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New Year, New Things! It's no secret that 2023 we not a great year for me. So,I'm starting this year with a 3 day liquid diet. Can&#...

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

New Month, New Year and New Decade!

Happy New Year! Time to wash away the old and bring in the new! We have a lot to hold on to that makes us happy, but at times we get overloaded with things we really either don't need or are not that great for us.
New years is a great time to sage the home, and in this ritual of cleansing let go of those things that aren't for your greater good. As you wander through you home take a look at those items that you don't use anymore.
Clothing you don't wear, books you don't read. Look at projects started and never finished, are you going to get it done, or should you just empty the guilt and get rid of the materials. Look at people that don't return your care. Some we hold on to because it's the right thing to do, some we hold on to because it's a habit.
Time to re-evaluate your priorities. We only get so much time on this planet, and as we get older we respect that concept more and more.
Another thing to look at is stagnation. Many people have great gifts and feel they have reached their "top". There is always something more to learn, new ways of doing things, or old ways that need to be brought back. We hold in our hands a device that can call up all the knowledge known to man. It only takes a little searching to find new and exciting ways to improve your skills. Open your heart, your eyes and your mind! 2020 has great things in store for us all. All we have to do is look!

Saturday, December 7, 2019

The 60's!

Those of us in our 60's were children of the 60's. What a time it was, growing up in all that change. Radical ideas of how to live, how to look, how to be. Gone were the "rules". I had to wear dresses in 8th grade, and by the time I graduated high school it was cut offs and halter tops.
Now those radical kids of the 60's are in their 60's. This isn't our mother's 60's. Things have changed here too. I have many friends that went through that terror of turning 60. I did too! There is something about that number that puts a bit of fear into your soul. It was like turning 30 and being a true life adult. Now we turn 60 and we think we are old. As I grow and learn I realized neither of those concepts are right. I know many people over thirty that aren't adults, and I know many people sixty plus that are definitely not old. Things do change, and if you really look, it's an amazing time of life. We have the right, no the duty to slow down and appreciate the world around us. Look at the splendor of a sunset, appreciate the sound of a gurgling stream, the beauty of a buck in the shadow of the woods. Kids are grown, life gets easier. Time for that ever elusive "me" time. The world is an amazing place and we are in a place where our knowledge and wisdom make life beautiful.
Seems to me the 40's were my favorite decade. Body strong, mind sharp, powerful in all you do. Work, home, play, you can do it all with finesse. The 50's are a time of change for many. Women are in full blown menopause and the ability to put up with people's shit is gone. No more accepting the toxic people in our lives. No more just letting it go. The 50's are a time of cleaning up that which insults your soul. But the 60's, see now it's time to relax a bit. As the circle gets smaller, you realize what is truly important in life. No longer is there the worry of fitting in. Either you do, or you don't.
Being okay in your own company is a joy.
Thinking back at good and bad as your life unfolds reminds you of the lessons learned and love given and received. Sure the body isn't what it was. But every spot that twinges reminds us of how it came to be. Some from too much fun, some from mistakes, but all a reminder how we got this far. Our vision fades a bit, but see I find good in that too. How awesome to get up and look in the mirror and think, " yeah, looking pretty dang good for my age" ! lol Yes getting up is a bit harder, and strolling the countryside takes longer, but I think it should. We have time to ponder. Time to relive those times that bring us joy. We also get to choose our purpose. One thing that keeps a person going is having a purpose in life, and it is most important for happiness. Many have time to travel, to take a few things off the bucket list. We have time to tap into the spiritual side of life. To feel that divine spark within us.
To let the quiet show us the way. There is great power in knowing your connection to all things. A quiet power, but it brings a serenity that you didn't even know you were missing. That feeling of completion. Gotta love it. Every morning I thank God for the day, and every night I remind myself I am blessed to be here.

Monday, September 16, 2019


I have been really busy and it has taken me a while to get my products updated on my store. If you have time take a moment and see if there is anything that interests you! I am in the process of making gift packs for Christmas presents. I started a new line of country soaps. I had a lot of fun naming them and doing the packaging. What a great business to be in. My house smells amazing and I get to be a wee bit sarcastic when the mood strikes me! Have a wonderful day and enjoy this changing of seasons!!

Wednesday, August 7, 2019


Balance They were safe for now. The large room had many arched windows letting in the light from the setting sun. The room was empty of all furnishings and the glare from the windows let the light dance on the dust motes in the air. The silence was complete as neither being spoke. Words were not necessary. Both beings had been brought to this plane without their knowledge. They knew not how to survive in this world. They were to observe, but not interfere. The pair stood in the middle of the room. The male was tall, over 7 feet; his wavy hair was pulled back in a leather thong, a small pony tail at the nape of his neck. From the back every muscle was defined, not large and bulky but the long lean muscle that shows strength and power. He appeared like a “Boris” painting from the seventies. He was unadorned as his kind had no need of cover, for protection or personal security. He felt no fear of death or pain. He was evil incarnate. His eyes were heavily hooded, a striking brow ridge above, and prominent cheek bones on either side of a nose that looked like a child threw a blob of clay at a wall hard enough to make it stick. A strong jaw bone gave a feeling of control and power. But the smile, the lips were full, teeth even and white. A smile to beguile the foolish into thinking just for a moment they were not doomed to death and mercy was at hand. His hands were large and powerful, long large knuckled fingers with yellow ridged pointed nails that resembled claws. His feet here quite long and at a run he stood on his toes, using that extra leverage for speed for extreme jumping height. She was a child of the earth, unable to harm another, a bringer of joy and hope. A slender woman, of above average height with long honey blond hair, the sun shine showing dancing light amongst her curls that fell to below her waist. Her unlined brow, was relaxed, her eyes liquid pools of green and held the innocence of a gentler time. Her smile was tentative, and although her features were fine, she was plain to view, but the beauty was shining through from the light within. Her fine bone structure showed no physical strength, but a weak continence, dressed in a simple blouse and flowing long skirt, her feet bare. She was a good being, not prone to ugliness or the unkindness of the age. Her expression showed confusion but no fear. For every evil he committed she had offered another solace from the pain. For every lie he told she showed a pleasing truth. For every pain he expressed to another, she shared a joy. They were exact opposites, for every weakness she had he was pure strength, and for every short coming he possessed she was blessed. They stood facing each other. He knew he needed her to survive in this world. His being would implode in this plane; the evil would destroy this body. He needed to continue to exist and he needed her to do this. She had the same problem. She was so innocent that this world would destroy her and would not be able to protect herself. She needed his strength to survive. They stepped to each other; he gently placed his palm to the back of her head and drew her to him. He placed her head to his chest and drew his other arm around her in a protective embrace. She placed her hand on his chest and held a tentative arm around his waist. He thought he was protecting her, and she was afraid he would leave her. He was here to give here strength and she there to accept his power. But truly his was a need for her love to temper his evil and she to share of herself freely to keep him alive. They had found what was necessary to maintain life; they surrender fully to each other and found the perfect balance.


I have had a site on the Ning platform for a few years, and it is time to let it go. I had so much fun building it up, learning about new people, and new ways of looking at life. So many folks had shared some pretty dang interesting knowledge, it is sad to see it all end. I know it is partly my lack of attention that has cause the decline, but sometimes life does take a front seat to those things we want to learn. The site is at www.empathchat.ning.com if you want to have a look and grab some awesome information before it is gone. New changes, new directions, always forward!!! T.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Thoughts on Independence day

Today is July 4th, Independence day. This means so many things to so many people. I think of the freedoms we have to choose our faith, our fate, our jobs, our lives, our knowledge. We get to choose. Thinking along these lines I think of the choices I made. Seems today is a day of reflection. As usual these never turn our terribly well. We focus on the negative. We just can’t seem to help it. I think I have figure out why. I look back at “mistakes” that I now call learning experiences. I have passed these experiences down when applicable. Not because I am kind or loving, but because there has to be some kind of meaning behind the lesson. Some were easy, some were not so easy. The harder they were the more likely I would share. After all, why would we be put through such things if there wasn’t a reason, any reason! I look back at the differences that I now see in myself and throughout my life. Some people call them flaws, but we are all flawed and that word just seems a bit brutal. So to me they are differences. I was thinking today I didn’t keep track of my old friends, nor do they contact me. I have new friends, and they are wonderful people, but I lost touch with those I grew up with. I wonder how much of that is me, time and/or convenience. I wonder sometimes if I am too much, or not enough. Either way it is not my call. But I still wonder. I thought about all the things I have learned the last 10 years. Off the wall things, interesting things, all things that can help myself and others. Reiki, aroma therapy, tarot, palm reading, I Ching, Critical Incidence Stress Management, Chaplaincy, things all over the board. Seems I want to help people. But do I want to because I am loving and kind? No. I want to because I feel it is my duty. I feel the human race is off the rails. I feel the varying moral code, the inability to keep things simple, the need we have to expand, explain, justify has lead us down a slippery slope. We are confused, we don’t know the rules anymore and this brings on insecurity. It has made us ugly towards each other. We can be happy in our world and have one person tell us we are missing out, or confused, or doing it wrong and it can bring doubt. We want to fit in after all. So we let others, movie stars, “professionals” tell us what we need to be complete. Because we are all “different” no one person knows what it takes to make us whole. But we listen to them anyway and get off our own track. Do you have any idea how simple it is to turn someone’s day around? One complement, one sentence of kind words. That is it! Do we do it for them? Not really. Do we do it for us? No. We do it for the collective, the humans on this planet that are fighting for understanding, to be seen. Yep, something as simple as just to be noticed. I am not young anymore. I have noticed the older I get, the more invisible I become. I forget I am older. I act like I always have, and have become that creepy old lady that doesn’t know her place. I say inappropriate things, tell off color jokes. No one wants to hear the wisdom of the older people. After all, things are different now, it’s all changed, how could my knowledge be of any value? But people haven’t changed. We are still driven the same way, we still need the same things, and we still act out when depleted. They say the world has changed. I am here to tell you it hasn’t. There has always been in-crowds, cool kids, smart kids, lucky kids, struggling kids. These all turn into adults that either learn how to accept and overcome or they don’t. The reason we focus on the negative is because that is what we need to overcome. We don’t need to put energy into the positive, it is fine just how it is. But the negative, that takes some work, some energy, some understanding. But when you learn the lesson, you feel yourself becoming more complete and most times vow never to make that mistake again. So we remember, we mull it over, we let it define our growth. But never should a “lesson” define who we are. We are a sum total of all our lessons, the good and the bad. So what does this rambling mess have to do with Independence Day? Plenty. We have the right to make our choices, this is call Freedom. And we should humbly thank those that fought and died for us to be able to make our mistakes, enjoy our differences and revel in our joys. We take these things for granted, and today is a great reminder of how fortunate we truly are.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Common Enemy

Rev. Wonder – common enemy Have you ever noticed that there is nothing that brings people closer together than a common enemy? Its like we all have that one thing in common, we all hate _____________… fill in the blank. When I was young it was the communists. They were the bad guys, they were the ones trying to take peoples freedom away, and they totally dissed our way of life. Now bring this to a faith stand point. We all have our faith base. No two are the same. You may argue that statement at will, but no two are the same. It is impossible as we all perceive things differently. You may all read the same book and get totally different things out of it depending on what you have to perceive it with. Okay so we have this faith war going on. If you don’t believe in Christ you are not going to heaven. If you don’t believe in Allah, you should be killed. If you don’t believe in Krishna you don’t get to come back and make things right. But think about this. What if all this finger pointing and chest pounding is just to divert you from what is really happening. Many people don’t believe in spiritual warfare. The tale of the two wolves is the most accurate way I have found to explain it. The Story of Two Wolves An old Cherokee chief was teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he told the young boy, “a terrible fight between two wolves. One is evil, full of anger, sorrow, regret, greed, self-pity and false pride. The other is good, full of joy, peace, love, humility, kindness and faith.” “This same fight is going on inside of you, grandson…and inside of every other person on this earth.” The grandson ponders this for a moment and then asks, “Grandfather, which wolf will win?” The old man smiled and simply said, “The one you feed.” So with this in mind, fighting over what faith to believe in isn’t feeding the right wolf. It is growing that distance between human beings, not allowing for the closeness we all strive for. We will all never be the same, it isn’t in the plan. I have issue with things that distance some people, things like believe systems, politics and things of that nature. People should have the right to feel their own hearts. To examine their souls and KNOW what is right for them and what is wrong for them. No one has the right to take that away from you. It is not the God of light that calls for these conflicts. He or She as you may see it, knows your heart! God knows no matter what you call the Divine; you are in good company with all the others that call to the Devine. It is the evil, (I really don’t like that word, but I don’t know a better one), that separates us, through ego and self-righteousness. It’s like the great slight of hand; argue over what to call the Divine so the darkness in your heart can grow. I see it often, too often. It is really close to me. There was this place where I thought everyone was welcome, every faith, every belief. But someone somehow decided that all were welcome except one. Do not call on that one for your strength, not in front of me. It didn’t’ matter if that strength helped them or not. It didn’t matter if the purity of the faith base was true to that person or not. Then I saw good people rally, we must fight they all cried, they are wrong, we are right. Love and light shall win the day! Anger, hatred, judgment from those that I never thought would fall. You see, you have already lost. It got you. I walked away, I couldn’t watch it anymore. Am I any better? Oh hell no. I like to fight, I love to argue and debate. But in this war I couldn’t choose a side. Both are wrong. Stack the deck, play the game, but never did anyone say, I have faith things will work out. I have faith that people will see the light and allow for all to be welcome once again. Faith was taken out of the equation, just as God has been taken out of our society. We pray, we meditate, we ask for guidance. Never have I had that guidance tell me to judge people unfairly just so my thinking was right. In a time when you are given two options and neither are right, then you must seek a third, fourth or fifth option until you find the right one. Just because someone says there are only two ways to look at things doesn’t mean that is true. I have issue with things that separate us. I am not a great people person either. But I believe we are all created equal in the heart of the Divine. We talk about getting closer to the Divine, about ascension, but I believe that no one gets closer until we all do. We are all connected. Even to those we disagree with, those that want to harm others, those that hate, those that want to help, those that love, those that do agree. We are all connected. So remember that when you are climbing your mountain of awareness, reach behind you and help those following, those working so hard to do the right things, to learn, to grow. And if they pass you up, be thankful, cheer them on, for it will be their hand that helps lift you to the next stage. We are only as strong as our weakest among us. And when all are ready, we will reach the top together.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Saw a beautiful giant moth today

With our weather not behaving as it should be it feels like things are out of whack these days. I enjoy my morning walks, and I walk the same place nearly daily. My dog chases shadows of birds and even trees a squirrel or two. Today I came across something I hadn’t seen before. It was a moth in the canal, and it was huge, as big as my hand. It was a light brown and it looked like it had eyes on its wings. I knelt down and scooped him out of the water. He looked like he as having trouble getting out so I gave him a hand. I don’t know if he will make it, but I realized I have never seen anything like that around here before, so of course I looked up the “meaning” of such a beautiful creature. My favorite site for looking this kind of stuff up is www.whats-your-sign.com They are quite in-depth and balanced. Here is what she said: A Quick-List of Symbolic Moth Meanings Faith Attract Subtlety Intuition Concealment Vulnerability Determination Even in navigation, when we observe the moth to fly into artificial light or flames, the moth demonstrates its faith and determination. It is still unproven as to why the moth is driven to light – but the best hypothesis is that the moth navigates by lunar light. In the absence of moonlight, the moth moves to the next best thing: man-made light. At the risk of loosing its life, the moth is ever-vigilant in following its path of light. This may also serve as a moral to us to keep our own vigilance, but not fall victim of blind faith. We are all guided by some kind of passion. The moth is a reminder to let passion gently lead us, not consume us. Here we see a fragile vulnerability in the moth. The moon is her mother, and she will follow her course at all cost. This makes her open to distraction, vulnerable to harm. Here we may find another message to adjust our course as our path indicates rather than drive forward without heeding important signs along the way. As a creature of the night, and by her navigational devices, we see the moth is highly influenced by the power of the moon. This aspect ties in with animal symbolism of intuition, and psychic awareness. Those with the moth totem will find this creature a magnificent assistant in developing higher awareness, and psychic enhancement. However, with higher perception we sometimes overstep into the realm of confusion. It is important to seat ourselves in grounding foundations when we step in-tune with the lunar aspects of the moth. In other words, fly high with the moth – but always have a clear runway for happy, safe landings. The moth continues to be under the influence in matters of love. She emits pheromones that are powerfully strong, attracting her male counterpart through the dark nights. These scented trails can be followed for remarkable distances. More Moth Meanings Allure Attraction Suggestion “Without mysteries, life would be very dull indeed. What would be left to strive for if everything were known?” ~Charles de Lint The female moth is subtle in her scent, wafting out like a loving tendril pulling in her mate. She has no doubt about her ability to attract her lover (those pheromones are powerfully effective!). Us humans would do well to follow the same cue. We do not have to be overt in our advances to attract our mates. Rather, the art of subtle allure can be learned from the moth. A master of disguise, the moth can blend in to the point of invisibility. This is a metaphor for us to use our environment to our advantage, blend in when necessary, adjust and adapt when the situation requires it. I hope you have enjoyed these thoughts on the symbolic meaning of the moth. Be sure to view the links on this page for more articles on animal symbolism and related links about the moth. Thanks for reading, and merry moth tidings to you! May all your moth moments be monumental. The timing is of course perfect, new things in the air, thoughts of change, growth. I am still seeking my “way” and perhaps this is a sign I am getting closer . I hope you all are too!!!

Friday, May 3, 2019

Hard Work

This morning I was so muscle sore I could barely get out of bed, but so stiff it hurt to lay there. We have all heard that getting older isn’t for sissys. Now I know what “they” are talking about. I am in my 60’s and still want to do those things I love. Spring is a busy time. Gardens need prepping, irritation needs to be cleaned out and repaired, herbs need to be harvested, weeds picked (some for salves and tinctures, some because they are in the way), spring cleaning, organizing, craft shows, end of tax season, you get the picture. It used to be I would do all this and get my horses ready for the barrel racing season. But something had to give. I could either ride or do everything else, and I made my choice. It was hard, so hard. But this morning, even though I felt pain and sore muscles, I also felt something else, accomplishment. I busted my butt, and got a lot done. I felt good knowing things were on track, and the prep I do now will grant me the “fruits of my labor”. I wonder if that is why so many people are unhappy these days. It is getting harder and harder to feel accomplished. Many don’t want to put the work it takes into it, many don’t have the opportunity. People need purpose, we need to know we are helping ourselves and for some helping others. But so many don’t know this feeling. It takes hard work, commitment and sacrifice. So many are unwilling to sacrifice. We want it all, and we want it now (lol I kind of sang that just now) Should you ever feel or know someone that feels like something life is missing, ask yourself, do you feel like you have accomplishments? For some it will be simply getting through the day, for others it will be more. Whatever your ability is, use it to the fullest!

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Changing energies

I have been wondering a lot about how we perceive energy.  An event can happen and some people will see it as a very positive thing and some will feel it is the worst thing ever to have happened.  We are drawn to energies. Some are great examples and some are lessons to be learned. But does that make the energy that teaches us those lessons a negative or positive thing? It feel negative while we are in the process of learning, but after the lesson is learned we are stronger, more secure in our abilities. So doesn't that make it a positive thing?  The other thing I wonder about is if the things we are doing to this planet are changing our spiritual energy. I feel our souls are safe as they are connected to the Divine. But our spirit is something different. Our spirit is what makes us who we are. I read about the spirit activity at Chernobyl. It makes me wonder if Nuclear energy can affect our spiritual energies. What if we are messing up the planet so horribly our essence is being skewed? Just thoughts to ponder.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Good Friday

Today is called Good Friday. It is the beginning of Easter weekend. I recently read an article posted by a friend regarding this weekend. The writer mentioned that we tend to focus on Easter Sunday as a time of hope. But we fail to take into account how the people felt on this day so many years ago, when Christ was sentenced to death. He warned his disciples of his impending end, yet they couldn’t fathom the unfairness of ending the life of a man who spread the word of God and was an example of how to behave towards each other in the light of love. Christ was aware of the future and did what he could to ready those that loved him, yet they were still unable to understand. Can you imagine what it felt like to see this all unfold in front of you? Knowing there was little you could do to stop the tragedy that was already in motion. The sounds and smell of the crowds as they watched Him drag the cross that was to be His foundation for His torture. Weary, harmed and confused as to why His Father allowed this to happen to him. That moment when even Christ lost his faith as did all those that watched on in horror at a sight so unbelievable they couldn’t wrap their minds and hearts around it. A moment in time that was so against everything they believed in. Their collective spirit held it’s breath as they waited for the miracle that would stop the pain, waited for God to answer their prayers, and in the light of day realize that moment wasn’t going to come. Can you imagine how you would have felt knowing He forgave the thief on the cross next to him, while all the while wondering why this horrible thing was happening to Him. Showing us yet again, that no matter what is going on, it takes but a moment to offer hope to another. No matter what happened to you, or what you have done, there is always an opportunity to share and lift up someone in need. Knowing in his last moments He forgave those that had caused Him so much harm, and those He loved so much pain. There is a great lesson there. Forgiveness is a very powerful thing. It can free those that have suffered under the weight of wrongdoing, and give a clean slate to allow life to continue without dragging that event with you. Those that lived in that time saw the event and felt the loss of all hope. They had hit rock bottom and were in essence cleansed of all worries or fears they had held before. Those minor indiscretions had a different weight. Sure they were important as lessons and they still held the changing of the path for some and the new strength for others. How do you compare that to losing the Messiah? Our spiritual well-being is what holds us together in times of need. And Christ’s followers knowing the greatest man they had ever known, was ended. It seems it is important to remember the loss, the pain, the fear in order to fully appreciate the resurrection. We are dual entities. We need both ends of an emotion to full appreciate how wonderful the positive feelings are. So today is a great day to cleanse yourself of those indiscretions you have yet to forgive. Allow humans to be fallible, just as you are. Forgive them, as the example we have been given. Drop that weight, open up to a fuller life and a better you.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

It's about balance

Most of you know I am a tax preparer and tax season is coming to a close. Things do get a little hectic, people fear the outcome of their returns and share those feelings. I rarely see those fears come to fruition, but still it is hard watching folks worry about an outcome that hasn't happened yet. It seems to me it is one of the things we tend to waste energy on often. It is a shame we don't have faith in our abilities or the fact that most times we can handle anything that comes our way. We are stronger than we know, and we really should honor that.
“A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because her trust is not on the branch but on it's own wings. Always believe in yourself” – Unknown
I love this saying and feel it is a great guide to looking at life. I tend to jump in with both feet and worry about the landing later. I am not sure this is the best way to go either, so now I seek balance. So I spend my days trying to keep that balance. Today I started out working on taxes and while waiting for information went outside and pulled some weeds. Came back in and worked some more until I needed more information. My next task was picking dandelions. While I was out there I was thinking on what a simple and enjoyable thing to do. I pick the flowers to make bath oils and I will also use the infused oils to color soaps. Dandelions have so much to offer, and they seem to be readily available in my lawn. The more you pick they more they bloom. I figure it's a survival thing to keep the hope they will seed out and produce more, which is fine with me! I use the leaves for a ingredient in a great cleansing tea, and the roots are great as a tea for the liver. Such a simple plant, and so many uses. I also found some wild lettuce I picked for drying and making an oil diffusion and a tincture for pain. It's hard to weed your garden when you find so many uses for so many "pesky" plants! Okay, well it's back to work for me, two more days of crunching numbers then a break to make some soaps, lotions and salves for the spring craft fairs. Life is good; good to be busy, good to be content and great to balanced!

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Spring has sprung!

I so love this time of year. The little weeds and flowers are popping up, making my walks through the property more fun! I have been harvesting dandelions to add that soft yellow color to my soaps, and to make my skin toning creams and oils. I have been picking wild lettuce too! What a great plant for pain relief! I am drying some now to infuse in oil to make salves to ease pain and keep you moving! It works great as a tincture too! I love finding natural ways to help the body. The plantain is just starting to come up too. Soon I will be adding it to oils to make itch creams for poison oak and mosquito bites. So... here's to spring!

Monday, March 4, 2019

What a weekend!

I have been very busy the last couple of weeks. I have been doing income taxes and getting ready for a big Fantasy Faire. What a fun time! I make soap too, so I had a soap booth that was run by a friend of mine, and I had my Tarot reading booth right next to it. I can not get over the number of people that had an awareness that they were empaths. None of them were wrong! They were all wonderful insightful human beings. A few need to figure out the boundary thing, and wouldn't you know it the cards expressed that very thing. I just love it when the universe lets me voice the message that needs to be heard at the time!

Friday, February 22, 2019

Handmade Soap vs Store Bought Soap; what's the difference?

Did you realize there was a major difference between store bought soaps and handmade soaps? Well there is and this article will explain! . What is the difference between Handmade Soap and Store Bought Soap? With brand-name soap companies spending millions each year on misleading advertising, it's understandable why a consumer may question. Typical store bought or "commercial" soaps that may be labeled as "natural" are actually detergents that include chemical hardeners, foaming agents and artificial fragrances. Unlike the word "organic" that is regulated by the USDA, the word "natural" does not come with a set of quality standards or restrictive elements to it. As consumers, we are responsible for understanding what we put in and on our bodies and the best way to do this is by reading the labels and asking questions. And it's not only big-brand store-bought soaps that can be misleading. Artificial fragrances are being put in a large amount of handmade soaps as well so make no mistake, you must ask questions. A great way to know you are getting the real deal is to ask what method the soap maker uses to make their soap, what ingredients they use and what they use to scent their soaps. Because the handmade soap in question here, thus the reason for this post, is truly natural thru & thru, we would like to share what the differences really are so you can make a more educated decision. So, "Handmade Soap versus Store-Bought Soap; what's the difference? Let's find out, shall we.... Reason #1: Handmade Soap Contains Glycerin. Glycerin is a natural skin emollient (skin softener) that attracts water from the surrounding air. Because of this, glycerin is highly prized in soaps, lotions and creams for maintaining moisture in the skin throughout the day. Animal fats and vegetable oils contain between 7-13% of glycerin as a part of their natural chemical makeup. During the soap making process, the fats/oils and lye blend together to form soap while the natural glycerin maintains its integrity as glycerin and basically settles in between the soap molecules. Too much glycerin and the soap will become mushy and disintegrate quickly. Too little glycerin and the soap becomes very harsh and drying to the skin. Typical store-bought soaps have had all of the glycerin removed and placed into additional products such as lotions and creams. The reason is instead of buying one product that will clean AND moisturize, (such as handmade soap) a consumer now has to buy two products to serve the same purpose, thus, an increase in profit for the company. When profit is placed as a higher priority than quality of life, the consumer is the one who suffers. By removing the glycerin, store-bought soap takes on a skin-moisture-stripping quality that will dry the skin and leave it vulnerable to cracking and flaking. But that's not all.... Reason #2: True Handmade Soap does not use "Fragrance" The FDA does not require the ingredients used to develop a company's trademark "fragrance" to be disclosed on the label. This means that your "fresh rain" or "cherry blossom" scented soap could contain hundreds of harmful chemicals without your knowledge. Some of these chemical concoctions have been found to be skin irritants and known carcinogens. Traditionally made handmade soaps are scented with pure essential oils, never fragrance oils as that wold immediately defeat the purpose of being completely natural. When you use soaps scented with only essential oils, you not only benefit from the lack of harmful chemicals, but you actually benefit from the therapeutic properties each essential oil offers. Not to mention the smell is amazing! This can also be an exciting feature for the consumer as you get to decide what you want your soap to do for you. Example: lavender soap lends it's relaxation and skin repair qualities, and citrus soap lends it's invigorating and antimicrobial qualities. Need a pick-me-up first thing in the morning, try a handmade soap that has lemongrass essential oil in it, not "sunburst" fragrance oil. So let's see, harmful unknown chemicals or therapeutic essential oils.... we'll stick with oils thank you! Reason #3: Soap made the Old-Fashioned Way Our ancestors knew what they were doing, and did it for thousands of years - why change it! Traditional handmade soaps are made one of two ways: hot process and cold process. Cold Process soap is made by mixing sodium hydroxide (lye) with water, then blending it with oils, then adding essential oils and natural colorants, and finally, pouring it into molds to make it nice and pretty (of course the very simplified tutorial). The soaps then sit inside the mold for 24 hours to saponify (become soap), are removed from the mold to dry for 24 hours, then cut into bars of soap and must then air dry or "cure" for 4-6 weeks. Yeah, it's quite a process. Hot process is essentially the same, but instead of placing the soap in a mold to cure, the liquid is placed in a heat source (oven or crockpot) and heated until cured. The method is simply personal preference, though some say that cold process is the true, original form of soap making. These methods of hand-making soap is of course, the opposite of store bought soap which is made on a large scale in factories. Store bought soap is made using a continuous flow method with hundred of hands on the process...or probably now a days, a hundred robot arms. The soap base is continually being made in the same "batch" of soap, never to rest or relax. It is then blended with filler ingredients and chemicals such as Sodium Isethionate (a foam enhancer) and Dipropylene Glycol (a chemical solvent...why it's needed...who knows) and then formed into molds. Soap making is just like cooking, caring for a child or tending to the elderly - it all needs love, attention and time. We believe the hands on approah of handmade soap provides soap the love and attention it needs and know you can feel that energy once you use it. Reason #4: Handmade Soap is Simply Amazing for your Skin! Handmade soap preserves the integrity of the oils/fats/butters. Coconut oil goes in, saponified (made into soap) coconut oil comes out. Shea butter goes in, shea butter comes out. Because of this, the oils/fats/butters maintain their vitamins, minerals and skin-loving qualities in the final soap product. A skilled soapmaker can modify their recipe to produce characteristics in the soap naturally instead of adding chemicals to achieve the same goal. To make a harder bar of soap, add more tallow or olive oil. To make a thick-lathering soap, add some honey. As discussed above, store-bought soap is likely to have the addition of synthetic chemicals to produce similar results and we feel, it simply is not needed. But why take our word for it? The best way to find out is to put it to the test! Purchase a bar of handmade soap from a local soapmaker and give it a try. I can assure you, the experience will be well worth it.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Can it be this easy?

1. don't harm others 2. honor the gifts God gave you 3. keep each other company till we die. Seems pretty simple....

Friday, January 4, 2019

For my soaping friends... and anyone else for that matter!

The Christmas rush is over, all the gifts have been unwrapped, the house is back to rights, and even the Christmas tree is down. Now it’s time to check supplies and start soaping again. You don’t want to be low on anything! Make sure you have enough lye for your next few projects, did you order enough butters and oils? You don’t want run out of those either. Maybe you need a new mold, or it’s time to study up on new ideas, techniques, and colors. Taking stock and going through your inventory is second nature to a soaping enthusiast. Knowing that it might be time to change the batteries in the scale and knowing you will have enough supplies to make those wondrous soaps your family, friends and clients love. There is something that just feels good about seeing all those different oils, colors and butters at your fingertips. Knowing you are ready for what may happen as you add lye water to oil, ready if it thickens quickly or heaven forbid if it seizes. Your plans are made before you even take the first ingredient down, you see the finished product in your mind’s eye. You take stock making sure you aren’t missing anything, but are you? What about those things you need for you? We all know we need to get enough sleep and rest, but do you? If it were olive oil, would you ever let yourself be short? How about water and food, are you using the best you can find? Just like your ingredients, you are worthy of paying a little extra to make sure you are running on the best fuel you can find. Those are just the things to keep you alive. Now what about those things that make you unique. You don’t just make plain white soap all the time do you? When we the last time you sat around with your friends and laughed the afternoon away? Just being with people that “get you” and enjoying doing nothing but feeling joy. How often do you allow that? When was the last time you walked with a family member and just enjoyed each other’s company? No stress, no worries, no agenda. Just strolled maybe through the park or woods enjoying the crisp air, the smell of the earth after a rain, the brightness of blue in the sky. There are people in your life that would love to spend time with you. But making time can be a problem. Sometimes it means just doing it. We don’t get to keep those we love forever, so we can’t take a chance on letting time slip away. All these things are what make us unique. It is from our relationships and our experiences we come up with new ideas, color schemes and fragrance ideas. We get stuck in ruts breathing the same breath over and over, we need to take time to refresh ourselves and ponder. The days are short and it is the season of hibernation. A time to reflect on what was and what you want to be. Make a plan, make sure you have all your ingredients. You are worth as much as anything you can create. Look in the mirror. Open your eyes, look at the world. Who cares about the View, Fake News, Bridezillas. Turn off that trash. If it doesn’t make you a better person, let it go! Face your fears. Look at what is going on around you whether you can do anything about it not. Learn what you love, and seek it. We get so caught up in what other’s want for us, sometimes we forget to take time to look inside. This is a great time of year to reintroduce yourself, to yourself. Rainbows, puppies, hand holding, ice cream, great sex, beautiful smiles, warm hugs, great accomplishments, awesome dreams, love of self, love of others, peace, harmony, joy! Stop wasting time on things that don’t matter. There is no benefit in worry. It just ruins today and doesn’t give you time to plan for tomorrow. Keep an Aloe Vera plant on your window sill for burns and cuts, keep tea tree oil for anti-biotic and fungal infections. Use honey, instead of fake sugar, learn to cook, throw out chemical induced foods. Keep your mind active, your body strong and your soul pure. Don’t let your trust be used, and your use be wasted. Do random acts of kindness and let them be done to you. Give without the asking and take when it is needed. Meet your neighbors, bring them cookies, say hello. Find a group of like-minded people and share your thoughts. Find solutions to problems, don’t hide from them. But most of all, Love. Love yourself, your family, your soul mate. Tell them often and with sincerity. But for goodness sakes, don’t waste another day thinking about things that are only designed to render you insensitive. Open your heart till it hurts! Let it feel the pain of struggle, the joy of friendship, the anguish of loss. Stop closing it off and fearing you will feel pain. You can’t be numb and still live! All ends of the spectrum are yours to enjoy and endure. Live with gusto. Don’t let simple fears shatter your dreams. Now is the time to plan your year, the next 5 years, the next 10 years. Plans aren’t made in stone, and can be changed if you find something else better. There is no shame in looking ahead and even less in looking behind. We are simply the sum of all our experiences and with tha,t we should be grateful for every bump in the road, every battle won and every battle lost! It’s all a part of learning what we love, how we grow and the knowing we are important. Never forget what made you the amazing person you are today. Shake off anything that doesn’t serve your highest self. We can’t do our best if we are weighted down with the past. Honor it, and use it, add it to your ingredients to blend the life you want to live. You’ve got this! Happy New Year!