Sunday, January 24, 2010

Ugly Soap

When I first started making soap, I did not have a soap cutter. You can use a knife and cutting board but as with anything you try to cut without measuring, there is the constant trimming to get it just right. Therefore, I had a small bucket of soap pieces that didn't make it to my sale table (at the annual homeshow). So I remember hearing something about using old pieces of soap...so I asked my friend Em (on FB) about it. She found an article and told me what to do. She said I could grate/cut the old soap, put it in a crock pot with a little water, then melt and pour in a mold. Sounded good.

So I started with the food processor on the soap but my new soap cutter is so cool, it was almost easier to use that. It only took a few minutes. I put it all in the crock pot with a little water and read the article for info. All would have been well, if I did not then leave the house for seven hours! My husband got home first and asked what was in the crock pot because the house stunk. I got home a few minutes later. I added some water, blended, and added some fragrance. I then put it in my mold. It was lookin' ugly and I was tempted to throw it out.

Today I took it out. It is the ugliest soap I have ever seen. Because it cooked too long, it was not creamy when I shoved it into the mold. I cut it up with my new soap cutter (which I love). I then cut some small bits to try. The soap may be UGLY but it is wonderful! It is so creamy and full of lather. The scent is less than I would have liked but less is always better with scent. Ok so next time I will make sure I am home for this process but I would do it again. Just one more example of passing judgment too quickly before we make sure we know what we are talking about. I am so happy to take those old pieces and put them to use!

Books to Read 2010

My friend Mychele posted a note on FB telling the books she wanted to read this year. She also encouraged me to do the same. This is a daunting task because I have so many books I want to read the compilation of the list will be time consuming BUT…it will be fun. I did buy a Bible that you read through in a year. I am very excited about the format and hope to accomplish that this year. I could not resist posting favorites below. Anything with an asterisk (*) was either read in my book club or is on the list to be read in book club. I use the library consistently and listen to audio books in the car constantly. I also often will choose to put a book on the kindle or ipod/blackberry (through audible.com) rather than own it in paper. It just depends. Of course I wish all my reader friends would post their favorites/to read list. I must stop now…although I could go on for hours but then I would not have time to read!

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane Katherine Howe
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
The girl with the dragon Tattoo Steig Larsson
Death by Darjeeling Laura Childs (I want to read all her books-includes tearoom recipes)
Mistletoe Man by Susan Wittig Albert (want to read all hers-herbal mysteries)
The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver
The Queen of the Big Time Adriana Trigiani
Drop City T.C. Boyle
The Owl Killers by Karen Maitland *
The House at Riverton by Kate Morton * (book club pick for Feb)
Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri (Pulitzer Prize)

Together Alone by Susan Wittig Albert –first few pages told me this would be great
Say You’re One of Them by Uwem Akpan (Oprah pick)
Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls (then make sure you read Glass Castle)*
Julie& Julia by Julie Powell
Three Little Words by Ashley Rhodes-Courter
The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner
Enslaved by Ducks by Bob Tarte (a book about a man taken over by his wife’s pets)
Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore
Half the Sky by Nicholas D. Kristof, Sheryl WuDunn promotes empowering women
A year in the World Frances Mayes
Cherries in Winter by Suzan Colon (recommended by a friend)
The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan (see her videos on YouTube)
Confessions of a Counterfeit Farm Girl by Susan McCorkindale
This I Believe II by Jay Allison, Dan Gediman
Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress by Susan Jane Gilman, Susan Denaker
Three Cups of Tea Greg Mortenson and David Oliver
Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder (just got audio from library)
Take Joy by Jane Yolen ( a favorite author-a book for writers)-just bought this
Sisters and Anthology edited by Jan Freeman (just bought this)
Journalution by Sandy Grason (I totally believe in journaling and believe it saved my life)
Take Ten for Writers by Bonnie Neubauer
(just bought the 4 books above this week at B&N as it was educator week)
The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry : Love, Laughter, and Tears at the World's Most Famous Cooking School by Kathleen Flinn

Books on My Kindle

Food Rules by Michael Pollan
Old Friend Far Away by Natalie Goldberg
Miracle and Other Christmas Stories Connie Willis
Kushiel’s Dart Jacqueline Carey (someday I will actually finish this book)
Black Dagger Brotherhood Series
A Dog Named Christmas

Books on my Blackberry
What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures by Malcolm Gladwell

Books on My IPod
Always Looking Up : The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist by Michael J. Fox
Writing down the Bones : Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg

Books I loved -
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver this book has changed my life in so many ways-audio is awesome too-I own the book and the audio.
Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver (the audio has her husband’s music)
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Very Valentine by AdrianiTrigiani (have read almost all of hers and bought her cookbook)
The Making of a Chef by Michael Ruhlman (picked it up-did not put it down till I was done)
The Virgin of Small Plains by Nancy Pickard
An Unthymely Death and Other Gardening Mysteries by Susan Wittig Albert(recipes, crafts, herbal lore)
Grace (Eventually) : Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott
Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
The Red Leather Diary : Reclaiming a Life Through the Pages of a Lost Journal by Lily Koppel
Without Reservations :the travels of an independent woman Alice Steinbach
Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg (thank you Robin Leigh) I own the book and I have the audio on my ipod and have listened to it too many times to count.
The Red Leather Diary by
The Tender Bar by Moehringer
On Strike for Christmas by Sheila Roberts, Sheila
Left to Tell Immaculee Ilibagiza
Susan Wittig Albert Books: herbs, mystery, and just plain fun
The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory (and any sequels/related books)
Harry Potter Series
Twilight Series
Flat Belly Diet
Books by Bill Bryson (A Walk in the Woods)
Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt You MUST read it-I did the audio-amazing stuff
Anything by Isabelle Allende
Anything by Jodi Picoult
Anything by Phillipa Gregory
Anything by SARK

Happy Reading!