Tuesday, January 9, 2018


A friend from church was thinning out his flower bed and asked if I was interested in a few daylily plants. I have a small area against the back of the garage where I've been planting flowers, so thought they would be a nice addition.

He gave them to me wrapped in newspaper, 5-6 bulbs of each variety. There were purple, orange, red and yellow ones. I planted them a few inches deep and about 6-8 inches apart. I watered them the first few days.

I'll be anxious to see them flower. Daylilies are supposed to be hearty which is just the kind of flowers I need.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Cat & Mouse

The cats out in the workshop are beginning to earn their keep. I found this one with a mouse the other day. It looked like he was actually planning to eat it, rather than play with it. And he wasn't sharing with the others.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Soap Class

The garden center has closed where I have taken soap classes before (read here and here if interested), so I contacted the soap lady directly and asked if she'd be willing to do a class for me if I could gather up enough people interested. She agreed, but asked if we could hold the class somewhere closer to the city. So I persuaded a good friend to help, and she agreed to host the class at her house. I was able to interest several ladies from church to join in.

As before, she brought everything we needed to make a batch of soap. Over the years she's even streamlined the process a little and comes with a few things already measured and weighed out for us. All we had to do was choose our add-in oils, colors and textures, and then blend it up.

The class was held just before Thanksgiving, so I think some of the ladies were influenced by fall colors and smells in their choices. I did a double batch and chose more plain add-ins.

Pre-measured oils

Juice cartons for the molds

The powders for color

The textures

The oils for scent

The blending station

The recipe

The different finished soaps

My soaps were rosemary and lavender

The soap comes out as a big cube that you cut into bars.

The rosemary soap was cut into six bars.

The lavender was cut into 8 bars.

One of the other ladies also chose a green color similar to mine, but with lavender and eucalyptus.

One lady cut 15 narrow bars for her lemongrass soap.

One lady cut 6 large bars for her paprika and turmeric (color) and lemongrass and sandalwood (scent) mix.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Tiny Scorpion

This little guy was on the bathroom floor one night. Luckily I had switched the light on before walking around, and also had on my slippers. I've heard that the smaller ones have a sting as strong as the bigger ones, but I don't want to test that theory.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Chimney Wasps

One afternoon while the painter was here, I came home with a load of groceries. After I set them down on the kitchen counter, I became aware of a humming and buzzing sound. I could see a few wasps buzzing around on the ceiling. The painter had been staining the front door and I assumed a few had come in while the door was wide open.

I made a few more trips to the car and brought all groceries inside. More buzzing sounds. I'm pretty sure that sound is one of the more unnerving sounds. Even though they probably wouldn't bother me, I could not rest with that sound in the house. The last thing I wanted to do was chase down a couple of wasps in the house after I'd been walking the aisles of Walmart. 

But the more I stood and looked around, the more wasps I began to see. More bouncing on the ceiling. A few on the blinds. A few on the table. Then I noticed a swarm on the kitchen light fitting. And even more between the kitchen blinds and the windows.

What do you do with so many inside the house? I know what you do outside. Spray with wasp spray and run. But I wasn't sure if you were supposed to spray wasp spray inside the house, or if it was even safe.

There were too many to swat with a fly swatter, so I took a chance and used the wasp spray. It was surprisingly effective and didn't leave much mess, except streaks down the window panes. I figured I could clean the windows later.

I searched the house for strays and used the fly swatter for the rest. I ended up breaking the fly swatter from all the swatting. When I finally felt confident I had killed all of them, I swept them up into a nice pile to show everyone when they got home.

Throughout the afternoon, more wasps appeared and I finally decided they were coming in from the chimney. After a quick internet search, I decided the best thing to do was spray wasp spray up the chimney and close the flue.

For the next few days we had a few stragglers, but nothing like the first day. I think having the front door open most of the day created some sort of down draft which drew the wasps down rather than up the chimney.