Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sunday Soup & Soap

I'm only going to go into detail about the latter, but we did make a very nice Sudanese Piaster Soup as well. This post will be on the soap I just made. Easy peasy.

I've been on a kick where I decided to make my own toiletries - it started with deodorant, went to shampoo, and today it turned to soap. I read an article on the Mother Earth News website that gave a simple recipe for homemade soap, and so I decided to acquire the ingredients and see for myself just what all this business was about.

Simple Soap Recipe
2 cups glycerin soap base
2 tbsp shea butter
essential oils of your choosing
colors of your choosing (food coloring)

You can buy the soap base from most craft stores. I found it at Michael's - 2 lbs for $10, but if I had thought ahead I would've waited and used the 50% off coupon or 40% off coupon that I found in my Saturday newspaper. I bought soap forms there as well for around $3.29. I put my first order in a week ago to Swanson Health, which has great prices on essential oils, shea butter, coconut oil, and jojoba oil (all the pre-requisites for your own beauty products). The products came on Friday, and I decided to use them today.

To start off, you need either a microwave or a double boiler. I opted for the double boiler because you can easily mix your colors and essential oils and see how things are turning out as they combine. I started with 8 blocks (the 2 lb brick is divided into 24, 1"x1" blocks) and a tbsp of shea butter. This made a little extra that what was required to fill 1 of my large soap forms and 1 of the smaller ones. The second set I only used 4 blocks and a tbsp of shea butter. This time I didn't have enough to completely fill the forms. The first set I made were lavender peppermint (and then dyed purple), and the second set was orange, tea tree, peppermint (dyed orange). VoilĂ ! Here they are.

Eventually, I plan on making soap from scratch, but I think I need a mentor before I start combining dangerous chemicals that require all new cooking equipment because the chemicals can poison you. Just a thought. This one was a lot safer and beginner friendly. Don't be surprised if you get a small, special package from Pullman this year around our favorite winter holiday.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


I'm not sure when it all began, this scattering. I have come to find that very few of the people I love ended up where we expected to be. I had no idea where Pullman, WA was even 10 months ago. Now here I am for the next 4 years. And similar commitments or non-commitments are spread throughout the world.

I find that my communication with all friend and family is done online or on the phone and frequency of contact is also decreasing. It is disappointing to get out of contact with people. I struggle to find the balance between feeling upset and being willing to move on. Maybe moving on isn't quite the idea, but not getting stuck on the changes in locations and in people. So much is so very different.

Life keeps moving. Sometimes it creeps along steadily other times it flashes by you, sweeping you up and away. Other times it grounds you and plants you there, disabling movement for a time. Any way it goes, it is still going, going, going.

In the meantime I enjoy my Friday night greetings, having been away from home for 2.5 days in a town 70+ miles away makes it sweet to come back home. I am learning to appreciate the quiet of my home in the daytime, the yipping of Yoda and Zen above, the deep bellowy bark of Frankie in the yard. I am surrounded by dogs and dog noises. Mine is always nagging me to take her out in the fresh air. She does not walk; she drags. And when you jog she still drags. When she gets tired to pretends she needs to smell something and halts abruptly, yelping if you didn't figure out her next move before she made it.

The process is fulfilling. Sometimes getting stuck on the everything and nothings. But going it is, and I'm trying to keep up.