"We've got a lot to be Thankful for"

Dear Friends,
 Hope this blog finds you all doing well and that your Thanksgiving was wonderful! We were very grateful to have a family of good friends over and much of our Thanksgiving feast was from what we grew and put up. With good friends, and our homegrown food and so much more, there's a lot to be thankful for! Here are a few pictures to share with you.
We are also very grateful for our hot water heater being set up through our wood cook stove this past week! As long as we have a good hot fire in the stove, we have hot water in the kitchen sink and to the gravity flow shower as well! Yeah! No more hauling hot water and no more hot water bill! Although we have not paid a water bill of any kind in 20 years- but that's another story and I'll try to tell you about that in an upcoming blog, Off Grid Living Part 2. For now our farmhouse kitchen is full of wonderful smells of chocolate, no, not from pies that are baking this time of year, Jasmine is making her beautiful Chocolate Swirl Soap {her own  formula} and not only does it make your skin soft and feel great, this chocolate soap looks like you could eat it!! It's true, we have had to stop a few folks from biting into it! She is also making Silk and Lavender soap which is made with real silk and lavender pure essential oils. The silk and other natural ingredients are moistening to your skin and the smell is lovely. Gentle Baby soap is on the drying racks in our upstairs room and this soap is of course made with all natural ingredients so that it's safe and gentle for even babies. These all natural soaps are made right here on our homestead the slow old fashioned way and in small batches. In her soaps, Jasmine uses only the purest plant based oils {olive, coconut, palm and avocado}and then a blend of pure essential oils to give our soaps a clean, light, scent.
  Handmade soaps, especially ones with olive oil, can be an amazing treat for your skin. Olive oil is a natural humectant, meaning it attracts moisture without clogging up the pores. If you all have never tried olive oil soap, your in for a treat!
 I forgot to mention the Goat Milk Soap! We use to use goats milk from our very own goats, but now we have a heifer calf and no milk right now! But hopefully future milk blessings! Our good friends that are milking their goats needed soap making lessons, so we traded plenty of milk for soap learning! Yeah! So now Jasmine has plenty of creamy white goat milk for soap, and it is great! It is an absolute joy to make soap in your own home!
 Hannah has these cute little cardboard boxes all over the kitchen table {we have a big dinner table, plenty of room for soap and boxes}and is putting them together to package and ship soap orders in. As we all get the soaps ready for our "shippers" {our friends}, who faithfully and carefully take orders and ship out for us, I can't help but think {with a smile}about many of the friends and families who will receive these packages of homemade soaps. They are made with lots of love and care and I just know y'all will love and enjoy the good smelling packages of soap from our homestead. What a Homestead Blessing to do the work you love at home!
 Thank you for all the encouraging comments about our YouTube films, can't wait to do the next one. What an adventure! It makes me think of this quote from G K Chesterton:
"Today there are fewer places to discover and the real adventure is to stay at home."
Be sure to visit our website for the different sales going on and new homespun products, www.homestead-blessings.com   please tell your friends about us! There is also a free down loadable color page on our blog for the children, it's a sample of the up Homestead Blessings Coloring Book we've been working on. We hope it will encourage good art and music and a joyful family life and adventures on the homestead.
Well, that's all for this homestead blog.
                 Many blessings to you all,
                             Vicki for the West Ladies

                                                     Hopefully more pictures soon!


Bonnets and Boots said...

Can't wait to hear more about the hot water set-up! The soaps look and sound wonderful!

Anonymous said...

Do you ever make soap out of scrap/animal fat--like homesteader's soap? I was just wondering, because even while the veggie fats like olive oil/coconut oil are great, they are also pricey. I made a batch of homesteaders soap a few years ago out of almost entirely beef/pork scrap fat, rendered out, and it made great soap, that was quite economical (about $5-7 for about 50 bars of soap.)Anyway, just wondering. I also had an idea for another video--The Art of Frugality. In today's day and age of consumerism, many people (especially younger) have no idea how to contrive to make do with what you have or how to do without, or how to substitute say ingredients or how to use leftovers. I'm not sure exactly how it could be formatted, but I think this kind of information could come in really handy for a lot of people! I know my mother taught me many skills that I still use today--sewing/mending/darning, hanging clothes on a line, meal planning, budgeting, and the list goes on. If I had none of these skills, my family would be in dire straights, trying to make ends meet, and it's important for young women to learn them before they get so busy with raising their kids that they don't have time to learn something new. Thanks a bunch for all your encouragement!