Shampoo and Conditioner

I have had this book, Pure Beauty, out from the library for quite a while.  I really liked it the few times I perused it, but I hadn’t made anything out of it.  (It has all kinds of neat lotions, shampoos, soaps, and the like.)  Today Mom told me it had to go back.  I started looking at it when I pulled it off the shelf, and I found a shampoo recipe that I had all the ingredients for!  I was quite excited.  I looked for a conditioner recipe, and found an easy recipe that I had all the ingredients for.  So I went out and started picking rosemary.

And then I made shampoo and conditioner.


Rosemary, fresh from the garden


The conditioner, which will be soaking for a week or so


The shampoo – the herbs steeping





Fun at the Farm

Yesterday I went to a friend’s farm to learn how to make soap.  Well, that was the intended purpose.  And we did make soap.  But we did plenty of other things.  🙂

I got there at about 8:45 a.m., just a little late for goat milking.  I love goats.  I have wanted goats for awhile.  I love milking, but I have never milked a cow.  Just a goat.  I also like goats because they are smaller.  And their milk tastes fine if you handle it properly.  So I got to milk a goat for a little bit.  Mrs. O. also had some kids, and they were very adorable.  Two were pretty young, so they are little and very soft.  Another kid is being bottle fed, so it follows Mrs. O. around like Mrs. O. is her mother.  The kid’s name is Lindy.  She is also very cute.  I stood with the goats and pet them as they all gathered around me.  The two youngest kids nibbled at my skirt.  I also went up into the hayloft.  What is so special about the hayloft?  I could see Mrs. O. and the goats down below me while I swept up the stray bits of hay.

After the milking, we went in to make soap.  First we had to find all Mrs. O.’s soap making supplies, as she had them in different places.  When we had the buckets of oil out, we ran into a minor dilemma.  One bucket of oil wasn’t labeled, and another was labeled as two different things.  We spent some time examining the oils and trying to determine what they were.  This is important, because when you make soap, you have to use a specific amount of lye for each different type of oil.  If we didn’t figure the oils out, the soap wouldn’t work.  Just as we decided which oil was which, I went back to get another bucket of the coconut oil to see what it looked like.  Thankfully I did, because it turned out that what we thought was palm kernel oil was actually coconut, and vice versa.

Making the soap was actually not hard at all.  Most of the time was spent getting the oils and lye to cool to the proper temperature.  After that it didn’t take long.  We decided to scent it peach gardenia , and color the soaps pink.  Mrs. O. cut the bars today, and said they are lovely.  I can’t wait to make more.

Once the soap was in the mold, we cleaned up, then ate lunch.  After lunch we walked down to The Church.

The Church is an old country church just down the road from their home.  It is so close, you can see it from their house.  There aren’t any services there anymore, except for a memorial service there once a year.  Mrs. O. said that there hasn’t been a regular service for about 50 years.

Around The Church is an old cemetery.  We spent some time walking around in the cemetery on the right side of The Church, where the older gravestones are.  The oldest stone that we saw was dated 1871.  There were a few that only had initials on them, and we were guessing that those could be even older.

Then we went inside.  The pews are still there, and there is a big table made out of some boards set atop some pews for when they have a potluck.  There are two old pianos up in front, and I was able to play one.  It was out of tune and the keys stuck a little, but it was still wonderful.

After we came back, we (Mrs. O., Mrs. O.’s daughter Holly, and I) went for a ride around their property.  We were looking for a calf that was born a few days ago, but we weren’t able to find it.  We got to see anther calf, though, and the goats that they have out grazing in the field, and the sheep.  I shot a few pictures.

After our ride, we made some mocha milkshakes and sat around and talked.  Soon it was time for dinner, and I went home after the evening milking.

It was so fun.  Thank you so much for having me out,  Mrs. O. and Holly!  I can’t wait until we do it again!


Mrs. O. …


…making the lye mixture


The oils


Stirring the melted oils – Those are all the soap pictures that I took.  I will post more when she gives me the soap


Going to The Church – the dogs came with us


The Church


The front door


The graveyard on the left




Lots of old gravestones




These only had initials on them






Inside The Church – the pianos are one behind the other


The pews


The piano I couldn’t play




Up above, where you would usually put your music


Mrs. O. put this Bible there.  She said that she thought it needed to be there, just in case.


The piano I played






The ceiling – just thought you would like to see it


Up front


Walking out of The Church


Macy!  Meiling loves this dog. 🙂


The door – they tie it shut so it won’t blow open


There is a board of directors that still takes care of the building.  It is kept in great shape.


A barn across the way


And some trees 🙂


You have to love those gravel roads




Beautiful fields








The cows


The sweet calf




They have one tan sheep, for color


The goats that they have out for grazing (these are not the milk goats) coming to meet us


While we were leaving, the sun was setting


Some More Cooking

Today I tried an Everyday Food recipe for Slow-Cooker Sausage Lasagna.  Basically, it was a meat/tomato mixture layered with cheese and pasta in a slow cooker, then set on low for a few hours.  It was pretty easy, it turned out well, and everybody liked it.  Next time I will probably throw in some spinach leaves some more canned tomatoes, but that would have to be my only adjustment.

I also made a single serving size of fresh-squeezed lemonade.  I do this when a sweet drink craving hits, and I really don’t want to (or can’t) make a large batch of lemonade.  I just squeeze a lemon, see how much juice I get, and add the rest of the ingredients accordingly.  Today’s batch looked something like this:

Scant 1/4 c. sugar (I used evaporated cane juice), to taste
1/2 c. warm water (for dissolving the sugar)
1/4 c. fresh-squeezed lemon juice (from one lemon)
1 c. cold water

Combine the first two ingredients, then stir until the sugar is dissolved.  Add the last two ingredients.  Enjoy on the front porch, sitting in the white rocking chairs.

While I was enjoying my lemonade on the porch, Meiling came up.  As the cows were across the street for us, I explained to her the use of the “earrings” they had.  She had spotted them, and wasn’t sure why all the cows had “earrings.”

Well, that about covers today.  I am so excited – on Thursday I am going to a friend’s home to make soap! Yay!!!!! I am so excited! (You can tell that by all the exclamation points, can’t you?)  I have been wanting to learn how to make soap for awhile.  Now I will know how and will hopefully be able to make plenty of fun soaps at home.  I can’t wait!  Oh, I am planning to get to her house a little early so I can help milk her goats.  I love milking goats.

I will possibly post some pictures of that day, but will definitely post photos of the soap.  (I will be very excited.)



I’m Back!

This week was pretty relaxing.  I know I didn’t post a whole lot, but that wasn’t exactly because I was busy.  I could have made the time.  I’m not sure why I didn’t.

Today Mom picked up a bunch of plants at the produce stand – they were $5 a flat.  She purchased some peppers – cayenne, pablanos, and bell – tomatoes, and a bunch of herbs.  Lavender, orange mint, some Greek basil, rosemary, Mexican tarragon, French tarragon, and thyme, to name a few.  I love thyme.  I just buried my nose into it and inhaled.  We were able to plant the peppers and the herbs in our raised beds.  I had a few more basil plants that I had started that needed to be planted, and between them and all the other herbs I planted, I feel “herb rich.”  It’s quite a delightful feeling.  A treasure chest full of flavor.

I also made some lemonade.  I love lemonade.  We had some at Pastor’s party, and it made me want to make some.  Well, it really made me want to drink some.  Which means I have to make some first.  And I did have quite a bit at the party.  But, as has already been stated, I love lemonade.

Yesterday I was able to remill some soap that we had had sitting around for awhile.  I grated the bars of soap up, put them in a pot with a few tablespoons of milk, and put that over low heat until it melted.  Once it was nice and sticky (and looking rather akin to mashed bananas), Meiling and I added some essential oils (grapefruit, lemon, and orange) and some oatmeal.  We had an old mini muffin tin, and I poured the soap gloop into that.  I put it in the freezer for a little bit, removed them from the tin, and then relocated it into the fridge for a little longer.  They should be ready to use now.

I saved some of the grated soap and combined it with some dried chamomile flower heads, oatmeal, and lavender and geranium essential oils.  I tied this little mixture up into a square of cloth with a piece of yarn.  It is my little face scrub.  I moisten it up and rub it all over my face.  It works quite well.


The supplies for my face scrubby – yarn, cloth, and a soap-based filling


Right before tying it up


All finished!


The kittens – aren’t they cute!  The one on top is my favorite.  They are wild, so we only got to hold one once.




The herbs


Aren’t they so pretty?