Olio: a miscellaneous collection of things
It finally feels like spring and the weather has been fairly dry for a couple of weeks. We had so much rain from September until mid March, we are glad for a bit of drier weather. We don’t want to go into summer dry though. The nice weather allowed eldest son and eldest grand to visit last weekend and they were able to get the deck rails, ballusters, and rail caps completed on the deck.
That makes the deck a usable feature again and as soon as it is truly past freezing nights, pots of flowering plants will be added to one side of the wide steps and some corners of the deck. For now, there are just two chairs out there for sitting in the warm sun on calm warmer days. Ranger the beast, who is suffering from joint pain, has enjoyed a few days laying on the warm deck boards in the sun.
Recently, I found a craft event to be held in May and because I am making soaps for two local museums, I decided to register for the event and make more soaps. Instead of just making loaf molds, some of the soaps are being made using shaped molds, one of sheep, one with a goat, squares, bars, rounds, and smaller ones with geometric and floral patterns on them that are usually used for lotion bars. The only one I don’t like is a pink Passionfruit Rose scented one, but I bet it will sell.
In addition to several batches curing, there are two made this morning that are saponifying for tomorrow’s unmolding.
Those two batches are a sheep and bar mold of citrus scented soap, and a goat and square mold of Goat milk, Oatmeal, and Honey unscented soap. Tomorrow, I will make a batch of Lavender scented, lightly lavender colored sheep and round bars. Each batch that has a surplus of recipe is going into the smaller geometric and floral molds as guest soaps. Special labels have been created for the two museums, Wilderness Road Regional Museum and Edith Bolling Wilson Museum.
When I attended the fiber retreat at Hawk’s Nest State Park the end of February/early March, I was gifted some raw fleece by a friend. Yesterday I finally braved trying to wash one and though I have only done about 10 ounces so far, I am very pleased with the process on the Jacob fleece.
This morning, it looks clean and is nicely dried. I am separating the white, the darkest black, and the gray into three piles and will comb and spin them separately, hoping to be able to knit a gradient shawl from the resulting yarn. There is much more of it in the garage for me to wash and as the afternoon is beautiful, warm, and calm, a couple more batches will be washed and set out on a screen to dry enough to bring in for the night.
The pullets have had no more visits from the Red Tailed Hawk, I hope I have foiled it’s efforts to enter the run. They are now almost 21 weeks old and hopefully will soon start providing us with eggs. They are a pretty flock, though 3 short of what I had hoped for this spring.
Soon it will be time to pull the mulch back from the asparagus, weed a few beds for peas and onions, the start of the planting season. Hopefully, bending down by then won’t still result in dizziness from our accident. It is frustrating how long it is taking to recover from the carelessness of the young lady that hit us.
Until next time. Be safe and enjoy spring on its way.