Soapmaking on a state Furlough Day

How I spent my furlough day…hopefully making up some of the money that the State of Nevada taketh away.

Started off Sunday afternoon measuring out oils and butters into four separate baggies…that way I just needed to add the olive oil or safflower oil when needed.

After the SF Giants game I decided to go ahead and make up one batch…Oatmeal, Milk & Honey with Colloidal Oatmeal. UGH! Remind me to run my recipe through Lye Calculator before charging in…I was short 20 grams of lye in my water mixture. Took me ONE FLIPPING HOUR to bring to trace! My arm fell off.

While out this morning, my husband found out that I had the day off and asked for me to go to a thrift store to see if a jacket was still there, I found a hand mixer at the same thrift store! YEAH!

Got back and made up three more batches…WITH ONLY 20 MINUTES to bring to trace! Can I get an AMEN!?!

Lavender ~ not out of the mold yet.

Mayan Gold with rhassoul clay…this is a guy’s soap…that the ladies will love, Love. LOVE! 🙂 I’d have a picture, but it turned out blurry and I didn’t want to go down to the basement to take another.

Black Raspberry with pacific sea salt and ultra marine.

Just to let you know…an Amazon box makes a great soap slab mold! 🙂

Still want to make one more batch…more for myself than anything. I love essential fir with some autumn woods and some green French clay
& sea salt thrown in.

I’ll pretend my salt and fir smell came from here…The Presidio! 🙂

Ode to Lavender

Photographs taken by myself (I’ve lots of lavender in my front yard) with poems from my good friend April.


Roses are red, I’ve heard it said;
But lavender smells so sweet.
I sip as nicely as I can
And cling to my tasty treat.


The sun’s last setting rays
With lavender just aglow
Lets the cares all drift away
As evening starts to flow.

Sunflowers & other flowers ~ Sparks, Nevada ~ June 2009

I threw out a couple of packets of sunflower seeds up in the front corner of our lot…they’re coming up everywhere now. Here’s a picture of my first bloom ~ this plant actually has 20+ flowers that will be blooming on it!


The Lemon Queen “Three Sisters” are over 6′ tall now. I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE THEM BLOOMING!


The rest are flowers that are blooming around the front yard…





Remember “mini-burning man”?


Just me playing with photoscape ~ I love the “antique” filter.


Blooming Roses ~ Lavender ~ and Garden Photos

My garden and roses are blooming…

Me thinks I should probably pinch off the acorn squash and spacemaster cucumber blossoms…I mean really! The blossoms are bigger than the plant itself! I think the plant needs to put it’s energy in making itself grow before letting the veggies set!

Acorn Squash Blossom

Acorn Squash Blossom

Spacemaster Cucumber Blossoms

Spacemaster Cucumber Blossoms

The yellow and red onions are fattening up!



Blueberries! Plump-up nice and big, wee ones! I’ll have the ice cream waiting for you.


My lavender is about to burst open! I’ve three big plants like this…and five smaller ones. Both French and English lavender.



My David Austin The Squire roses are blooming nice and big ~ beautiful, no?!

The Squire ~ David Austin Rose

The Squire ~ David Austin Rose

The Squire

The Squire

Hansa Rose ~ very pink and very pretty.

Hansa Rose

Hansa Rose

I picked up this copper Happy Man at a yard sale for 50 cents ~ my husband calls him Mini Burning Man.


Friday’s Ramblings ~ I’m pretty sure it’s Friday, no?!

The days seem to blur into one another when you are suddenly the only one in the office doing the work of what two people did before. I’m pretty sure it’s Friday.

We woke up to snow on the valley floor this morning. You’d think after 29 years of living in Northern Nevada that I’d get used to spring-time in Nevada. But I’m really getting tired of snow dumping on my blooming flowers and trees.

Weeping Cherry about to blossom out ~

Weeping Cherry about to blossom out ~

Am hoping that the Weeping Cherry made it through all the rain last night and snow this morning.

Looking up into my Weeping Cherry.

Looking up into my Weeping Cherry.

Still playing in the front yard ~ Here’s what the front corner looked like it all the stages since last summer thru last weekend.

Corner with Junipers from Hell.

Corner with Junipers from Hell.

Front Corner Today with Blue Atlas Cedar, iris, heather, lilac, lavender

Front Corner Today with Blue Atlas Cedar, iris, heather, lilac, lavender

Next was getting rid of a cedar type of shurb to make room for 3 Blueberry bushes, 1 Elderberry bush and a place for an herb garden.

Making room for berries and herbs.

Making room for berries and herbs.


Soon to be Herb Garden with berries.

Soon to be Herb Garden with berries.

I also planted the LEMON QUEEN SUNFLOWER SEEDS in the corner and against the fence.

The pelican? It’s cut from some heavy metal…I found it at a local yard sale earlier in March. A guy had about 4 of them that he made for some local business that decided not to take them after all. I love pelicans so I got one for $5.

Our Canada Goose Mama is back…she makes her nest outside of our building, on the second floor…on a ledge! Every year…same place. Every year we take the babies down to the court yard when they’re big enough.

Mama Canada Goose

Mama Canada Goose

Living on the Edge!

Living on the Edge!

While walking into work yesterday morning there was this plant…am thinking it’s some sort of holly. Very pretty yellow flowers. UPDATE ~ Maybe it’s a Mahonia.

Holly of some sort??

Holly of some sort??

And a parting shot of some of the quail that come to feed in my yard ~


Front Yard Landscaping after the death of the Junipers

Well…we finished yanking, pulling and cutting those junipers out of the front ne corner of the lot. Only 3 truck loads to the dump! LOL! Still have a few piles of juniper debris to bag up and then we can level out the corner a bit…rearrange all the river rocks, then plant and regroup the drip system.



We plan on putting in a drive pad (whether it be concrete or just rock) in part of that area sometime in the future, so I will not be planting anything between the 2nd and the 4th posts (see third picture).

My plants of choice are:

Grappenhall Lavender, English Lavender and French Lavender, Russian Sage, Yellow Coneflower (see picture below), and maybe a White Flutterby Bush.

I thought I wanted a fruitless mulberry tree for the very front yard…but I’m now thinking about a shade tree that turns pretty colors in the Autumn, which is my favorite part of the year. If you have any suggestions, let me know! I live in Zone 7.

Ohhhh….just found this ~ a ‘October Glory’ Maple! Very pretty. Fast growing. In my hardiness zone!

It’s Wednesday and I’m Praying for some Southern Winds!

Sure wish we’d get some winds coming up from the south (I don’t think there are any fires to the south of us!)…this smoke that has settled into the Truckee Meadows is killing me.  Had to break out the Mucinex-D this morning. Photos below were taken this morning about 6am outside my work looking NE.

Last night while watering the flowers out front I spied a Flutterby on the lavender plants ~ lookie at his curly-thingy (very scientific name, I know)!

And a wee bee too…

Here is that yellow squash that I talked about yesterday…it went from 1-1/2″ one morning to 4″ in one day! There’s another one too…

I have more tomatoes setting on the plants…the whole time I was looking at the top of the Yellow Pear plant I didn’t even notice the six tomatoes that started below! The Giant Belgium Pink has lots more setting and the Japanese & Russian Blacks too.

I’ve packed away my jeans and brought out the crop pants, but decided I needed a couple of dresses. Went to Savers and found two…only they were too long and too big, so off I went to my mom’s for her to pin me. Took up the sides of the brown dress and had to hem it 6″ (I’m only 5’4″) as the dress went to the floor on me! The blue floral one doesn’t need to be taken in too much, but you can see in the one picture how much I have to hem it. 🙂 Big sigh. But for $8 per dress, I figured I could do the alterations! You can’t buy the fabric for that price! I love the brown one, it really looks great with Donna’s beaded button bracelet she made.