Sunday, March 29, 2009

last pair of socks

for awhile... I need to move on. This is my 5th pair and they're almost done, Jessica....
I'll send them to you when they're finished.

Too much soap to make now to take time to knit.

More about that later.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Two Happy Things...

I'm back home and glad to be here for awhile. Don't have plans to travel again until May for the Soap Conference in Palm Springs.

1. It's spring...but I didn't believe it until Pentti came in from the garden this morning and wanted to know what was coming up out there.

It's GARLIC!! I planted it on Columbus Day last fall...then completely forgot about it. Oh, Boy!....not only fresh garlic...but we'll have garlic scapes, too pretty soon!
Now it really seems like winter is definitely over!

2. Scan your own groceries!?!

I trekked to Stop and Shop this morning to resupply my badly deleted pantry and was greeted by a man who offered me the opportunity to take a hand held scanner, scan and bag my groceries as I shopped...and then just stop by the check out counter to have the scanner downloaded and pay the bill.

I loved it. You don't have to unload your cart....scan it...then repack. What a time saver.
Hope too may cashiers don't lose their jobs. But I like putting my groceries in bags the way that I want them.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

traveling again

Mandarin Pork Filet with Chipotle Sweet Potato Mash


Beef Empanada with tangy Poblano Relish. Yummmm. Tapas from Fuego Spanish Grill...a place Jess and I tried in Atlanta.

I spent a couple of days in Atlanta with Jessica. We ate, shopped, saw a movie. Always a good time with younger daughter!

Now I'm in Tampa visiting my Aunt Glenice. She's 85 and my last living mom's sister.
Always fun to see her. And the weather here is such a nice change from NY!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Paddy's Day

Here's a little something to make you smile today:

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Riding the rails

I left early Sunday for a quick, unexpected trip to Rochester. I took the train.
I took the Travel section of the Times which had a front page article called Riding the Rails.

I like the train. You can relax, you don't have to take off your shoes before you get on...
You can use your cell phone, your computer and they have electric outlets for charging.

I followed the Hudson north to Albany...and then west along the Erie Canal. If you look closely you can see an old lock in this photo.
There's talk in the news about a high speed rail from Buffalo to the ones from NYC to Boston and Washington, DC. I'm not sure how I feel about that. But the currant trains could sure use some modernization.

Now...back home tonight and back to soapmaking tomorrow.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

What the Creekside Carpenter

does when he's not making soap molds, soap cutters and soap dishes.

Pentti has been collecting these 'little jewels' for years. They have lived in their own little boxes in a storage cabinet all their lives.

When he wanted to 'take over' my library shelves and put glass doors on them....this is the alternative we came up with.

This beauty of a display case (that he built) is mounted on the wall in his TV room....a perfect combination.
And here it is....all finished and filled. He's quite a guy!

Friday, March 6, 2009


Here's a soapmaking Pet Peeve!

I got a call from a customer today who wondered why her soap was now crumbling, when it was coming out OK before.

After a long discussion about the many variables in soapmaking it came to light that she was measuring her ingredients by VOLUME ....not WEIGHT!

I don't mean to shout, but this is an absolute NO, NO in soapmaking.
Everything must be measured by WEIGHT....that is ounces, pounds, grams, etc. NOT fluid a glass measuring cup...but by weight. On a scale.

And to make matters worse...this was because her soapmaking teacher had taught it that way. And apparently given out a small recipe booklet with all ingredients measured in 'cups' , 'teaspoons', etc.

Crumbling soap often means too much lye. Most likely caused by her method of measurement.

So....get thee to an internet website and buy a digital scale! I have two. This one is for lye and essential oils. It measures to .001 (thousandth of an ounce)
You can get by with one that measures to one or two places...but I like this one.

This one is for fats and oils. It measures large 40 or 50 lbs. but only to the
.1 place....tenth place. You can see that with the nifty platform my husband made for it, that I can also put large HOT kettles on it filled with melted oils. Very convenient.

Other recommendations:

  • an adapter so you can plug it in and save on batteries
  • a tare feature to cancel the weight of the measuring container
  • lighted (LED) window for those of us with 'old' eyes

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

while you're waiting...

for me to get another post up.... (I've been busy!)...
entertain yourself with this blog.