Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Monday, October 10, 2011

Rainy Monday

For the last two days it has been rainy.  Drizzly, sprinkling.  No really big hard rains, just drib and drab, dregs and drags, sun showers, a low cloud.  Slow, gray and relaxing  The kind of days you would love to just crawl back into bed with a mug of hot cocoa and a good book.  We need rain and although in the long run we are not getting enough water to make up the 26 inch deficit, this slow steady mist cleans the leaves, and lifts the blades of grass back upright.  The air shimmers with the moisture and I stretch in my chair as I write and watch Martha Stewart's dollar store costume show.  I will put on my new yoga tapes and try them out.  Rehearse my lines and maybe take a walk.  I love to plan.  Good thing I am flexible.  I will accomplish what I accomplish today.  A day where my only obligation is for play rehearsal, which includes being prepared for rehearsal.

Saturday morning I woke up with stomach issues.  They had started Thursday night and usually only last 24 - 48 hours at the most.....usually.  Stomach issues can involve many things, cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and general malaise.  Sometimes it is only one or two, this time seemed to involve the entire spectrum.  I had missed rehearsal on Thursday because of this, I was not going to miss the work day on Saturday. 

I had to pick up chicken and rabbit feed.  Yes, I buy rabbit feed for my wild rabbits who live in my barn and under my house.  Then stop by the waste management, mail a letter and run by Wag the Dog BBQ fund raiser.  I love this small town where you can do all of those things within a couple of blocks of each other.  And shop and eat at some of the most perfect little spots. 

I had awaken early and started laundry, upset with the gray threatening day.  I always hope for rain, but it looked like one of those days whose bark will be worse then its bite.  But I did not want to take the chance of hanging blankets and sheets and towels to have them blown off the line while I was gone, so I was using the dryer, which I don't like to do.  It fluffs the towels, but the clothes dried in a dryer, do not smell like sunshine. 

I put the animals in the pasture, headed up town and by the time I got to the Opera House, I was feeling pretty confident in myself and that the stomach issues were back under control.  There was plenty of activity and I joined right in.  The colors were determined for the walls, the trim and the doors and then we discussed the fireplace, so I came back home to pick up my little electric fireplace that my dad gave me.  It will be the innards of the fireplace and through the magic of electric lights, hopefully it will look like a flickering fireplace. 

I started painting with the roller and was moving right along, when I leaned over one time too many to load the roller and realized, that I needed to get a hurry.  So I stood up and excused myself and just made it home before all the symptoms hit at once.  I needed to finish cleaning the house, and I had not gotten my essential oils and lye, so I was not sure how I was going to demonstrate soap making on Sunday.

I rested for awhile until my system settled down.  I think it is just the same ole, same ole.  I have pushed myself too hard, too far for too long.  And now it was saying STOP!  When my body says that I listen.  OK, I listen, but I don't really stop until my body stops me.  I have gotten better about that lately, but between Dad and the play and the Garden Circle, I have just pushed a little too hard again. 

I did not clean the house, or pick up the yard, I drove into town and bought some soap molds, scents, dyes and melt and pour soap.  So even if I can't make the cold process soap, I can talk about the oils and scents, dyes and other additives and then everyone could make a bar of melt and pour glycerin, or olive oil or Shea butter soap that they can customize to their own taste.

I stopped to see the Moon's on my way home, and yes, just as you can imagine, wrapping your arms around Ms Moon as she gives you one of her hugs is to just feel like hugging the mother of love.  I swear that woman.  And then to get a kiss on my cheek by Mr. Moon, oh be still my heart.  Those two should be in one of those pictures of the farmer and his wife.  Only both of these people would be in overalls and instead of looking stern and hard, they would have those big grins and a twinkle in their eye and a look about them, that says come on over, you hear?  Mr. Moon might have a piece of farm equipment, or maybe something used for hunting.  Ms Moon would have a plate of angel biscuits.  You know what I mean.  It was a short visit because I just didn't feel right, and turned down dinner, but it soothed my soul and sent me home surrounded in a cloud of love.

I wanted to go to bed early, but instead I was able to talk to friends, and actually that did me more good then an extra hour of sleep.  I have a diverse group of friends and even though I am not great about calling all of them as often as I think of them, I always enjoy catching up with them.  I woke early anxious to get busy on the house and pull out what supplies I have to make soap.  I grabbed my scale, wood mold, a liner, some older essential oils that would be OK, and what should I find but a full bottle of lye and a partial bottle.  I have no idea where this came from.  I thought I had given Ms Moon all the lye I had last Christmas to make soap.  No wonder she ran short.  Somehow I missed a bottle.  But now I could make real cold process soap and the melt and pour kind.  It wasn't the ideal I had planned, but it was working out better then I had feared.  

I got most of the house cleaned.  Most of the smell of dog out of the house, mostly.  I baked brownie cookies and a quiche.  I made Ice tea, set the table, organized my soap supplies, and printed off some notes about the soap.  There ended up being six of us and we had a lot of fun.  I made one batch of peppermint/eucalyptus soap and each of us got to make a mold with an embossed top with the olive oil soap.  Some used dye, some used loofah, others worked with the scents.  Everyone had a good time and we all learned something new.  We had wonderful food to eat, Georgie led the meeting while Jane was out of town and all in all it was a good meeting  I really like these woman.  They are so precious and even though we are different in so many ways, we all come together and enjoy our time and work spent for the Garden Circle and the bigger club.  This is always one of my most favorite Sundays, Garden Circle Sunday, the second Sunday of the month.  I first enjoyed meeting woman about my age who enjoyed gardens, gardening, farming, plants, the outdoors.  Each of us there with our different interests and skill sets, but a group that enjoys sharing  and spending a few hours together each month and supporting each other in our various projects.  And we drink.  Not hard liquor, just wine.  And not everyone drinks wine.  But I used to really  like having an excuse to have a glass of wine with friends on a Sunday afternoon.  Now I just enjoy getting to be with these ladies.  And I loved sharing soap making with them. 

After the ladies left, I was left mixing the soap.  I use an old hand mixer that hangs on the side of the pot and I can just turn it on and walk away, within reason and let it mix.  I had over fatted the soap, and it was humid and the lye was older, so it was taking a little longer to move to tracing.  When it traces, it can be poured into the mold(s).  About 6 I was able to mix in the essential oils and the ground mints (peppermint, spearmint, lemon balm and catnip).  I mixed until these were thoroughly incorporated and then I poured the batch into my lined wooden mold and covered it up and set it side.  It feels good to pour a batch of soap into the mold.  I make each batch by hand, adjusting each to make it the creamiest, thick lathering, moisturizing soap I can.  Each time is different.  The ingredients are organic and vary with age, season, humidity, and my mood.  I have never made a peppermint/eucalyptus soap before, but I did not have spearmint essential oil, with my order having not come in, and peppermint by itself is a little flat.  By adding in the eucalyptus I add additional layers to the scent as well as the medicinal qualities.  The ground mints add scent, color and texture.  I hope that it brightens up my shower and adds a tingle to the lather.  I use a large variety of oils to increase lather, moisturizing effects and hardness.  I don't want my soap too hard.  But I don't want it to melt away in the shower.  I want quick moisturizing qualities and others that will last longer then the shower.  I want lots of lather, small thick bubbles and large popping bubbles.  Lather to help remove the dirt and grime, eliminate odors absorbed during the day, and leave the skin clean, scented and moisturized.  That is why I make soap.  I like my Egyptian cotton towels, my bamboo sheets, my flavorful olive oils, my dark chocolate, cloth napkins and homemade soap. 

I started my annual Hallmark movie watching.  I love all of those sappy movies with happy endings.  They all seem cut from the same pattern, just different colors of cloth, but I love them.  I love to knit or crochet or work on other projects while I watch these movies.  A couple of years ago Vicki and I melted into the couch as we made beaded earrings while doing movie marathons on Hallmark.  I just bring out a box of Kleenexes and just sit happy as a little domestic clam working on projects and watching movies with happy endings.

The day has stayed the same color gray, the light reflected off of the wet surfaces giving the world a relaxed peaceful feel.  I have on yoga pants and a big cotton sweater.  I have my quorks (kind of like crocs) with socks and a rain jacket and I am heading out to take a walk.  I think I will practice my lines as I move along the streets darkened with moisture.  Slug through the red clay and walk past the geese and turkeys.  Just an hour or so.  Just a walk in the rainy day.  Then home to my yoga, maybe a nice pot of chili and then a plateful of brownie cookies in hand as I head to rehearsal.  What a wonderful day.  Just what was needed after a hectic week. 

1 comment:

  1. It sounds perfect in all ways! I loved seeing you on Saturday, even for just a few minutes. It's just have you there in the kitchen, us talking, the dogs barking to be picked up, pots simmering on the stove, the chickens on the kitchen porch.
    I love you, Kathleen.
    I can't wait to see how that soap turns out!