Sunday, July 25, 2010

Time For Breakfast?

Yesterday morning when we went out to check the two Bluebird nests, we found some very hungry babies.  This nest box opens up in the front so that I can check on the babies.  They would be sleeping until they heard a noise and as soon as they did, heads popped up and mouths opened!  Picture taken.

The pictures aren't very good.  I had to stick the camera lens into the box and then just snap.  I couldn't see through the viewfinder, so what I got was what I got.

We have two boxes with babies in it.  This next box appears to have only two hatched out of 4 eggs.  Sometimes, all the eggs don't hatch for whatever reason. I don't know if it's because it's later in the season and mama, or daddy are just worn out.  Last year the in the last batch of the season, only one egg hatched out of 4.

This box opens from the top, so it's a little harder to get the pictures.  Again, I just had to aim the camera and snap.  They appear to be quite a bit larger and older.

Well my hero Al, made a pretty unsuccessful frog hunt last night.  His heart just wasn't in it and he only was able to get one tree frog!  The problem is, they don't come out until dark and by that time, he was worn out.  He got a lot of work done yesterday, so I'll give him a pass. :)  Today's another day!

My two batches of soap are hardening in the guest room.  You are supposed to pour it, cover it and then not peek for 24 hours.  I am not a "don't peek" kind of girl, and I cheated....about 5 times. :)  Supposedly, when you take the cover off it changes the temperature in the soap and can cause it to fail.  It appears mine is going to be fine, despite my cheating ways!

The ingredients I used on the first batch are:  lye crystals, distilled water, olive oil, and coconut oil.  You mix the water and lye first.  It heats up from a chemical reaction.  When the temperature drops to about 100 degrees, you pour it into a pot with the oils, which you heat to about 100 degrees.

This is what it looked like at this point.

I used a stick mixer to stir it.  Once it thickens to the proper consistency, it's ready to add fragrances and then pour.  I used a glass pan lined with a plastic garbage bag.  The plastic bag will make it easier to remove from the mold.

Here is the partially hardened soap.  I have to wait a few more hours and then I can cut it.  Once it's cut, it has to cure 6 weeks before you can use it.  I'm not sure why. It is either because the lye needs to dissipate, or  it just needs to harden further.

I'm anxious to cut it.  I have never done anything like this before and I just thought it would be fun to try.  When I started using the soap our friend gave us, I noticed some benefits on my skin. I have sun damage to my skin, from being a Floridian most of my life.  I have freckles on my legs  that are kind of raised and since I started using the soap, the raised freckles have smoothed out.  I don't know if it's the soap, or something Jaime put in her soaps, but I thought I'd continue to use it and see what happens.  It would be nice if it will heal some of the sun damage.


Margie and Roger said... [Reply to comment]

Does all soap have lye in it? I know nothing about such things - guess I have led a sheltered life. Sure hope the soap works for you. I have those same raised sun spots - too much Florida and Tennessee sun. Being in the west has really dried out my skin. I may need to buy some of that homemade soap some day to try.

Carol K said... [Reply to comment]

Thanks for posting the pictures, Karen. I wouldn't have thought of making my own soap, but now that you have tried it, I'm interested. As you said, there are some benefits.

Karen and Al said... [Reply to comment]

Margie, yes, I believe all soap does have lye in it..but am not completely positive. I'll send you a bar when you get back to Florida. It'll be 6 weeks before it's ready anyway. I'm hoping it will eventually lighten/remove those freckles and sun spots. We'll see, in the meantime, I do like the soap anyway.

In The Wind Adventures of William and Mary Ann said... [Reply to comment]

I love your baby bird pictures Karen! And the soap making sounds like a fun project. Is it easy on sensitive skin?
- Mary Ann :-)

Happytrails said... [Reply to comment]

I had never thought about making my own soap but I am very interested as well. I have a few places on my skin I would like to see disappear. I might just give this a try. Thanks
Love the pics of the baby bluebirds. I think you did an amazing job with those pics. They are so cute....and tiny.

Mike & Gerri (happytrails)

Karen and Al said... [Reply to comment]

Carol K,
Don't hold me to the soap benefits. I think I have seen some changes, but haven't used it too long yet. Maybe it's just wishful thinking, but I don't think so.

William and Mary,
There are many, many different soaps with lots of different ingredients. I've seen recipes for shaving soap (like people used to use 100 years ago) acne soap, and many others. When I first started using it, I thought it was drying my skin. I had to put lotion on immediately. After a while, it didn't seem to affect me that way. I don't know if it was because I changed soaps (with different ingredients) or was getting used to it. Then I thought, dry skin, maybe it's exfoliating? So whether it's good for sensitive skin, I think it would depend on the recipe. The ones I made had olive oil, coconut oil and Soybean oil. They are all good for your we'll see.

There is a LOT of info on the internet on soap making. It's a big thing apparently.

Wayne and Roberta said... [Reply to comment]

The soap making sounds like a fun project you will have to let us all know how it is once you can start using it. I have always thought about buying some of the homemade soaps I see at craft fairs but haven't yet. I also have very bad sun damage and have had two bouts of Melanoma so it may be something to look into.

Thanks for sharing.