter. For almost all of our married life, we have used a wood stove for heating. I will have to say that this is the first year we have ever had Chimney Swifts in our chimney. They are cute little bug eaters like Swallows and Martins, but with wispy feathers on the tip ends of their wings.
This family consists of mom and pop and four little ones. The racket that comes out of the throats of these little one is unreal. They sound like bad windup toys. We can hear them from our second story windows, so we know when they are being fed, as the others watch in agony while one eats.
They had a disaster this past week. The nest fell and broke apart with the little ones and one of the adults in it. Fortunately, we have a clean out hole at the base of the chimney, allowing us, with gloves on, to rescue them. They were all a little stunned. My DH found an old planter bucket that had holes in the bottom. He filled it with some grass clippings and I gingerly placed babys and mother back into it. Eventually, mom flew off.
Then came the hard part. After securing the top with bent clothes hangers at each of three spots, my DH preceded to climb to the top of the chimney and put it into it, securing it with the bent hangars.
We waited for a long time, hoping that the adults would resume feeding them, as they don't respond well to hand feeding. And then, of course it rained that night and we could hear the windup toys for a could part of the evening. It made us sad thinking that they weren't going to make it.
God's grace is wonderful. By the next morning, I happened to see one of the adults fly into the chimney. They are being fed. Hooray!!!
As a reward, we were given the oportunity to see and hear two Pileated Woodpeckers in our oak tree just outside our door. The first that we had the opportunity to see and hear so close. Thank you, Maker.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

My soaping business

I am looking into joining the Home Soap Makers Guild and buying its insurance. That will be an investment of over $5oo. I know that I need the insurance and the HSMG membership, but, am not sure if this investment is where I want to put my slowly, (very slowly) growing income. Then I need to become an LLC. There goes more money. Plus, I need to go to the county treasurer to get my dba for this business. I already have one for my antiques business. Decisions, decisions.
Did I mention that business is slow? I did quite well at a recent craft show, but, they are few and far between. My next scheduled show is October 24th. I don't do very many in the summer months, as I am far to busy with the rest of my life. Maybe this is where I am in error. I have a hard time dealing with excessive heat as it physically breaks me down. When I was younger, I developed heat stroke while working in the grape vinyards of our farm. "Suckering" the grape vines is hard work.
I have received two very expensive orders, recently, both in the $50-60 range. This also takes a toll on my budget, but, I know it is the price of doing business. A small profit would be nice, one of these days.

My sister's 55th

How do you plan for a party and surprise someone whose birthday is this Friday, the 17th of July? She has never had any kind of surprise party since she was a little kiddle. My older sister, who has so very many obligations pulling at her, has been very little help. My daughter, who has been ill for over a week, was supposed to be the organizing force in this venture. It is now in my hands and I have very little time to get this going. Too many situations are making it "un-cohesive". Just plod ahead, that's all I can do.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A Buzzard Ride

This is an original poem, by me, that I wrote over five years ago.

A Buzzard Ride

In the middle
Of a beautiful day,
My heart would soar
And would not lay.

I would mount upon
Those buzzard wings,
And see the world
And everything.

So, just to soar
Above the trees
Would bring me to
The point of free.

To ease the burdens
Of every day
I would soar and soar,
And would not lay.

These hazy, lazy days of summer spent watching the turkey buzzards soar above us are some of the most enjoyable times of my life.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Of course, it always happens this way. When I think my daughter is just goofing off, something is really wrong. She has food allergies. Not nearly as many as I do, but significant ones to worry about. Total dairy and eggs are her harbingers of illness. This past week, she indulged in too much cheese (any cheese sets me off), anyway, this put her body in total stress. When this happens, she is susceptible to any bacterial or viral invasion. Which is what happened to her. This is why I hadn't heard from her. She could barely talk when I called Thursday night. After five minutes, that was all she could take......Poor kiddo. Sorry for thinking bad about you.

On a lighter note, my garden is beginning to look great! Cucumbers and tomatoes are forming and the yellow wax beans have blossoms. Pretty soon, I will be having to "deal" with them. I love it.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

life in general

Helped my sister-in-law clean a big lake house, yesterday. She cleans two large houses, owned by millionaires, who come out to the lake once in a while for the summer and some other holidays. My whole house could totally fit in just the first floor of one of these three story monsters. I helped her by vacumming all three floors. The house has central vacume and a separate hose for each floor. This is an interesting idea, one that has to be installed at the time of the house construction. It is possible to retro-fit, but, not economical. It certainly is easier to vacume this way instead of "lugging" a heavy system around with you. Even though, I am a bit sore.

My DH is on the road to day. He drives for several car dealerships in the area. Any time they need to pick up or deliver vehicles, he is available. He is on call. He does have the option of refusing based on other needs of his, but, he does not refuse very often. Usually, while he is away, I get my formulating accomplished. Funny thing, though, I am just not in the mood right now. Too many other items to deal with. Although, I just got an order of peppermint and spearmint essential oils delivered. I plan on making some foot scrubs and other products. I need to advertise my products more, finallize my products list for publication, make some more hand and body lotions and creams, and re-establish my business plan. But first, I have to mow the yard, clean an out building, check the garden, and try to figure out if I still have a daughter that is talking to me.

Haven't heard from my daughter and son-in-law since last Friday night. This is unusual because one or the other usually calls every 3 or 4 days. They must be busy......RIGHT!!!!! Busy at playing computer games in their spare time.....Boy, could I go off on a rant about that.....But, I'll be nice. Today, anyway!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

our nation, my business

To continue my rant in the same mode I was in at the time is impossible. Too many things have happened in my life. My family is No. 1. In that vain, although I am still a bothered and loyal member of this America, and I am afraid for our constitution and what will happen to it, I realize that I am one individual who is, at the present time, very involved in securing a better financial future for me and mine, and I must calm down. But, I will answer the call of rebellion if need be!!!

Phone calls asking for more product & literature regarding it is always a good thing. I am on the verge of "ramping" up my business,, as well as my craft shows. Personal word of mouth in this small town is a very intriguing and compelling "thing". A friend of mine works at a local Speedway gas station situated near a major highway. She is a talker and what she had been doing is "talking up" my products. She has had a very serious skin condition and my products seem to work for her. And, she loves to tell the world. For which, I am extremely thankful. Ergo, I have to work harder to supply those new customers.......Such a way to retire! NOT!!!!!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Our nation

Another 4th of July celebration is over. One wonders how many people actually understand what it means. The special sacrifices made by our founding fathers, in all aspects of their lives, make the whining people who did not use common sense in managing their finances, pitiful. These men, and by extension, their families sacrificed their lives and their fortunes, not by the whims of financial institutions, but, by their questing for a nation where they were entirely free. Colonial rule by England was harsh and distant. Their was no one to actually take their grievances to. Communication with a distant government took up to one year.

Does this sound familiar? Our Federal government may only be in Washington, D.C., but their responses to our pleas seem to take months, years, decades?????!!!! Our state governments are no better. One wonders whether our votes are merely leaves cast into a stream, soon seen floating away or sinking. Our elected officials are not responsive to our needs, merely to their pocketbooks. "We have the best government money can buy!" is a personal quote from my husband.

It does not matter whether we vote Democrat or Republican. These two parties have become blended in a mishmash where it is difficult to tell them apart. And, conservatism is not something that the moneyed Republicans even have a clue about. They are so out of touch with the common ordinary American and can't understand why their plans don't seem to work or become acceptable to those of us in the "hinterland".

More of this rant to follow!

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Married life is always the roughest during the first year. Got a call from my daughter, who has been married less than a year complaining about some actions that her husband did. Granted, that which he did showed that he wasn't using his head, but, by the same token, she should have some understanding of what it is like to live with the guy by now!!

Ok! Sorry for the rant, but, it is frustratingly difficult to stay out of your children's business, especially when you think that you can settle an issue. I know that I would not have appreciated my mother or mother-in-law butting into our busines, so I will stay out.

The weather here is very cool for July, so far, especially when we had 90+ degrees last week. The garden is doing fine. I need to do some more weeding, but, have a craft show on Saturday and probably won't get to it until Sunday afternoon, if then!

We have four very nice out side cats. Three spayed females and one male. There is another young male that is hanging around, Too bad, boy! They're fixed. Thank heavens. We made the decision a long time ago that in order for me to have cats, then they must be spayed. They're more endearing when they don't have kittens to worry about. This young male is the cutest cat. He is fluffy, black with white feet, a white bib and white whiskers. Says to self "No, we don't need any more cats"....but, he's so cute.We have several out building that they shelter in during the winter, and they are fed twice daily. They are well taken care of. We used to have dogs, also, but, they have past on and we have not looked for any others. Every once in awhile, there will be a cute pit bull on tv and my heart yearns for another like the one I had over 10 years ago. I still miss her.

No more for tonight. Too many thoughts entering my mind that the world doesn't need to know about, S

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

weather in the upper midwest

Last week, we had temperatures in the upper ninties. This week, we are lucky to reach the lower seventies. I have heard this statement for much of my life. " If you don't like the weather here, wait a day or two." Come on!!!! Where in the world is the weather likely to be the same? No where that I know of. People just need to complain and let off steam... That being said, I rather enjoy a drop in temperature in the summer. It gives me the energy to do more outside and in my garden. It is dreadful when you know that you have to weed and can't bear more than 10 minutes in 90+ degree temps. So, that is what I have been doing. The garden in looking great. Still more weeding could be done, but, all in good time.
As I previewed the paragraph above, I realized that I used a great many colloquial sayings. This must be a genetic trait, as my mother and aunt have more sayings from their birth state than you could imagine. A statement for every kind of happening in life. I once thought that I would publish a little booklet of their sayings, but, realized that they our precious to our family and I am not sure that others would appreciate them as much as we do. I will research this with my multitude of cousins and see what they say about this. TATA

Monday, June 29, 2009

Renaissance Faires

Alright. I have finally sat up at a renaissance faire. This was the first time for this group and only the second year of the campground being in existance. Attendance was not massive, but, those that were there were very happy. It could have been the gate fee that made them the happiest. Most ren faires are pricey to get into. The customers at this event only had to pay $5.00 to park their cars. Such a deal!

I did not take all of my inventory of soaps and other goodies. I tried to concentrate on those scents and objects that were of interest to faire-goers. I have attended enough of my own and have noticed what are the biggest sellers. I almost sold out of my Peppery Cranberry. My Gift of the Magi soap was also a good seller. Incense and sachets also did quite well.

I have another craft show this weekend, but, won't be able to make more Peppery Cranberry, as it needs to "cure" for at least four weeks. This is because I make cold processed soaps. If I was to make a hot processed soap, using the crock pot, it would be cured and ready to use within the week. Alas, no time.

I need to rearrange my display items as this craft show has an entirely different clientele. Wish me luck.

Friday, June 26, 2009


Does anyone REALLY know what to take to a show? Every time I think I know my clientele, they fool me by either not being there or having a desire for something different than what I brought. I have heard this statement echoed by so many others that do craft shows so many times that it would seem to drive us crazy. Well let me tell you; as one who used to do antiques shows, it's the same way with them.

Even though the old adage says "The customer's always right.", it is extremely aggravating for us in this business to satisfy them. There is some thought out there that, perhaps we shouldn't bother to try to satisfy them. Just bring what you have and wait for the buyer. I have never liked that idea. As one who has always tried to satisfy people through out my life, this tends to ruffle the feathers. And, it doesn't always work and you end up selling hardly anything!

So what is a seller supposed to do? Probably, the best you can with what you have.

I would love some input on these thoughts.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Anniversary and movie review

Today, marks the 36th anniversary of our marriage. Was there ever a time I wasn't married? Pretty neat considering the currently high divorce rate in this country and the world. We were engaged for almost four years before getting married, as he wanted me to finish college. Glad I did. We have also lived on the same property for those years.
I have seen so much change in the neighborhood. Sometimes it is hostile change and sometimes not. I like the fact that we live at the end of a road. It limits the neighbor interaction, which, can be a good thing or not.

Went to see Angels & Demons last night. An exciting movie about the Catholic church and the Illuminati. Many people do not believe the Illuminati are still viable in the world, so would see this movie as just fantasy. I wonder! Good acting by Tom Hanks and Ewan MacGregor. Didn't recognize the female lead. It's nice to have a local theater that will show these big name movies for $1.50 on some nights.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Blah day

After the terrific storm that hit the upper mid-west, I am at home helping to clean up. We had power outages, high winds, tree damages and flooding. Sheesh! This is June, not May. Everything is extremely humid. Very difficult to keep my glycerin soaps dry. So far so good. I have a show next weekend and everything must be in tip top shape.

We were scheduled to go to an SCA event today, but, not with what we have to do today. I am sad. I am only able to go to two or three for the whole year, and to have one knocked off the calendar, is bad. Of course, there is always next year.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Shared via AddThis

An accomplishment......Yea!

With the fantastic help of Alicea Mae. I have put some of my products on my blog. I am so excited. I feel like I took a giant step today. Now to tweak it some more. Woohoo.

My oh my

My mind is spinning as I try to understand what I need to do on my blog. I will need lots of time to study this.

My husband is downstairs making a cream cheese crust apple-cranberry pie. Sounds delish. Too bad that I have a dairy allergy, am a celiac, and am sensitive to apples. Sigh!

We are getting ready for an SCA event this weekend. And, I will be vending at a renaissance faire next weekend. Something to be said about retirement.......

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Busy day, rainy day, blah day

Had to go to the big city today. Some times I like it, because, even though funds are tight, I still like to purchase things now and then. Most of the time, I actually hate shopping. And, I have never liked "window" shopping. Ugh, Ptui!!!! But, it's all over when we go to our "super store". Today, we spent over $90 and there are just two of us......What the.....? Anyhoo, none of it was frivolous. It will all be used, eventually.

Starting to enjoy the idea of having a web presence. I have been so reticent about showing my public face. But, you can't do that if you are trying to make money from your "little business". I am now on Facebook, and that's a challenge in and of itself, 'cause, I don't have a clue who have the people are who want to accept me as part of their "reality". It is reality, isn't it.......?????????????