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Personal blatherings, living simply, gardening, cooking, canning, dehydrating, knitting, spinning and more.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Nature has a twisted sense of humor

Remember me going on about how lovely Monday was?

Tuesday morning started like most morning. Sally rubbing her head on my shoulder, her first attempts to wake me up before she resorts to laying across my chest and slapping her paws first on my chest, then my face. Seriously. It works.

She gets her head rubs, sometimes rubs on her tummy, then I sit up and reach over to the window by the bed and pull the curtain open.

Blink! Nope, still there. Blink! No change.

Get up and open the curtain on the other window. Yep, over 2" of snow and more coming down. My fault. I uncovered the strawberries and did a little futzing around the yard the day before. Ah well, yes?

I did get a little crock pot when we ventured out that snowy day. I have 3 jars on the "warm" setting, infusing some oils in herb blends. I had read about it online. How cool! You put a small washcloth on the bottom before adding the jars then filling the crock to the same height as the oil in the jars. I was dismayed that some said you had to worry about water/steam getting into the oils when you lifted the lid, if it did not dribble in while covered. Oh my. You use canning jars and put on the lids. Problem solved. They will be warmed for 3 days or 5. The temp is about 90°F to 100°F on the warm setting.
Perfect.

Most recipes have you put them in a sunny window for a few days to weeks. Sunny window? That is dicey this time of year. Simmering on the stove in my double-boiler (hard to find these days), keeps the stove and you "chained" to the area. What a cool idea that was. I also have some glycerites made up and set away to "perk" for the next month or two.

I got a herb order from Mountain Rose Herbs this week, along with another order from a place in Florida that carries soap supplies and other ingredients if you like making your own stuff. I have been making a lot of our personal care items with great success. I will post recipes with photos the next batches I make up, though everything takes a while to use up.

The deodorant is a recipe I found and altered to my sensitivities. I can shave and apply the cream right out of the shower, something I could not do with other recipes. most caused itching or a rash. Not fun. Best of all, this mixture really works. I skipped a day of showering. I still smelled "clean" the next day. (I know... TMI) The real test of that recipe will be this summer after a day in the garden. Changes include switching out the cornstarch for arrowroot and cutting down the baking soda. Himself is allergic to corn and it irritates the skin for those not so sensitive. The baking soda amounts normally put into homemade deodorants are excessive, also causing irritation. I rad that some were, strangely, grossed out to have to rub a micro-dabbie of cream in their armpits. Okay... whatever.

I am using a handmade shampoo bar and enjoying how my hair feels. We have hard water, yet my hair is not sticky like I read about at various sites. According to what I read, your hair will be a gooey sticky mess, knotted to all heck and other dire warnings. One was told they must get a (nasty) water softener to save their hair. Wrong!, at least for me. No problems with my hair at all. I am going to attempt to make my own shampoo bars, along with other various soaps I use. That is the reason for my recent orders. Yes, most of the soaps will include tallow. I am not adverse to protein or using up all the leftover bits I cut off our meats and render instead of throwing away. I do not get much, so had to buy so more. Tallow and "real" fats are told to make a good, durable soap. It is not like I will be selling the soap and would not have to with someones personal dogma.

You would not believe how hard it is to find real lye. I am also surprised at how many write about how they do not want it in their soap recipes because it is not "natural" or "green". I am not handling the continued manner of the younger public damaging a good word to mean some sort of current trend. Green is a color. Green is a feeling when either jealous or nauseous... like listening to some go on and on about a lifestyle they think they invented, yet many lived for many millennium because they had to or preferred to live in that manner. Sorry folks, "we" did not invent any of the current trends. It was called being poor, living simply, or being cheap. (grin) Don't they teach history any more?

I love making things and enjoying on being self-sufficient. It is satisfying, especially when things work out well. Disasters are not fun, but they are part of the learning process.

I about perfected two cracker recipes. I will take photos the next time I make some. I am still somewhat surprised, though I should not be, on how much better they taste. I do have shortening in my house, I substituted coconut oil for it. It works quite well. The graham crackers and animal crackers I made and sent to the kids were well received. The sending of the package was not. Himself liked them too and wants his own stash.

Well... I went on and on about nothing, though it is something to me. I am having fun learning and making stuff. I keep eyeballing the garden. I am ready for spring. I hope we have one.

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