Thursday, June 6, 2013


Some of you who know me...well, you know I can stretch a dime. Sometimes I wonder why everyone doesn't do this, but honestly, I couldn't care less. I am too busy doing it for me that worrying what everyone else is doing is just a waste of energy. But here you go! This is what I've been doing this past month. SOAP!

Herman keeps asking "so...what are you going to make today?"

Well, yesterday, I didn't make soap, but made another batch of yogurt. Only this time, I didn't really follow directions and measure things, just heated a bunch of milk, maybe a little over half a gallon. I didn't cool it off in a sink of cold water, just let it set and cool on the stove. I was busy with my grandson, Hendrix. And busy trying to clear off the deck with Herman.
Me and Hendrix...isn't he beautiful?

I had to buy another cup of yogurt because I forgot to save some out to make this batch. Oh, and I also wondered about how thin the yogurt was last time, and wondered if it didn't have enough warmth to grow. So this time, about four or five times throughout the day, when I remembered it, I turned the crock pot that the yogurt was in on warm for about a minute, while still keeping it covered with the towel. YAY! Nice thick yogurt!

And ant spray. I made ant spray yesterday. Those little buggers, what I grew up calling "sugar ants," are all over the counter by the sink. I tried sprinkling coffee grounds where I thought they were coming inside, but they just rerouted themselves around the coffee grounds, and I ended up with ants AND coffee grounds all over the counter. Yuck. I have heard that ants follow each other by scent they leave behind, and if you can disrupt that scent trail, that will help getting rid of them. Using a recycled 4 oz. spray bottle, I filled it half with rubbing alcohol, half with tap water, and added 25 drops each of lavender and lemongrass essential oils from Mountain Rose Herbs. I can tell you this much: the ants don't like it much. The spray kills the ants, and they avoid where I have sprayed AND my kitchen smells great!

So SOAP! is the name of this post, and that's because I have made so much soap this past month. I wanted to make this blog a regular thing, but have been busy! Forgot to take pictures! In the past month, I have made the following:

  • Liquid Castile Soap
  • Castile Bar Soap
  • Body Wash
  • Sunscreen
  • Hair Detangler
  • Facial Scrub
  • Relaxing Oil for Sleep
  • Laundry Soap
  • Dish soap
  • Tub Scrub
  • Citrus Vinegar
  • Scented Epsom Salt for Baths
  • Liquid Hand Soap
  • Acne Wash
  • Deodorant
Certainly, not all of this is motivated by frugality. In fact, I would estimate about half the motivation is to save money. The other half of the motivation is to remove toxins from my home.

Some of you may know that me and my family of origin have struggled with a host of autoimmune illnesses, including sarcoidosis, lupus, MS, arthritis, thyroid destruction, lichen planus...with very few answers to the question "Why?" We also have in our family: renal cancer, alzheimer's, prostate cancer, COPD, anxiety and depression, substance I am in search of answers, mostly from a personal standpoint of what makes me feel better. Forget the why? for now, because I think the answer to that may never be found. What can make me feel better today?

I no longer have a use for chlorine bleach or ammonia. It chokes me. I use vinegar, castile soap, baking soda, epsom salts, borax, washing soda, and essential oils to clean. (I also still use a little bit of Dawn soap.)

I no longer buy soap for personal hygiene, nor deodorant for that matter. I use all of the above with the exception of the Dawn soap for that. Add into the personal care arsenal: coconut oil, olive oil, cocoa butter, shea butter, aloe vera, beeswax, zinc, corn starch, and sweet almond oil.

When I look back on the past month, I really have to realize how much I have accomplished (HA! even though my house is dirty! LOL) by replacing all of those products with healthier versions that work just as well or even better, AND cost less!

This route is not for everyone, I know it. I have time to do these things. I have done a couple of projects with my friend, Victoria, like the laundry soap. We do it together, and split the batch of soap (each batch makes 10 gallons).

And Herman is right by my side through all my projects, helping at every stage, and reminding me of essential things that need to get done besides the current project. There's not a moment goes by when he is not my biggest cheerleader. Especially with the castile soap projects, I think he hung around to see if it actually would all come together ;0)

I've decided to write more on each of the above list of projects, as a beginning to my regular blog entries. So stay tuned!

So...what are you going to make today? 

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