Friday, July 27, 2012

don't burn your face off!

Storms were supposed to ravage the farm last night but they never came. The system passed south and north of us and I was both grateful and disappointed. You know what I mean, happy to avoid the hail and damage but so looking forward to the world twirling around for me a bit. I like seeing the winds pick up, and the trees shiver, and how a dry farm smells when the rain first really hits it. Not too different then water hitting a hot-plate, but smokier.

Rain today. A few possible storms, but mostly rain. The kind of day I stay inside and write and watch Braveheart. I already have a pot of coffee brewing on the stove and another saucepan of water heating up to throw in oats, diced apple, and brown sugar and cinnamon to make a filling (and cheap) breakfast of champions. It also is getting me into the flavors of fall, which for a homesteader means anxiety. I have hay, firewood, and savings to rake in before snow falls and so far I'm working on the August mortgage, but it'll all get done. It always does. Worrying about it gets in the way of accomplishing it. At least for me.

Today is also about getting ready for the weekend of workshops. Tomorrow is beekeeping with Meg Paska and Sunday is the big soap and candle workshop with Kathy Harrison coming to teach the candle part. Kathy you may recognize from National Geographic's Doomsday Preppers. (She was the most normal person on the show, homesteading in the Berkshires.) I met Kathy at the Mother Earth News Fair last year and we hit it off. It's her birthday Sunday, too. I may have to visit the new cupcake shop in Greenwich for her!

I'll be putting together everyone's soapmaking kits this afternoon. They include olive oil and coconut oil in jars as well as gloves and a booklet called "How to Make Soap without Burning Your Face Off." which I think gets to the point pretty darn well. It's out of Microcosm Publishing of Kansas, which makes a bunch of inexpensive and artistic indie booklets on everything from making your own herbal first aid kit to parenting for punks. Like all their titles, it's written in a friendly, and easy to understand tone with all the proper safety steps without filling the soapmaker-to-be with fear. I mean, I get it. Lye is a pretty dangerous thing. But as readers have pointed out before, so is getting into your car in the morning. Might as well make soap.


Blogger Elizabeth from the Berkshires said...

Oh, I can't wait! I've been wanting to make soap for so long, but I've been afraid of the potential face-burning aspect. See you Sunday!

July 27, 2012 at 7:22 AM  
Blogger kwdiving said...

We are all so greatful for the rain we got yesterday, but sorry that so many had damage from the storms. Here in northeast pa the storms were impressive but not too horrible. Mostly tree damage. We can't wait to check out the Cambridge/Greenwich area this week! Three small farms to look at! Positive thoughts!!!

July 27, 2012 at 7:42 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Parenting for punks, that one made me laugh so hard (there's something totally adorable about Goths and Punks with kids and yes, I'm a Goth myself).
Btw, I came across a band I think you may like: Wayward Vessel - they played at Arches National Park when I was there and they're pretty awesome.

July 27, 2012 at 7:57 AM  
Blogger SouthernGirl said...

I knew that was a Raleigh Briggs book as soon as I saw the cover! I have her book "Make Your Place" and just love it.
I also have to say that even though I don't know you from Adam, I am so proud of you for pursuing your dream, and all you have accomplished. Every time I see your name in a publication I say, "I know her!". Not in real live, of course....but you know what I mean!
Great (and fearless) job!

July 27, 2012 at 9:15 AM  
Blogger CheshyrCat said...

I saw "parenting for punks" and immediately went to find the publication at Microcosm. After five months with our naturally fauxhawked firstborn (we mock her), we've decided that being good parents is the very definition of punk. And Momma does wear combat boots. :)

July 27, 2012 at 9:27 AM  
Blogger Glyndalyn said...

The Phony Farm would like encourage everyone in your class to make soap. The process is creative and fun. Even if all is not exactly right, the soap may be usable. Would have attended the class if I lived close by.

Making your own laundry soap is also fun and inexpensive.

Today: canning green tomato relish. Salvaging a primordial pair of jeans to use for patching.

July 27, 2012 at 9:32 AM  
Blogger Bonnie said...

AND soap smells way better than my car.

July 27, 2012 at 11:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sassenach, what's wi the cinnamon, apple and sugar, ye should just hae salt wi your porridge and brose

July 27, 2012 at 8:16 PM  
Anonymous T. Crockett said...

Love the last couple lines of this post. They're especially apt since I was catching up on your blog as a way to procrastinate starting a project I'm a little scared of. I drove in Boston today...I can handle anything my sewing machine can throw at me.

July 28, 2012 at 8:29 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Had a great time at the candle/soapmaking workshop on Sunday. It was a really cool group of people.

July 30, 2012 at 11:37 AM  

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