Proud members of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. We strongly believe in personal freedom, responsibility, and gun rights. We also believe in the 90/10 theory. That means that 10% of the people have 90% of the talent. Unfortunately, we are not in the 10% category. However, the rest of us are still better than 90% of the politicians.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Useful Hobbies

After Peter was killed I fell into a deep, dark hole and sometimes I wasn't sure I would climb out.  Losing Mom, Donna, Peter and 3 dogs in two years was overwhelming. All I could do was go to work and sleep.

Then one day I came home from work and as I stood in the doorway it was as if I heard his voice saying, "Stop this! Get off your ass and do something.  Anything!"

Peter was a great companion, he loved trying new things and going new places though he wasn't exactly Mr. Calm and Patient.  He was the one who suggested the diving lessons, I was the one who suggested shooting, we came upon the flying lessons at about the same time, etc.  Though occasionally I would suggest something in which he had no interest at all.  On those occasions, with a face that looked like he was having an aneurysm he would ask, "Are you delerious?!"

For instance, he wasn't at all interested in learning to fence.  He didn't even ask if I was insane.  He just got the aneurysm face and said, "No. Just no. Are you listening to me? Do not sign us up for fencing lessons. No." 

As if I couldn't hear that.  I am not the one who had a hearing problem. Or a listening problem.  Though sometimes mine is a bit selective. 

Anyway, once it hit me how unhappy he would have been with my behaviour I thought, ok, get busy.  And then I realized I didn't know how. I had no idea what I used to do to stay busy.  The brothers house was completed by then, so they and the nephews were no longer in and out all the time. It wasn't gardening season.  All the things I usually did and the people I did them with were gone and I didn't know what to do with myself.  So I decided to do anything. I started signing up for classes in some things I had been previously interested in, because I couldn't think of anything that interested me right then.  You know, not a degree course, just the little six week introductory craft classes and that type thing.  In the last months I have stabbed, wheeled, wobbled, brushed, sliced, and broken my way through multiple new hobbies. In some cases I was successful, some were embarrassing, and some were unmitigated disasters (don't ask...just be grateful you weren't a witness). At least I didn't take up golf.  With all that, I did learn a few new skills (all still need practice, but I have a grasp of the basics) and gathered some reading material and how-to's along the way.

One of the things I tried was soap and lotion making and here is a collection of sites and recipes for anyone who is interested.  Some of these begin with a basic product already, some are completely from scratch.  I have expanded the garden this year to grow as much as I could of what is needed for these and am trying to stay as natural and local as possible as it may not always be practical (or possible) to buy ingredients. This has been both fun and rewarding, and may someday be very useful as well. I have also created a medicine section of the garden, and will write more about that later.

Rosemary & Peppermint Shampoo

Dandelion Salve
Rebecca's Soap Deli

Bug Repellent

Toilet cleaner

Shave Balm

Skin Scrub

Face Cream

Soap collection


  1. I've always kinda wanted to make soap, though I've wanted to do it by boiling ashes and adding bacon grease...

    1. I'm working my way up to that or something like it, anyway. I kind of think it would be fun to have a big black kettle hanging over a fire outside to make soap in, though my brothers and nephews might object to my taking over their fire pit. They use it every cool day themselves. But they'd be good back up in case of disaster. (Not that I ever expect one!)