More Baby Ducks

Yesterday I got a call from the owner of our local Feed Store (capitalized because that’s actually the name of the store).  Since it was 7:00pm on a Sunday evening, I knew something was up.  Turns out that a woman in town, Carolyn, had become the unplanned foster parent of 11 mallard ducklings. The back-story is that there was a … Read More

More EO blends from 1904

Here are some more EO blends from The Manual of Toilet Soap-Making by Dr. C. Deite. The amounts given in the book are for scenting a soap batch using 50 kilos of oil; I’ve adjusted them down so the amounts shown below are for a soap batch containing 5 kilos (11 pounds) of oil. The names of the soaps are … Read More

Promote the Benefits of Soap and Water

As we all know, washing with soap and water is one of the very best ways to prevent the spread of disease, including colds, flu, and other illnesses. The CDC has long been promoting the benefits of washing with soap and water. But a survey by the The Soap and Detergent Association (SDA) and the American Society of Microbiology (ASM) showed … Read More

EO Blends for Soap from 1904

Back around the turn of the (last) century, synthetic fragrances were just making their debuts. Soapmaking manuals and books for the time still gave recipes for scent blending based on essential oils. My Manual of Toilet Soap-Making by Dr. C. Deite lists a number of scent blends for what were “traditional” toilet soaps at the time.

Wool and Soap

I found a reference in The Art of Soap-Making by Alexander Watt (1918) which describes “fulling soaps”. Being unsure of what, exactly, “fulling” really was, I wasn’t sure if the soap described would be suitable for washing woolens as well. Turns out not, but I did make some interesting discoveries along the way. And I learned how to wash and … Read More

Manhattan Garbage & Soap

Imagine New York City and the island of Manhattan in the 1840’s. The city was rapidly expanding with an influx of immigrants from all over the world. Industry was expanding with the rise of the Industrial Revolution. The northern part of the island, was still providing the city with dairy products and meat. Sewage disposal was non-existent and garbage was … Read More

Kitchen Grease Into Hand Soap

It seems that what goes around, comes around – even with soap. What was once a distasteful chore of country housewives or the task of garbage entrepreneurs has now become the new eco-friendly activity of chefs. According to a recent article at Food and Wine there’s a new line of soaps made from the byproducts of turning restaurant kitchen grease … Read More

Elk in the Yard

Tonight after dinner I looked out the window and saw an elk in the yard. The picture isn’t very good since it was dusk and he was about 75 yard s away, but it is proof that he was there! We have several small elk herds that wander through the ranch, but they generally stay near the tree lines and … Read More