Handmade Soap – Get the Benefits without the Work or Cost

Soap making.

I’ve not made soap before.  It is something that I would like to learn how to do.  I have not yet found the time to add this to my list of self-sufficiency.  I will have plenty of organic, pasture-raised, grass-fed, beef fat this spring (which I can render into tallow), so soap-making may be in my future.

Since my skin-care revolution; I am especially aware of anything that I smear all over my skin.  This means, if I’m not going to make it with good ingredients, I want to purchase a product that was made with good ingredients.

SOAP

 

I buy soap in the most unusual places.  You would probably never guess where I buy it.

Here’s where I don’t buy it:

  • I don’t buy my soap at the grocery
  • I don’t buy my soap at the health-food store.
  • I don’t buy my soap at the drug store.
  • I don’t buy my soap off the internet.
  • I don’t buy my soap from a wholesale supplier.
  • I don’t buy my soap from a homesteader making it in their home.
  • I don’t buy my soap at local art & craft festivals.

So, where do I buy my soap?

fort boonesborough ky

On field trips, of course!

Let me explain.  

I get my soap on field trips. I have for the past 3 years. As a homeschooling mom, I love field trips. They were absolutely my favorite part of my childhood education and I get to relive it all through the eyes of my kiddos.

If you want to take a field trip and are looking for some company……. Pick me!  Pick me! If we can skip the arithmetic and books and go learn something on an adventure, I’m in!  Some of the field trips we’ve enjoyed include:

  • Chick-fil-A – tour the kitchen, meet the owner,  hear an educational presentation on the history of the company, make your own ice cream cone, and more!
  • Cave tours – Mammoth Cave, Cave City, Marengo Cave
  • Zoo visits -Louisville Zoo, Henry’s Ark & petting zoo, Orlando Zoo, Naples Zoo, – everyone loves zoos!
  • Farm tours – Cattleman’s field day, dairy farm tours, and manure collection for the garden!
  • Pumpkin patches – Corn maze, tractor pulled hay rides, petting zoo, great for fall.
  • Art museums – Speed Art Museum,   Art Sparks (special hands-on art-museum just for kids)
  • Science centers – Louisville Science Center,  Orlando Science Center, Sea World (this counts as school…. right?)
  • History museums – Creation Museum, Kentucky Derby Museum,  Fraizer International History Museum
  • Regional parks – Cherokee park, Waterfront park, etc.
  • Historic land-marks– Black Acre, Locust Grove
  • Library sponsored events and programs – Story time, history walks, guest speakers
  • Nature Preserves – hike, walk, learn about natural, local wildlife
  • Living history field trips – Squire Boone Village, Fort Boonesborough

The living-history field trips are probably my favorite. It is like walking into life – 100 years ago (or more depending on the era being represented). You walk through buildings, rooms or outdoor areas where there are real people dressed as if they were living life in that time.

They show you how they do did things. They talk, interact, and take questions from the visitors.

It’s a fabulous way to learn.

Depending on the place you visit, there may be opportunities for the kids (and grown-ups) to do some hands-on learning.  Each of my children got to pan for gold in the creek, make hand-dipped candles, and pet snakes coming out of walls.

OK, so my children did not pet a snake.  But, there was one on the tour……

We were listening to the guy running the mill explain how the water from the stream propels the water-wheel, that powers the mill, that grinds the corn, that is made into flour……… WHEN…….suddenly there was a gasp, a scream and all 45 people crammed into the 10 X 10 room abrubtly congregated to the other side of the room.

They were relocating because there was a SNAKE slithering out of the stone wall just above their heads, and I’m pretty sure he wanted to eat my children.

Seeing how I have a very rational fear of snakes I began the process of running for my life;  which was slowed down by the fact that I had to collect all 4 of my children so they could run for their lives too.

So, as I was exiting the building as quickly as I could grab my 4 children and vacate I looked back to see if the evil, horrible snake was gaining on us………  That’s when I saw my friend…

She walked over to the wall, where the snake was, and………

Grabbed the snake.

What is wrong with her?  She should have been running for her life like the rest of the rational people in the room.  Nope.  She wanted to take him home and call him George.

The snake apparently liked his wall.  He did not want to go home with my friend or be called George.  He had a death grip on that wall with the back part of his slithery body and wasn’t going anywhere.  Thank goodness.

Mr. Snake got to stay in the wall.

Despite the close call, no one was eaten by the snake.  We took a break on this climby-thingy so we could all I could restore my breathing, blood pressure, and heartbeat to normal.

Then we moved on to the next stop on the field trip.  Soap making!

Inevitably, there is a soap-making demonstration. Some sweet gal is usually dressed in homespun, plain clothes cooking up some lye and tallow in a giant cast-iron pot and somehow making it into soap. There’s 3 ingredients: lye, fat (tallow), and water.

Not only is it healthy and pure it’s made fresh before your eyes.  In a giant cast iron kettle.  By a woman in an apron from 1900. Totally cool.

lyesoap

This old-fashioned lye soap is made in a kettle over an open fire, using a centuries-old method.

It is probably not as good as it would be if I used the fat from the steer in my front yard and made it myself;  however, it is a good alternative to the stuff sold in the grocery with 23 ingredients……. that I can’t pronounce.

 

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