Thursday, December 31, 2009

One last little surprise!

On waking this morning, I looked out the window to see that 2009 wasn't quite finished with us yet. Apparently there was some hushed mention of snow, but I never heard it.

These are the scenes we see this morning from our front porch - the driveway:
The steps down to the front deck:
And the woods and pond. The road is that shallow diagonal line in the middle right of the picture:
No longer feeling the need to participate in any of the rowdy traditions of our youth, I will be happy to sit here in the warm and watch the delicate traceries of snow on the trees and the poor folks who still feel they must try to travel on this night as they struggle up the hill and around the corner...

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

After the Storm

The winds have been howling around here for a few days. They followed closely on the heels of an early snow and were joined with a nasty rain storm that seemed to freeze on the roads in the evenings.

As we were driving home from the bank/post office run on Monday, we saw this sight up ahead:
The pole had been hit and a guy wire has been stretched across to the right on a diagonal to hold it in place.

As we got closer, we saw this makeshift "bandage":
I'm not sure why this struck us as so funny that we felt the need to document it. At first, the guy wire was not visible and the ridiculousness of the flimsy plastic bandage trying to hold it all together was probably the reason. We thought it might belong in the Fail Blog.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Last day at Frog Hollow - Happy Solstice!

Our final official day at Frog Hollow, we think! Somebody said Dec. 21 was the last day and due to some language difficulties around here, we aren;t sure if we're still open or not!

The trees still look great, even if they are in "disguise."
The shop looks cozy with its blanket of snow....
And the road is mostly open and clear.
So, it looks like we can finish up the preparations for the celebrations to come.

If the guys will just get the decrations out of the attic, I can decorate the tree! A chicken in the oven for today... Some soup tomorrow.

Sorry - just a stream of conciousness today.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Molded Soaps

From time to time, when we have extra soap in the pan, or when there is just some there that we don't want to scrape out, we will pour it into a small mold.

Often these molds are used for what we call melt & pour soap because that soap is easily released from them.

Cold process (the soap we make) seems sometimes to become a PART of them and may never come out.

We wait and wait, and finally they pop out - sometimes in one piece, sometimes in a strange smeared parody of the original intent!

One night, not too long ago, we decided to make some molded soaps on purpose! We decided to make essential oil blends for them and the Green Man, above, was made with a nice blend including fir, vetiver and some other woodsy oils.

First, we used less water than usual so the soaps would firm up more quickly and we made sure to add plenty of clay, which would absorb some of the water.

When they still gave us a hard time, we mentioned it to a soapmaking friend who simply said, "Put them in the freezer." So we did - and when we took them out - lo and behold, we had lovely molded soaps.

Then we decided to play with some micas. They were especially beautiful on this sun soap (to the right.) The essential oils in this one are bright and shiny, including some citrus oils.

We touched them all with mica to bring out their details.

The Celtic cube is probably one of the molds we have had around the longest. It is always a nice pattern and the fragrance used in this one was something like patchouli and grapefruit.

Tina took some plain goat milk soap home last night to try rebatching for molding. Her little experiment turned out beautifully and I wouldn't be surprised if she doesn't do a blog entry about it soon.

She did post a picture today on her facebook page.