A good day!

A good day!

Friday, April 29, 2011

A spring day...

As I sit here and write this, there is a chicken "knocking" on the back door.  They have tricked me a few times....lol. I just thought I'd share that with you. ;) It was finally a nice day here in central Illinois.  I was able to get out and mow the yard and now it looks nice again. :)  The smell of the grass always makes me smile.  The swallows aren't out yet to flutter back and forth in front of me while I mow...they will be soon. :)

I made some more soap this morning.  I am trying to get ready for the Produce Market that is coming up starting in June.  I will be there one or two times a month until October...come visit me if you are local. :)

This weather, when it's nice, causes me to ponder family.  Spending time together outside, taking walks, having picnics, going on vacation somewhere, etc.  There are some family members that I just miss so much.  I'd love to talk to them again.  I hate missing out on their life...

Well, I'd better go get the "yard" off me and spruce myself up for when the captain comes home. I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Facebook...

 Head on over to my facebook page and "like" it for updated information about my soap, sale announcements, and information on the benefits of herbs!

www.facebook.com/WiseleyUsedHerbs

Come see what's going on at Wiseley Used Herbs. :)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

An inside peek at how I make my soap...


I wanted to show you a bit of how I make my old fashioned cold process soap. Today I am doing my Double Chocolate Bliss Soap.  Follow me as I show you some of the steps in how to make soap. :)



First, you need to get all your supplies ready.  Make sure you have your mould ready to go and all your oils and lye ready.  You will be pouring immediately, so you don't want to be scrambling to find your mould.


This is the lye water.  You want to mix this very carefully.  Lye is caustic.  I add the measured water to the pot and then I add the measured lye.  You want to do all your measuring on a digital scale.  It must be precise.  When adding lye, always add the lye to the water and not the water to the lye.  Remember "snow on the lake"  If you add it backwards you will have a lye volcano...No heat is put on this pot.  The lye creates it's own heat when it reacts with the water. :)


Next, while the lye is doing it's thing, you will want to melt the oils you choose for your soap.  I don't use lard and instead use a blend vegetable shortening, coconut oil, and olive oil. I keep it simple. :) (I don't give exact amts due to it being a recipe for my business)  I choose to have an all vegan soap.


When they are melted down, it will look like this.  You will want both the lye and the oils to be around 95 degrees.  I don't use a thermometer.  I do it by touch. (no I don't touch the lye)  I start my lye water and leave for 5 min.  I come back and start to measure my oils and melt them.  After they are melted, if I can stick my pinky finger in the oils without pulling it back out from too much heat, it is ready.


I then add the oils to the lye water like this.  Do this very slowly.  You don't want any splashes.  Lye is very caustic.



After stirring in the oils with a spoon, I then use a stick blender (mine is a kitchen aid) to mix the oils and lye together to get to trace.  You can see it is changing color....this is normal.


Here it is changing to a lighter color and getting thicker.


You can't see it too good here, but it is coming to a light trace.  Trace is where you take the soap mixture and drizzle some on top and if it leaves a mark or "trace" it is getting close to moulding.  For this chocolate batch, I removed some at light trace to mix in the white chocolate and the other half was mixed with dark chocolate and organic chocolate oil.


Here is the white chocolate half and you can see more of the trace on the surface of this.


Here is the chocolate half and you can see how thick it is.  You want it to be the thickness of pudding.  Here I added the white chocolate to swirl in the pot.  (no pic)


Here is the soap mouled.  You can see some of the swirls that were made...



After you mould the soap, it needs to be insulated so it will gel.  Gelling helps saponify the soap, which is the lye eats all the wonderful oils and become neutralized.  In the end, there is no lye in the soap.  I insulated this chocolate soap because there wasn't much sugar in it due to the dark chocolate being a bitter chocolate.  If your soap has a lot of sugar in it from say honey, you won't want to insulate it as it will heat up enough on it's own.  If you insulated a sugary soap, you run the risk of it overheating and not coming out like you want.

I hope this little tutorial helps you understand a bit more of what I do when I make soap. :)  It is so fun for me to do. :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

So thankful...

I am so thankful that my migraine that I have had for about a week is finally gone! I feel like I can think again and focus.  It is no fun to have constant excruciating pain in your head.  You can't rub it down like a leg muscle...it's out of your hands. 

I am grateful that the migraine is gone as I have to teach at a local college tonight about spring herbs.  I am looking forward to sharing my passion for herbs and their benefits. :) More classes to come in June and July. :) 

I am also thankful for the blogs I follow.  There is so much good information out there.  I love Biblical Counseling for Women.  She has great insight and I love being able to fill my mind with things to ponder.  The homesteading blogs help me with new ideas and just plain being able to relate to people that are like-minded.  We all need encouragement in this cold world.  We need each other, we are better together. :)  I could live in the quiet mountains living off the land with my family, but after a while, we would miss fellowship with others.  God didn't create us to be alone...

It is raining here AGAIN today and I would appreciate prayers for my husband and his work.  He is a roofer and last week was very bad for work.  He only worked 18 hrs and this week isn't looking good.  I know we are to rely on Him for our finances, but it doesn't hurt to pray for provision! He tries to trust in the Lord during such times, but I can see in his face that he is concerned.  He is after all the head of the house and he was created to protect and provide.  He just wants to be able to do that.

I pray your day is blessed and for those who prayed for me, THANK YOU!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Up from the grave He arose!

Happy Resurrection Sunday! I pray everyone ponders on the resurrection and what it means for us.  He is risen and we are forgiven!  What a mighty and powerful God we serve!  Oh how much He loves us!

Continue to be in prayer for my migraine...it continues.  It has for 7 days with one day break in between.  If it keeps up, I will see a doctor this week. :(

Friday, April 22, 2011

Eye doctor...

Got my eye tests done and got my results. He said he has never seen anyone with the amount of damage I have and still have my peripheral vision. He also said I have the most cupping of my disc that he has ever seen in his career. He said I was very unique. ;) No change with the damage! :) I am thanking God. :) I have to be checked every year to watch if there is progression.
Unfortunately, I have yet another migraine today...it hurts soooo bad. :(  Nothing helps.  Praying it doesn't stay for 3 days like the last one....
Sorry for the short post...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Good news...

A flower shop in town has approached me about purchasing some of my soap and also having a display in their store.  I sold them some soap today and they are going to make gift baskets up with them.  I will also have a display up on May 16th.  She said a lot of people were talking about my soap. :)  It's nice to know so many people are enjoying it. :)  If you haven't tried it yet, head on over to my website and order ya some! :) 

http://wiseleyusedherbs.weebly.com/

It would make a great Mother's Day gift! :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Take time to be still...



He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
   I will be exalted among the nations,
   I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10

Too often we allow the voices of the world to distract us and keep us off focus of the things that truly matter.

We need to be aware of that with all the busyness and comforts that we have today we can easily crowd out God's voice.

We need to away from those things that can distract and carve out time to just be quiet and still.
(yes, even with a busy schedule or a full household!)

If we constantly have noise all around us or are busy doing, doing, doing, we can lose something very precious a treasure that was meant for us alone.

Go ahead--turn off the music, the TV, the computer...

Drown out all the voices, the heartache, the pain

Embrace and cherish the time you get with Him.

Speak to the Lord and lift up your fears.

Meditate on His Word. Connect with Him.

Let Him comfort you and reach the deepest places of your heart--the untouched places.

He is the great Transformer, the Giver of Life.

If He is urging you to do something, to take action--


obey and listen.

JUST DO IT!


He is worthy to be exalted

and to Him all glory and praise!
~From A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Chilly days...

It's been chilly and windy here the last few days. :(  We have the woodstove going AGAIN and had us a bowl of chili and cornbread for supper last night.  It hit the spot. 

Yesterday was so windy, it ripped the door to the chicken coop off...the captain went out there and fixed it right up.  He made it better than before. :)

I had a seminar here yesterday and it went well.  Met some new friends and gained another customer. :) I enjoy sharing my passion. :) This morning, we are heading out to Good Samaritan to serve a meal.  Tonight we have a meeting for my mission trip coming up in June to Tennessee. I am looking forward to serving there.  The captain is going to Venezuela in October for a week.  That should be an interesting trip for him.  Keep those trips in your prayers. :)

I had another store approach me about having my soap in their shop.  I am going in tomorrow to speak to them.  I haven't made a decision about that yet. I am just not sure if I have the inventory to keep up yet. :)  I have had a lot of sales that I am working on keeping up with as it is. ;)

I pray everyone has a great day.  I will leave you with a lesson I learned as we are going through Experiencing God...obedience without action is no obedience at all...

Friday, April 15, 2011

Unexpected blessing...

For two months now I have been hoping to come across someone to know if they are still around or not.  Well, today was that day. :)  I was pleased to see them as we drove by each other.  I was pleased to wave thanking God for crossing our paths. :)  I hope he is well...

I had some tests done at the eye doctor yesterday.  I have to go back next Friday for more tests and results.  I am praying that the damage in the back of my eyes has not progressed. I am wishing the blurred vision in the mornings would go away...makes it hard to blog early like I used to. ;)

I made some more soap today (Lemon Poppy Seed).  I have sold $100 worth of soap in 2 days. :)  I kinda like that! I am excited about the feedback I am getting from my customers. I am glad they get to enjoy a natural product I created and is good for their body. :)

I am getting things ready for tomorrows seminar.  I think I have everything in order.  Now, I just need to get some sleep so I can be alert. :)  I am looking forward to teaching at a local community college on the 25th.  I love to be able to share my passion for herbs and their benefits. :)

Goodnight all...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I am so glad I homeschool...

I don't know if you've seen it or not, but there is a school in Chicago that has banned bringing your lunch to school.  They are forcing kids to eat at their cafeteria.  What!?  So now moms are not allowed to pack their kids lunch with healthy choices such as dye free foods, homemade bread and jams, homemade cookies, fruit, etc...I just can't believe it.  This is all because of the fear of peanut allergies!  I understand having that fear, but come on.  What did people do years ago?  It's just one more thing the government wants to control and it torks me off.  Can you tell? ;) 

We have homeschooled our son (he is in 7th grade now) his whole life with the exception of 2 months when he was in 2nd grade and I had to have major surgery and didn't want him to miss anything.  It was only 2 months, because we pulled him back out and brought him home to do even a little school.  The first day in public school here in central Illinois, he was pushed down on the play ground....sheesh.  Then they had art class and they happened to be drawing kokopelli (a native american fertility god) he declined and got in trouble.  You see we had just returned from being missionaries to the Navajo and he knew what Kokopelli was and didn't want anything to do with it.  I went in and talked to them and they told me he was not allowed to opt out of that drawing...I was really upset that a parent had no say as what their child did...so we took him back home and he has been homeschooled ever since.  Yikes!  Craziest 2 months of public school...really opened our eyes.  I am thankful we had no intention of keeping him in that school, it was just for a time while I recovered from surgery.  But, we learned that even if I had to have surgery again (and I did) that we would make do with studies at home (and we did). :)

Well, now that I got that off my chest, I hope everyone is doing well and things are going smoothly. :) Off to do chicken chores and later I have an eye appt to see if the damage in my eyes has progressed or not.  I have been having much trouble focusing in the mornings and occasionally in the evenings.  Hoping it's nothing...I want to see Montana someday and I kinda like looking at my family's faces. :) I know the doctor doesn't know why there is damage and cannot tell me if/when I will lose my sight.  I hope it at least waits until I'm old. :) 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Encouragement for Homemakers...

This post comes from A Wise Woman Builds Her Home. :)


While it is not uncommon for the role of homemaker to be devalued in sociey today, we know that all that is done in our home is holy work, a sacrifice to Him who watches over us day and night. We do not take our work lightly and seek to glorify Him in all that we attempt to do. I am not speaking of perfection here, instead a willing, persevering heart. Here are some quotes to encourage you:

No ordinary work done by a man is either as hard or as responsible as the work of a woman who is bringing up a family of small children; for upon her time and strength demands are made not only every hour of the day but often every hour of the night. She may have to get up night after night to take care of a sick child, and yet must by day continue to do all her household duties well; and if the family means are scant she must usually enjoy even her rare holidays taking her whole brood of children with her. The birth pangs make all men the debtors of all women. Above all our sympathy and regard are due to the struggling wives among those whom Abraham Lincoln called the plain people, and whom he so loved and trusted; for the lives of these women are often led on the lonely heights of quiet, self-sacrificing heroism. 
 -Teddy Roosevelt, 1905

I long to accomplish great and noble tasks, but it is my chief duty and joy to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. 
 -Helen Keller

What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow.
 -Martin Luther

She asks not how her behavior may please a stranger, or how another’s judgment may approve her conduct; let her beloved be content and she is glad.
-Charles Spurgeon describing the excellent wife

"I'm only a housewife, I'm afraid." How often do we hear this shocking admission. I'm afraid when I hear it I feel very angry indeed. Only a housewife: only a practitioner of one of the two most noble professions (the other one is that of a farmer); only the mistress of a huge battery of high and varied skills and custodian of civilization itself. Only a typist, perhaps! Only a company director, or a nuclear physicist; only a barrister; only the President! When a woman says she is a housewife she should say it with the utmost pride, for there is nothing higher on this planet to which she could aspire."
— John Seymour

"The career of motherhood and homemaking is beyond value and needs no justification. It's importance is incalculable."
— Katherine Short

Monday, April 11, 2011

It's nature's way...

We had a pretty good storm here last night.  Our chickens decided they didn't want to get in their coop for bed and instead chose to roost in the tree next to it.  Woke up this morning to a ton of white feathers scattered throughout the yard.  Our neighbor called and asked if we were missing a chicken...I said yes.  He said it was in his pasture. Dead. They were vulnerable because they weren't protected in the coop. Something attacked during the storm.

Tonight they are all tucked safely away in the coop.  It made me think about how vulnerable we are when we are in a storm and don't seek shelter in the Lord.  We are more vulnerable to attack.  Things are chaotic during a storm and sometimes you don't see the predator until it's too late...Seek shelter during the storms of life and you will find safety for your soul.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Spiritual force...

God guides our lives. It is not enough to have an impelling force--we need just as much a repelling force, and so He holds us back by the testing ordeals of life, by the pressure of temptation and trial, by the things that seem against us, but really are furthering our way and establishing our goings.

Let us thank Him for both, let us take the weights as well as the wings, and thus divinely impelled, let us press on with faith and patience in our high and heavenly calling. --A. B. Simpson

Friday, April 8, 2011

New Soap....


Bergamot Grapefruit Soap...smells citrusy, very uplifting. :)

I will be having a fantastic giveaway once I reach 200 page "likes" on my Wiseley Used Herbs facebook page.  We are at 176 likes.  Head on over and "like" the page to be kept up-to-date on soaps and lip balms and also to learn more about herbs.  You can get to my facebook page from the sidebar.  Just click on it and it will take you there! :)  You will find great gifts for Mother's Day and Father's Day.  I am coming out with another men's soap in a month.  Keep an eye out for that one!

Hope you all are having a great day...I'm trying to despite another day of no sunshine. Oh how I can't wait for a full week of sun. :)  I need consistency lol.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Around the ole homestead...









The chickens have enjoyed the warmer air and sunshine. :)  Apparently, one of my Cinnamon Queens decided she liked the hood of my car. :)

I am so glad to see the grass getting greener.  I actually have to mow this weekend! (if it doesn't rain)  First mow of many I know. ;)  

In other news, I will be co-teaching a class at the college this month on the 25th. Looking forward to meeting people who want to learn more about herbs. :)  I am teaching another shooting class tonight to the 4-H kids.  They will be learning to kneel and shoot tonight.  Should be interesting. :)

Hope everyone is well and enjoying the warmth if they have it.  I know some areas are still getting snow...I am enjoying the sound of frogs and the sweet sounds of the wrens. :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Buffalo Turkey Burgers...

I really encourage you to make these!  They are VERY good and so easy!

1 pound turkey
1/8 c buffalo sauce
1/2 T italian seasoning
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1/4 c shredded parmesan cheese (not powdered)
Mix and fry up! That's it! You can serve them on a bun with a slice of cheddar cheese if you'd like. :)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Two new soaps available...

Orange Creamsicle


Rough and Rugged

You can check these out and more at my website...
http://wiseleyusedherbs.weebly.com/

Monday, April 4, 2011

Meekness or weakness...

 This post comes from Biblical Counseling for Women.  I found it to be just what I needed today and wanted to share it with you.  If you haven't visited her site yet, get over there! :)  You can get to it on my sidebar under "blogs I follow"

"Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am meek and humble in heart; and you will find rest for your souls." Matthew 11:29.

Meekness is often misunderstood as weakness. It is represented as being something women do not want to "be" because those who portray meekness do so poorly. A meek woman is actually very strong, and knows what she is about. She understands her position in Christ and her place in the Body.

Meekness is strength under the submitted control of the Holy Spirit.

I find meekness to be lacking in many women these days. We seem to have become argumentative, spiteful, and vengeful. Many women are this way in the home and workplace and even in the church. We tend to show our true selves to those who are the closest to us, and unfortunately the place where our Christ-likeness is to be demonstrated the clearest - we fail the most.

We have been enabled by the Lord Jesus Christ to demonstrate strength under control by the power of Holy Spirit. We are able to lovingly, joyfully, humbly serve those God has placed in our lives. Meekness is a part of what Peter was driving at in 1 Peter 3:4 when he said:

"Let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God."

This is true beauty and goes beyond hair and make-up. There is a settled quietness about a woman who understands meekness. She is strong beyond words and yet she finds little need to exert that strength when under pressure. She accepts God's dealings with her as good and so there is little reason to resist God or try and fight with Him about how her life is ordered. This brings an aura of peace to her world.

Peace comes from her heart because her confidence is in Christ. She trusts Him to be her Advocate before God and man, even when the situation is unjust or she is insulted. She finds she does not have to rant and rage because in Christ she is complete. A meek woman is content in her circumstances. This is possible even if she has a difficult husband or working relationship. By the grace of God she can respond to those who persecute her and make life difficult for her with love and compassion. Many of those who cause us such grief are those who desperately need Christ and have no peace or contentment and so they resent ours!

Seeing these people through Godly eyes helps a lot. Realize that those who don't have Christ are only acting out of the only nature they have, they literally can't help themselves!

As we demonstrate meekness we are also demonstrating faith and confidence that we have God's leading and directing of our lives. Learn your Lord. Learn about Him and who you are in Him and because of Him. God is always at work, even when we cannot see it. Have hope!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Do not yeild to discouragement...

"They looked and behold, the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud" (Exod. 16:10).

Get into the habit of looking for the silver lining of the cloud and when you have found it, continue to look at it, rather than at the leaden gray in the middle.

Do not yield to discouragement no matter how sorely pressed or beset you may be. A discouraged soul is helpless. He can neither resist the wiles of the enemy himself, while in this state, nor can he prevail in prayer for others.

Flee from every symptom of this deadly foe as you would flee from a viper. And be not slow in turning your back on it, unless you want to bite the dust in bitter defeat.

Search out God's promises and say aloud of each one: "This promise is mine." If you still experience a feeling of doubt and discouragement, pour out your heart to God and ask Him to rebuke the adversary who is so mercilessly nagging you.

The very instant you whole-heartedly turn away from every symptom of distrust and discouragement, the blessed Holy Spirit will quicken your faith and inbreathe Divine strength into your soul.

At first you may not be conscious of this, still as you resolutely and uncompromisingly "snub" every tendency toward doubt and depression that assails you, you will soon be made aware that the powers of darkness are falling back.

Oh, if our eyes could only behold the solid phalanx of strength, of power, that is ever behind every turning away from the hosts of darkness, God-ward, what scant heed would be given to the effort of the wily foe to distress, depress, discourage us!

All the marvelous attributes of the Godhead are on the side of the weakest believer, who in the name of Christ, and in simple, childlike trust, yields himself to God and turns to Him for help and guidance.

On a day in the autumn, I saw a prairie eagle mortally wounded by a rifle shot. His eye still gleamed like a circle of light. Then he slowly turned his head, and gave one more searching and longing look at the sky. He had often swept those starry spaces with his wonderful wings. The beautiful sky was the home of his heart. It was the eagle's domain. A thousand times he had exploited there his splendid strength. In those far away heights be had played with the lightnings, and raced with the winds, and now, so far away from home, the eagle lay dying, done to the death, because for once be forgot and flew too low. The soul is that eagle. This is not its home. It must not lose the skyward look. We must keep faith, we must keep hope, we must keep courage, we must keep Christ. We would better creep away from the battlefield at once if we are not going to be brave. There is no time for the soul to stampede. Keep the skyward look, my soul; keep the skyward look!

"Keep looking up--
The waves that roar around thy feet,
Jehovah-Jireh will defeat
When looking up.

"Keep looking up--
Though darkness seems to wrap thy soul;
The Light of Light shall fill thy soul
When looking up.


"Keep looking up--
When worn, distracted with the fight;
Your Captain gives you conquering might
When you look up."

We can never see the sun rise by looking into the west. --Japanese Proverb
 ~Streams in the Desert

Friday, April 1, 2011

Easter soaps for kids...


I made some pure glycerin Easter soaps for kids.  Each soap has an Easter/spring eraser in them and have a light orange scent made with orange essential oil.  These are dye free.  Check them out on my website.  You can get to it from the sidebar. :)

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"There is no place like a farm for raising children, where they can have in such abundance the fresh air and sunshine, with pure living water, good wholesome food and a happy outdoor life" -Laura Ingalls Wilder