Category Archives: beginnings

I never dreamed I’d be doing this…

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I never dreamed that I would be standing in my kitchen with a long sleeve shirt on, long pants, socks and closed toe shoes, with goggles on my face, gloves on my hands and arms and a mask over my nose and mouth monitoring the temperature of four different oils put together and a mix of lye and distilled water to try and get them both to the same temperature so that I could then combine them, blend them, add essential oils and oatmeal and pour the whole thing into a mold to make  bars of soap.

Maybe you’ve done it or maybe you’ve wanted to do it…but it was honestly not even on my radar until a couple of weeks ago.

Last night I held an open house for my body scrub business called “Something Lovely”. It’s official now. I even have the business cards and a Facebook page to prove it 🙂 No one came. It was short notice. Christmas and gift giving is still far away…but it was worth a try and I’ll try again next week. However, as I sat here by myself I decided it was time to for new adventures and I decided I would go for the whole bars of soap thing.

In the books they warn you repeatedly about lye and how dangerous it is. It appears that it can be something that when not handled right can be quite volcanic and explosive. I wasn’t really in the mood to screw that kind of thing up. I measured each oil and ingredient precisely. I got my stove going and an ice bath going for the oils and for the lye mixture. I used this handy dandy temperature thing where you just push a button as you point at the substance that you either want to cool or heat and it would give a read out of the temperature in the container, works pretty good. When they were both at 110 degrees I blended them together and it didn’t take long at all for ‘trace’ to be reached. Quite amazing how the whole thing solidifies really. By tonight I’ll be able to take it out of the mold and slice. The bars will then sit on baking racks that I’ve set up over my refrigerator to ‘cure’ for the next 4-6 weeks. It’s not a process that is for the impatient!

If I could’ve been a fly on the wall last night and watched myself I think it would’ve been kind of comical and utterly fascinating to realize how much my life has changed.

Last night I talked with my youngest about this blog and another blog I write on called “Onelifewelllived”. They used to seem so separate to me. On this one I would write about sabbatical and all last year, my count down towards sabbatical and how my life is changing. On the other blog I would write about story and what matters in a good story. I would encourage people to tell their own stories in some form or fashion. I wrote about my own story and the parts of it that I thought I were doing well, or the parts where I knew I needed improvement. I’m finding that these two blogs are starting to interweave quite a bit and my off the ride is bleeding into my one life well lived. Life is fluid that way. Any time we try to keep things in separate categories they have a way of bleeding into each other.

I also write on a blog called Going Solo which is totally about my private music business. And I write on a blog for my kids…which is specifically letters to my kids…letters to lead you home.com

I’m telling you this because…I have a feeling it won’t be long until I take my one life well lived blog and merge it with this off the ride blog and come up with one new blog out of the process. If I do make that move…I’ll let you know. It just seems like that’s the direction I’m going in.

Blogs kind of have a life of their own. I’ve written on five different blogs over the past 7 years and I find that they have a way of growing, changing, ending, and starting. I try to be aware of the process as it happens. Creativity is all about following the idea at the time.

I have started a Facebook page for ‘something lovely’ so if you want to look it up and like it that would be awesome. And definitely if you’re interested in body scrub or hand made soap, I’m becoming more and more your girl. I’m still trying to work out the shipping part of the equation. Today I’m going to try UPS and see how much that seems to be. After that I’ll probably experiment with Fed Ex.

Have a lovely day! I’m headed out for a bike ride…it’s been too long.

A great way to start the day.

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I’ve been walking with some friends each morning (Mon.-Fri.) for the past week in our local park from 6am-7am. It’s amazing to me how good it feels to get outside first thing in the morning and walk with friends. Makes me wonder why I never did this before…

I enjoy solitude and I guess different seasons have different things for us. There for awhile I was getting up and biking by myself and that was great too. It was a great prayer time and just time for reflection and thoughts inside my own mind. But this season of walking with friends each day and getting to know them is really quite lovely.

In one weeks time…we’ve told lots of stories. We’ve laughed, we’ve groaned, we’ve expressed struggle and perhaps some sorrow too. We’ve shared prayer requests. We’ve walked around bee hives. We’ve ran to get away from horse flies. We’ve lost keys and had to walk another lap to try and find them. We’ve greeted strangers as they meet us on the path. We’ve sweated together and watched the sun come up now together 4 times. When we arrive at the park, it’s still dark…but every day as we walk we watch the day begin together.

It’s a physical experience, an emotional one too…as we connect with each other’s hearts. And it’s also a spiritual experience. We were made for connection.

If I was working fulltime right now, I have a feeling I would’ve probably declined thinking it was too much to add to my life. But being on sabbatical…I have no excuses. I even get picked up and driven to the park, so it’s not as if I even have to drive 🙂 When a car pulls up at 5:50am to pick you up, you pretty much need to be ready to go!

I’ve made a friend. One of the ladies that I walk with…I never knew her before. Oh I would’ve recognized her…but just last week when we got together at a party I could barely remember her first name. Now we talk about most anything that comes to our minds.

I’m amazed at how that all works. Connecting with other people really isn’t all that hard, or at least that’s how it feels with Patti and Lori.

I have no idea how long we’ll do this. I try not to paint myself into a box because I know my track record. I tend to say things that are sweeping and that I’m going to do and commit to for forever. I realize that seasons come and go, but for this season at least…my morning hour walk with these two ladies is one of the best parts of my day.

It gets me out of bed, early. I always feel better when I get up and going. And…it gets rid of the exercise guilt first thing. I often even do some form of exercise later in the day as well…but if not, at least I know I’ve walked 3-4 miles already.

I come home and my girls are still asleep and I have coffee and quiet time to myself. My morning routine is complete!

None of this costs a dime.

The best things in life are for free. Friendship, Nature, Quiet, Peace…

How do you start your day? How does it set you up to have a great day? Who do you connect with these days? What relationships are you pouring your life into? How does exercise work into your daily life? When do you have some quiet time to yourself? I’ve found walking with a couple of friends each morning is a lovely way to cover all of these bases first thing.

God…today I am so grateful for Patti and Lori. So grateful that you took three ladies who are all working on health and weight and have probably struggled with it over many, many years and put us together to encourage and build one another up. I am so thankful that as a widow I have friends each day who are with me to greet the new day. So thankful to feel loved and to be able to love others. You’ve given me intimacy that I didn’t know I was even missing. You’ve once again provided and filled holes in my life in ways that I could’ve never expected even a week ago. I am grateful. I trust that you will continue to always be faithful no matter what the future holds.

Potential…tapped into :)

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I’ve always lived with that little lingering feeling that if I just had more time to pursue the things that mattered to me I had so much untapped potential. Does everybody feel that way? When I worked at the public school teaching music I think I tried to tell myself that everybody did and so therefore I just needed to suck it up and push through. Now I’m not so sure.

Because…what I’m finding is that lingering feeling and frustration was absolutely true. I did have more in me. I had dreams that were waiting to be birthed but no room for them to develop and grow, to really be put into action.

These days…I have time, I have opportunity to pursue things I never have before.

Yesterday I officially, publicly, with pictures and prices and finished off products started my body scrub and soap business. Ok…I have yet to make the soap…but it’s not far off. But I’ve officially started the body scrub side of things. For the next two weeks/plus I will be posting pictures of each scent as it gets finished off. I will describe to you what my girls and I think about it, what the scent reminds us of how or how it causes us to feel. I will give you as much detail as I can without you actually using it for yourself. Unless you live locally and want to come try a little 🙂

If you are interested in purchasing a jar for yourself or for a gift (Christmas is not far off!) then please let me know and we can work out arrangements to make it happen. The small jars are $6. The larger jars are $10. The large jars are double the size of the small so if you do the math you can tell they are the better deal for your money if you care about that type of thing.

The ingredients are listed on the tag and everything is incredibly homemade and as natural as it can be.

I plan to use these as gifts for my neighbors this Christmas, teachers, friends, and family. They’re useful and also attractive. And a good deal for the $$. What a rare thing in today’s world of retail shopping!

Yesterday, I posted pictures on my One Life Well Lived blog of my first scent…LEMON. I really like the lemon scent. It’s refreshing, invigorating, full of life and freshness. Obviously, I’m kind of in love with that word “fresh” right now so a scent that makes me smell that way seems so divine. I use my body scrub on my hands…my elbows and feet. All of the areas that really get neglected easily. My oldest daughter says she is using them on her legs before shaving and feels like she gets a closer shave. This isn’t scientific…but if she feels like that’s true…then who knows, maybe it is.

Here are the pictures of my lemon jars 🙂

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And here are the pictures for my new scent today…LAVENDER. For those who love a more floral scent, delicate and more feminine I think you’ll enjoy this scent. Plus if you love purple…well this would be a great buy for you 🙂

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On Monday I’ll post the next scent available. Tomorrow is “No Screen Sunday” for us…so until then, have a lovely labor day weekend. Enjoy family. Enjoy extra time. Knock out a house project if it makes you feel good. Rest. Relax. Connect with people and take some time to reflect. That’s what I hope to do.