Monday, February 27, 2012

Homeschooling Humor

I informed my boys that this week was the last week of our study of Daniel Boone.

"Alright!" was the excited reply.

"We are going to study Lewis and Clark next."

"Mom, my friend says he is related to Mary mother." my oldest told me.


"You know, Mary mother Lewis, the one who explored with Clark."

"Oh, I think you mean Meriwether Lewis."

"You mean a girl explored with Clark!"

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap


1 bar Fels-Naptha soap
Washing Soda (be careful with this.  It will irritate skin.  Once it is mixed with the water and stuff, it is fine to get on your skin.  Just not plain!)
cheese grater
5-gallon bucket
large wooden spoon or five gallon paint stirrer from Lowes or Home Depot 

Grate Fels-Naptha into a fine powder using cheese grater.  I used a box grater.  If you unwrap the soap and let it set in a dry place for a couple of weeks grating is easier, but this is not necessary.

Combine grated soap and 6 cups of water in a large pan over medium heat.  Stirring continuously with a wooden spoon until soap is dissolved.

Add 1 cup of washing soda and 1/2 cup of borax.  Stir until dissolved, then bring to a boil and heat for 15 minutes.  Remove from heat.

Add 1 quart of hot water to 5 gallon bucket and then add detergent mixture. Fill bucket 1/2 the way full with  hot water.  Stir until combined.  

Place bucket where you will be using it and fill to two inches of the top with hot water.  Stir again.

The soap will thicken over the next 24 hours.  Just keep stirring before you use it the first three or four times.

Use 1/2 cup per load (the caps from the liquid tide happen to be 1/2 cup!)

I have been using this and I think it works great!  You can use some essential oils to add a scent if you want.

This soap costs about a penny per load vs. tide at about $0.20 per load.

My hair is now bun ready and my denim skirt is ironed.  I even have two (2) denim jumpers!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Book Review - Beyond Molasses Creek

Okay folks, I am beginning my year with posts of a couple of my favorite subjects:  books and karate. I will post a cooking item soon, that should wrap up the big three in my favorites category.

My first February book review is for the book "Beyond Molasses Creek" by Nicole Seitz.  I have to say that I enjoy reviewing books for Booksneeze because it is a branch of Thomas Nelson publishing.  Most of these books have a Christian message, some subtle, some not so subtle.  This book left it out entirely.  The setup was there.  The opportunity to show a need and a trust in GOD was ready to be taken.  It was ripe, almost falling from the tree.  Yet it was ignored.

That aside, it was a very unique storyline.  Ally Green comes home because her father has died and she must take care of his, now her, house.  Vesey Washington,  Ally's across the creek neighbor and best childhood friend, appears just when she needs him.  Their friendship has withstood racial tensions, years of absence, and forbidden love.

A woman half a world away, Sunila, also ties into the story.  She is different from all those around her and she is an artist in a gravel pit.  She must find out why she is different and where the "book" came from that she cannot read, but she knows holds all the answers.

Nicole Seitz does a wonderful job weaving the three stands of the characters together.  It is not often you find a story told from three different points of view.  Two of the characters share a common background.  Two search for their past and their future.  Once character is sure of his life and his choices, while one had no choice and the last felt her choices may not have been right at all.

Each is looking for something to guide them, a reason to go on, a purpose to fulfill.  With the void in their lives, they feel aimless, yet driven to find and reach their goal.  Their stories come slowly together revealing just enough at a time to keep you turning pages, but not so much that you get lost in the overload of information.

Beyond Molasses Creek invites you to travel through time to a place where characters are shaped and choices are made.  And the work it takes to live with the consequences.