When my husband and I got married one of his favorite phrases was "Shit Happens." Well, my oldest was five at the time so I said, "Honey, you have to come up with something else. I don't want him suspended in Kindergarten." So he came up with Life Occurs. Well, life has been occurring all over the place in the last year. It's been a crazy ride. My husband changed jobs which is good but now he is gone for months at a time and lost all his vacation time. My eldest son who was going to keep the home fires burning while we were off hiking also changed jobs which is good, but he's not a farmer and finds it difficult to manage farm chores and his 6 day a week full time job. A fox literally wiped out our hen house, two of out three pets have died of old age and the one left is an 11 year old arthritic wolf hybrid. Keeping him going has become a full time job. The tractor is gone and my husband's car bit the dust. Needless to say I've had to put off my hiking dream for awhile but it's still a dream and my wolf and I manage to get in a bit of a hike everyday and for now that will suffice.
Happily, I do get to drive by the Trail often. My youngest son went off to college this year...in Indiana! Yep that's a long haul from Virginia. Earlham, a small Quaker liberal arts college, has proven to be a good fit for our evolving young man who is into to everything from physics to theater. It has also meant that I have driven through the Blue Ridge Mountains and right past the Trail several times. He doesn't have a car and with all his tech stuff it's just more economical to go get him and his stuff, then pay to fly him. Plus, I like the drive. 10 hours alone with my thoughts and podcasts in addition to all those mountains is kind of nice. I've found a few favorite places to stop along the way and I've met some really nice people and, you know, I always take a few bars of my soap to share. I guess my take on it all is, life occurs, get yourself up, knock off the dust and keep on going. BTW, I do make a soap for that.
Speaking of soap, I've been doing a lot of experimenting lately. My herb gardens are a mess but I still have them and they are producing some great plants this year. In a couple of cases I discovered it's easier to remove the plants than the weeds so I did. As Daddy used to say, "Work smart, not hard." Innovating thinking right? I love my Rosewater Soap but it's bland and a little too sweet but when you mix it with a bit of mint, it cuts the sweetness and adds a bit of bite. Great right? I also have been adding more herbs to my soaps. I was straining out the herbs from the infused oils to make the bars look cleaner but I realized it's herbal soap, You should be able to see the herbs! I love my herbs.
I've also been working on adding more local vendors. I know I can't do it all, but fortunately, I have been able to partner with so many great stores and farm markets to get my soap out there. I appreciate them all. Their help, advice and friendship over the past years has been invaluable. You should check them out, they are good people. They are listed under the retailers tab on our website and I'm always open to suggestions for more.
Today is Motivation Monday. I am now motivated to keep on moving forward. I'll keep you updated as we continue to change and grow. Right now I'm going to try and figure out how to change the Soap of the Season on the Home Page without pestering my busy kids for the umpteenth time. If that doesn't work I'll take a walk in the rain with the dog. He'll like that.