A kindred spirit notified me of this beautiful film that I watched yesterday online. Check your local PBS channels, it might be coming your way! If you are an animal lover, you've gotta see it. If you're not an animal lover, you gotta see it. It made me laugh and cry and I think I fell a little in love with Joe Hutto.
"After a local farmer left a bowl of eggs on Joe Hutto’s front porch, his life was forever changed. Hutto, possessing a broad background in the natural sciences and an interest in imprinting young animals, incubated the eggs and waited for them to hatch. As the chicks emerged from their shells, they locked eyes with an unusual but dedicated mother."
Here is a short preview:
"Deep in the wilds of Florida’s Flatlands, Hutto spent each day living as a turkey mother, taking on the full-time job of raising sixteen turkey chicks. Hutto dutifully cared for his family around the clock, roosting with them, taking them foraging, and immersing himself in their world. In the process, they revealed their charming curiosity and surprising intellect.
There was little he could teach them that they did not already know, but he showed them the lay of the land and protected them from the dangers of the forest as best he could. In return, they taught him how to see the world through their eyes."
“Had I known what was in store—the difficult nature of the study and the time I was about to invest—I would have been hard pressed to justify such an intense involvement. But, fortunately, I naively allowed myself to blunder into a two-year commitment that was at once exhausting, often overwhelming, enlightening, and one of the most inspiring and satisfying experiences of my life.” – Joe Hutto, "Illumination in the Flatwoods"
To see the whole video, click here. It's a little over 50 minutes long, uninterrupted. It's beautiful, touching and extremely well-done.
I hadn't made soap since we moved here to our cabin, so wanted to do it again before I forgot how - and before all my oils and butters went bad since some were getting kind of old. Plus, I had only one bar left of the soaps I made... two years ago! I am impressed with how well they last - fragrance and all. They are the only soaps I use because I really like them! I'd thought I'd not have room here to spread out and create cold process soaps, but I just shuffled some things around and voila! I was able to squeeze everything into the kitchen. I now have three batches curing in the basement.
These aren't soaps to write home about or anything because I tend to lean towards more natural, rustic types of soaps. I'm not into bright colors or a manufactured look... I like my soap to be a little rough around the edges - just like I like my men! Ha! (Mike is definitely rough around the edges and one of the reasons I fell for him.) I color mine with clays and herbs and spices. I've not trimmed these up yet to neaten the edges.
This one has a lot of full fat coconut milk in it and some calendula petals, along with shea butter, virgin coconut oil, cocoa butter and a few other oils. And some yellow illite clay on the top layer. I can't wait to test it out.
And this one has rose colored kaolin clay in it for the color and extra "slip". It traced so quickly that by the time I was putting the soap into the mold it was starting to solidify, so the top is particularly bumpy and funky.
This last bar is two layers divided by some old soap that I had cut into small chunks. The colors are so similar they are hard to see, but it's a good way to use old soap pieces. It's made with coconut, olive, mango seed, babassu, hazelnut, castor and avocado oils plus cocoa butter. This is my "use up what I've got" soap. I would normally use the finer oils for face and body lotions, but they were getting old. So, while it's a plain looking thing and the cut is kinda rough on this bar, it's got lots of good stuff in it.
So there you have it... fun with soap. The basement smells luscious with them curing down there.
Time must be flying by because I've not been here in a long time, but it doesn't feel that way at all. I've been so busy with our new "child" and making more soap and crocheting and cooking, etc., that time just passes by... leaving my blog untouched.
So... bringing things up-to-date a bit...
Dusty is so much fun. What a little goof ball! He's at the age where he's running around bouncing off walls and furniture and dragging his toys all over the cabin. Here is a picture of him taken last week, chillin' in his tunnel:
He's at least doubled in size since we brought him home and is just a happy little guy.
But someone who is not happy is Sophie. I was kinda surprised since she warmed up to Zena two years ago almost right off the bat and they became best of friends... but not so with Dusty. Poor little guy... he runs up to her all the time with such zest and vigor while donning the biggest smile - like he is saying "I want to be your friend!" He even jumps on her back to say hello like he's giving her a big ol' bear hug. All this is received with a hiss and slap in the face. In protest, Sophie has moved down to the basement with a defiant huff whenever she is inside now. We're trying to be patient and loving with her, but just can't understand why she hasn't fallen in love with this face:
And, on the animal front, I had to get rid of my guineas. Here they are with Sophie last week:
I hated to do it since they and Andy, the light brahma rooster, were best of buds, but (1) they weren't doing what we got them for (roam the property and eat bugs), (2) Andy had started mating with them for cryin' out loud, and worst of all, (3) they had turned into bullies. They'd chase and peck anyone they were in the mood to harrass and it caused all kinds of discord. A really nice lady took them and said they'd have their own place and be safe and sound. It sure is quiet out there now.
The leaves are on their way out and winter is looming. Today is rainy and warm - in the 60's - and here are a few of shots I took while Sophie and I took our morning walk, starting with the ignored garden:
Yesterday I actually picked a few peppers - even after two nights of freezing weather. I've not yet pulled out the spent plants and the weeds are starting to take over, but I've moved inside to do other things. Maybe the next sunny day I'll clean it up a bit; it needs it.
I like how nature placed the leaves on this fountain in front of the deck. If you look closely, you can see my reflection.
There are leaves everywhere now; we need a good wind to blow them off the hill!
I've made three batches of soap and will take their pictures soon. They're not that spectacular to look at since I'm not into bright colors and go for natural colorants, but they turned out okay. They smell super good and are made with some nice oils I needed to use up.
Today I need to finish making my apple butter. Mike and I finally got a bunch of apples and I'm using four different varieties: Winesap, Golden Delicious, Black Arkansas and Granny Smith.