I recently finished my first pair of socks – and it only took me 2 years to do so. In my quest to learn to knit socks, I was questioned by someone as to why on earth I’d want to knit my own socks. My reply helped me to understand myself better – “I like the challenge. It was something I thought would be challenging – I mean, who knows how to knit socks?” The same can be said for making my own bathing suits – which I have been known to do. More to come on that later… Bottom line – I like to be challenged – in my work life and in my crafty life.
DISCLAIMER: This post is a documentation of my initial soap making experience with a friend. It is not to be used as a soap making tutorial or a “how to” document. Making soap involves using dangerous chemicals, so read up on the process and make sure you know what you are doing before you embark on a journey to make your own soap!
As I mentioned in a previous post, I am jobless as of Tuesday, May 31 – which is a good thing. I needed a break and I’m already enjoying myself. I’m taking the time to do things that I always wished I had time to do when I was working full time. One of those is to learn to make soap – from my fabulous friend, Rena.
Rena and I initially met at a sewing conference about 7 years ago and we quickly became friends. She became interested in soap making a few years ago and loved it so much that she made so much soap that she had to open her own online store. I hear soap making can become like an addiction and I must say my first experience making soap was quite fun.
The recipe we were making is Rena’s beer shampoo. I won’t share the super secret details of each ingredient and measurement as I don’t want to give away her super secret recipe. I can attest that I personally LOVE her beer shampoo and use it every day, so I was so glad to be able to learn how she makes it.
Beer - a necessary ingredient in beer shampoo
During our backpacking trip to Providence Canyon, we literally stumbled upon the tiny town of Lumpkin, GA when we were in need of fuel when we arrived at the park. The small town reminded me of Washington, LA – the small town where I spent about 5 years of my youth. Many of the homes in town were well maintained and we were curious to see what the rest of the town had to offer, so we made sure to do a bit of driving around before we returned home. I (of course) had my camera and took plenty of pictures.
The town's historic courthouse
It dawned on me today that I’m turning into an old person. I’m adopting behaviors that should be reserved for those much older than I am. I already sew, knit and crochet – how much more ganny-like can I become? I don’t know the answer to that last question, but here’s proof that I think things are getting worse:
Today is Father’s Day – a day that for the past 12 years has been difficult for me. My husband and I do not have children, so Father’s day hasn’t taken on new meaning for us as parents. It’s more of a day for us to honor our own fathers. My father passed away suddenly in 1998, so this day is difficult for me – and I’d imagine for my siblings as well. So, today instead of focusing on the sadness, let’s reflect back on the gifts and lessons that my father instilled in me. I’ll share some funny and unique things about him and who he was and why I feel honored to have him as a parent, even if our time was cut short.
My father - a childhood picture
My husband and I are signed up to go on an REI Adventures backpacking trip in Yosemite in August. It is clearly listed that it is not a beginning backpacking trip. I’ve been backpacking before, but it was probably over 15 years ago. We both own the proper equipment, but we both felt we needed to get a few trips under our belts before embarking on this trip in Yosemite. Thankfully, we both owned backpacks (although mine was from when I was a Girl Scout – about 20 years ago) and his was from 14+ years ago… I lucked out and found a nice, REI pack on their outlet site and snagged it for under $100.
My husband and I went on a backpacking trip this past (Memorial Day) weekend. I didn’t particularly sleep well. I really haven’t slept well in a tent since a camping trip I took on Memorial Day weekend 12 years ago. I suppose I should start the story from the beginning….
I was at an appointment today and the person I was meeting with was making small-talk. He said “So, how’s the weather out there? Humid?” I jokingly replied “Nah, not too bad – but I’m from South Louisiana. Compared to there, the humidity out here is nothing!” His immediate response “What town in South Louisiana” My reply “Lafayette”. He immediately responded with “I’m from New Orleans.” Then he quickly added “You know what really drives me crazy? When people mispronounce the candy that starts with a ‘p’!” I immediately knew EXACTLY what he was talking about. I added “Yeah – that one and pecan!”
I love my mom. I really do. She’s loving and caring and most importantly, she set a fantastic example for her three kids.
My mom and her dog, Scooter
I’ve had many a sleepless night lately and I as I lie awake, trying to fall back asleep it never fails me – I begin to worry. I worry about my to do list at work, the fact that I will need to buy a new car soon and what will I choose. I worry that I haven’t done everything on my to do list. The list goes on and on. For some reason, problems always seem larger and more difficult to solve during those sleepless nights.
After a recent sleepless night, I awoke the next morning with two distinct “lessons from my father” that were applicable to my current situation. They brought me some peace and perhaps sharing them with you will help to bring you peace during troublesome times in your life.