Monthly Archives: March 2014

8 Practical Uses for Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous  Earth (DE), what is it good for, absolutely everything! Well, maybe not everything… I don’t think I will be using it to clean anything anytime soon as it creates more dust than a whirling dervish (I’m just assuming they kick up some dust).

I recently received a message from a friend asking, “Wanted to know if you have every used Diatomaceous Earth or knew anything about it?” Yup, I do know about DE as we have been using it here on the farm for several years.

This wonderful substance that we lovingly refer to as DE (because few, including me, can pronounce it’s full name consistently correctly) is widely used all over the world for a multitude of things. Here on The Shepherd Hobby Farm we use it as an animal feed additive, garden pest control, carpet duster and external parasite control (a lot like a topical flea/mite powder).

DE comes from fossilized diatoms (algae) that have calcified and layered as sedimentary rock. In the United States, it is now mined from old lake beds which are mainly in Colorado and Nevada. It feels like a very light powder because each diatom is so porous, but they each have jagged edges. These properties are key to its functions (according to Mother Earth News).

A bit of DE for your viewing pleasure.

A bit of DE for your viewing pleasure.

I’ve heard people give two different explanations of how DE works. Many say it works in both of these ways.

One is that on a microscopic level, the diatomaceous earth particles are very sharp looking. These particles stick to an insect and get stuck between its exoskeleton joints. As the insect moves, it gets physically cut up.

The other explanation is that diatomaceous earth sticks to the insect and somehow causes them to dry out. I think this approach involves scratching the insects waxy layer which then allows precious moisture within the insect to get out. So their teeny tiny bug-innards turn into teeny tiny bug-innards-jerky.

Unless you’re buying filters for a swimming pool,  the DE you want must be “food grade.” This won’t be contaminated with anything toxic and won’t be dangerous to breathe or handle. You can buy the food grade DE at your local feed store, some nurseries and online. One brand for smaller quantities is called “Pure-Earth.” Our 50# bags are called, “Perma-Guard.”

Wego big! Our 50# bag of DE

We go big! Our 50# bag of DE

Below I will list all the ways I know of that it can be used and the pluses and minuses of each use.

  1. Worming medicine: We have goats, sheep, horses, dogs, cats, chickens, guineas, and rabbits here on The Shepherd Hobby Farm. Most of those animals (except for dogs, cats, and rabbits) are notorious for carrying worm loads on an ordinary day to day basis. We do fecal counts often to ensure our animals are within healthy ranges and keep them this way with the use of some chemical wormers when the need arises. However, our preventative program including herbs, minerals, and DE has provided us with a program in which our animals stay extrememly healthy using these natural ingredients. We mix DE into the horse, sheep, chicken, and goat feed each morning and evening. The concept behind this is that the DE travels through the animals system and the sharp edges of the DE do nothing to the animal (because they are so small) but wedge into the exoskeletons of the parasites and kill them.
  2. Fly control. If you have horses (or cows, llamas, alpacas… hooved creatures that poop a lot) then you understand when I say I really dislike flies. The concept here is, “what goes in must come out.” The DE goes in through them eating their feed and also comes out when they poo. It’s there in it’s ever wonderful glory when flies come sand lay their eggs in the piles of poo. When the eggs hatch out in to little maggots the DE once again wedges itself in and around, tears them all up, and dehydrates them. This has drastically reduced our fly population the last few years. Sometimes I also sprinkle some DE on fresh piles I see flies swarming around just in case.
  3. Insecticide in the garden: We do not use any chemical pesticides, herbicides, or insecticides here at the farm. At one point our chickens were loose to free range the entire property (including our front pirch which is why we have changed things a bit as far as chickens go) and therefore we chose not to use any chemicals that may make its wasy into our chickens and eggs. DE is thought to work externally on crawling insects by scratching the exoskeleton,  absorbing protective lipids and causing them to dehydrate. Studies show that it is not harful to bees or earthworms (though I am a little dubious as I don’t know how it would affect maggots in a horse manure pile but not an earthworm… something seems a little off. I use DE sparingly in the garden and only when the infestation of unwanted critters is more than I can handle with handpicking and other pest control practices.
  4. Carpet duster. We have four dogs and ten cats. Three of the four dogs are inside the majority of the time and many of the cats try to sneak in he house at every given opportunity. Therefore, even though they are all on flea and tick preventative it doesn’t mean some of these little icky pest won’t hitchike in on one of them to try to make a meal out of one of use. Therefore, once a week I dust my carpets with a mixture of baking soda, DE, and cedarwood essential oil. I let sit for a few hours (sometime sovernight) and vacuum up. This not only kills any pests in my carpets but also freshens and deodorizes it!
  5. Pest control on the skin of animals: As I mentioned before, all ou dogs and cats are on a chemical flea prevention but we choose a more organic and natural route for tick and mites (chickens). We comb through our dogs and cats each day for ticks and dust the goats, sheep, and chickens with DE once a week. I sprinkle it onto their coats and rub it in while making them completely happy with a little rub down. They LOVE this one on one time!
  6. Hydroponic: DE is like perlite or vermiculite and retains water and nutrients in the  soil. Its porosity means that the soil will also drain well. This makes it great  for potted plants.
  7.  Feed bags: With some of the animal’s feed bags that are particularly susceptible to insects and pests I put a cup of DE in and mix it all up so they die, die, die and stop eating my anima’s feed!
  8. Human detox: I have not done this but have heard about it being done… Many people eat a quarter cup of food grade diatomaceous earth every day. They mix it into juice. I have visited with several people that are keen on living past 100 years that believe that eating lots diatomaceous earth every day will help them with that goal. I have found references where it is cited for colon cleansing, parasite control and detox. Not really interested myself, but just thought I’d throw that out there.

Earthworks Health has an interesting list of uses and claims for DE (human use). Check it out if you are interested in seeing what all DE could do for your body.

Well folks, that’s what I’ve got for DE. Thanks for the questio Karis and feel free to ask any follow-up questions or let me know what your plans ar with DE. Anyone else have ideas for DE?

Happy Day All!

Jhenna

 

DIY Toothache Relief

All righty, I am supposed to be working on several different blog posts right now… Uses for Diamesteacous Earth, Gardening… When Can I FINALLY Get Dirty?, Unschooling a High Schooler, What’s For Dinner?, and the list goes on for quite a ways.

However… I have a toothache. Not just any toothache… I have a pounding, jackhammer in my jaw, head and neck hurting kind of toothache. About a month ago I cracked a tooth or a filling (not sure which) and lost a big chunk of something (tooth, filling, who knows… just a gaping spot that needed fixing… hand me the spackle!). Went to dentist, he fixed me up with a huge silver looking filling (no gold 🙁 ) and sent me on my way.

Well, Wednesday night (3 days ago) I started getting this bad toothache. I looked and sure enough there’s a crack on the big silver filling part. Called my dentist first thing Thursday morning and the soonest I could get in is next Wednesday. I’m really not a complainer but this sucker hurts!

I called back about 3 hours later that day and asked to be put on the cancellation waiting list… I promised I could be there in 5 minutes (virtually impossible as we live 15 minutes away from dentist but I was willing to promise anything at that point) if someone canceled. I was given a pain med presciption for Hydrocodon with Acetaminophen (Tylenol) after I kept calling the dentist office every hour to check if anyone had canceled (I totally was not offended when every time the receptionist said “Don’t worry Jhenna, we will call you. You do not need to call us, we will call you.”) I scaled back to every 2 hours just in case. I promise I am not usually this neurotic but did I mention my tooth really hurt?

I lamented to my husband via text and he suggested I look around to see if I could get in somewhere else. I did, I couldn’t. All dentists were conspiring against me most assuredly. Had the receptionist called everyone and told them I was crazy? Possibly, but the tooth WAS making me crazy.

So then the research started. What can be done at home for a toothache? Amazingly enough, doomsday preppers offered the best insight and advice! The following is a list that Kevin and I came up with and the success rate of each (or why I didn’t try them).

Ummmm do I have to say “I am not a doctor and this is not to be considere medical advice?” OK, I am not a doctor and this is not considered medical advice. I just tried some stuff and wrote down what happened (or didn’t happen). Feel free to try these at home but don’t blame me if your kids laugh at you, you develop a drinking problem, you become obsessed with essential oils, or your tooth explodes.

1. Orajel or Ambesol: A benzocaine topical ointment meant to numb the area. I was told by my dentist and most “preppers” agreed, DON’T USE THIS. It can cause abscesses to rupture which can easily lead to infection.

2. Over the counter pain relief meds: Ibuprofen can work for some but should not be taken in conjunction with Tylenol. Tylenol works well but can be rough on your organs. Aspirin is another good option (can be rough on tummy) and can be used in conjunction with the Tylenol. I have been taking the prescription Tylenol with Hydrocodon every 4 hours and the aspirin every 3 hours to offset when the Tylenol starts to wear off. Seriously, this tooth hurts that bad.

3. Warm salt water: Yes! This is one that has helped a lot but only gives temporary relief (about 20 minutes). Warm water with as much salt as you can stand. Swish it around in your mouth, especially the affected area, as often as needed. I am doing this about every 2 hours and after I eat or drink anything.

4. Whiskey: OK, seriously, whiskey? Yup! Kevin brought home a bottle of whiskey and sure enough it works (though only very short term for me). The first time I tried it was yesterday. Kevin had just gotten home with Bayer aspirin, whiskey, and clove oil. Took some Bayer aspirin right away and decided to try whiskey next because my tooth really hurt.

I asked, “Will this hurt?” Kevin replied, “Nah, it’s just whiskey.” I poured a little in a glass, hesitated for a second and then filled up my mouth and immediately swished it over to the upper right side of my mouth… OWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW, yup that hurt. Like a bolt of electricity shot through my upper right jaw and needless to say I screamed and spit it out.

My oldest son came in, curious as to what was going on. No worries, dad is just trying to kill mom with whiskey, carry on son. Apparently this was entertaining because he stayed to watch and our youngest son even found his way in for the show.

I decided to try again as maybe it was just the pressure of shooting the liquid directly at my tooth that made it hurt like that. Or maybe I’m just a glutton for punishment… either way my tooth still hurt.

I poured another glass, filled my mouth, and slowly tilted my head to the right and let the whiskey ease it’s way over my tooth area. It burned (like burned my whole mouth, how do people drink this stuff?) but I just kept my head tilted and let the whiskey sit on and in my tooth area. I was then able to swish, swish, swish gently without pain. The toothache even went away while I was swishing and it was surrounded by it’s warm whiskey blanket.

I spit out the whiskey and my mouth burned for a short time but the toothache stayed away for all of 5 minutes! Woohoo! On to the next thing…

29 mar 2014 033

5. Clove oil: I had never heard of this but apparently doomsday preppers love this one! Clove essential oil is an amazing topical pain reliever. Kevin had found “Red Cross Toothache” at CVS which contained pure clove oil with sunflower oil (a carrier oil is a must to prevent skin burning). It even came with itty bitty cotton balls and cute little tweezers to grab the cotton balls, stick them in the oil, and then place on the tooth (not the gums, directly on the tooth).

I was dubious, but prepared to try anything especially with two sons expecting me to try the whole arsenal of tooth care products found by dad. Yeah, mom is an awesome guinea pig. Besides, those itty bitty cotton balls are adorable!

29 mar 2014 038

So I got a cotton ball, dipped it in the clove oil, placed it up against my tooth with one finger and held it there for the required 1 minute (Kevin was keeping track with the boys encouraging me the entire time… tooth care is a family affair at The Shepherd Hobby Farm!) I had brushed the cotton ball against my lips and cheek by accident on the way to my upper right tooth and noticed a tingling burning sensation in every area the clove oil had touched. As the seconds ticked by the burning increased.

I tried to ask Kevin if the burning was normal (hindsight… why in the world would he know?) but I had my massive farmworking hands shoved in my mouth holding the itty bitty cottonball up against my tooth so it was a little difficult to get my question undestood. The boys were laughing because apaprently this was all very funny. My oldest son offered up, “I think she says it’s burning” as I emphatically shook my head yes. Kevin’s reply, “Ok, only about 20 seconds left.”

Minute done, cotton ball came out and surprisingly there was no tooth pain. In fact, my whole rights side of my mouth is numb. Nice, I’ll take it! So the clove oil is effective for about 30 to 45 minutes which is awesome and I have repeated it several times since then.

6. Ice packs: If there is an abscess (or not I guess) and there’s swelling an ice pack held up to the outside of the affcted area relieves some pain. Yes, this worked for me but became uncomfortable after a while and it’s annoying to walk around with an ice pack taped to the side of your head (I will not confirm nor deny that I did that).

7. Vanilla Extract: Saturate a cotton ball with vanilla and hold in place. Can also use a cotton swab dipped in extract. I tried this with imitation vanilla extract and it did nothing. Not going all the way to store for pure vanilla extract. Anyone try this and have it work? Just curious.

8. Almond Extract: Same method of treatment as with Vanilla (above). I did have pure almond extract and it did nothing to help.

9. Peppermint Extract: Same as with Vanilla (above). Didn’t have it, not going to store to get it.

10. Lemon Extract: Same as with Vanilla (above). Didn’t have it, not going to store to get it.

11. Tea tree oil: Saturate a cotton ball with oil and hold in place. Can also use a cotton swab dipped in oil. Tried this (yeah for lotion and soap making supplies!!) and the tea tree oil tasted so nasty I did not hold it on long enough for it to be effective. Nasty tasting stuff!

12. Apple Cider Vinegar: Soak a cotton ball with apple cider vinegar (ACV) and hold it in place. Can also try regular household vinegar. I tried both of these. It stung like crazy and actually made it hurt worse 🙁 Bad vinegar, very bad.

13: Baking Soda: Take a cotton swab and moisten it with a bit of water, dip it in baking soda (coat the swab really well with baking soda) then apply. You can also make a mouth rinse by mixing a heaping spoonful of baking soda in a small glass of lukewarm to warm water, dissolve the soda then swish the mixture in your mouth. Tried it, offered no relief.

14. Warm or hot compress against outside of affected area. I was told by my dentist to never ever use anything warm or hot on the cheek because it will help to breed the infection (if there is one) and make it worse.

15. Potato: Cut a fresh piece of potato (raw, skin off) and hold in place. Can also pound a piece of raw potato, mix in a bit of salt and use the mash. Seriously? This one was a little weird and not nearly as fun as whiskey but probably a lot less likely to hurt so I gave it a shot. It did nothing to help 🙁

 

Ok, so there you have it? Any other toothache cures that you all hae? I’d love to hear them because it’s Saturday and I still don’t head to the dentist until Wednesday (unless someone cancels… please someone cancel!!) and I only have 4 of my prescription pills left (which work THE BEST!!) to last me until Monday. Sorry for kinda sounding like an addict right there… it’s the tooth talking! UGH! Ain’t nobody got time for this.

“Cyprus Sunset Soap” Recipe

Cyprus Sunset Soap made by Jhenna Conway and photo by Casey Braden

Cyprus Sunset Soap made by Jhenna Conway and photo by Casey Braden

My sister-in-law and her husband live in Cyprus (island in the Mediterranean) so we are very blessed to get all sorts of amazing treats. Not too long ago she sent me a bag of saffron, the most expensive spice in the world. This wasn’t a little bag, this was a huge, “I love you so much and you are the best sister-in-law in the world” bag of saffron!

Saffron has a number of versatile uses aside from flavoring foods. It is used as an aromatic in baths, utilized in perfumes, and can also be used as a dye. And because its flavor and aromas are powerfully intense, it can be used very sparingly. Saffron is often added to many food products simply as a coloring, such as cheese, soups, rice, and even various alcohols.

I chose to develop my own soap based on saffron. It was kinda like an Iron Chef episode where “saffron” was the star ingredient but this was “Iron Soaping” and I was challenging only myself (I like those no pressure situations!).

I was also feeling a bit homesick for extended family so I decided to throw in some cedar as that is my grandpa’s favorite wood (he even has an email address with “cedar” in it, cool eh!). I wanted this soap to be all natural (no artificial coloring etc.) so I went to work researching how I would get a brown coloring for my white base I was using… hello cocoa (melted chocolate would have worked too). I wanted the bottom to look like wood though in the future I think I’ll try the melted chocolate as the cocoa didn’t turn it as dark as I wanted in the long run. Still turned out nice. The top glycerin part was colored with only saffron and I added saffron oil and cedar oil for the scent… oh how I love this bar of soap!

Adjust the amount of base and ingredients you use to fit your mold but I used the typical white, 9″L, 4″W, and 2 1/4″ tall Michaels Craft Store soap mold and the amount fit in perfectly. This is actually a very easy recipe with few ingredients which are all natural but it can be a spendy soap to make if you don’t have connections in the Mediterranean or Spain (they produce the most saffron). However, I have had many requests for the recipe so here goes!

Ingredients:

2 pounds white base soap (melt and pour). I used a great mango and shea butter blend.

1 pound clear glycerin base soap (melt and pour)

1 oz cedarwood essential oil

1 oz saffron essential oil 

2 tsp cocoa powder

2 Tbs ground oatmeal

2 tsp dried saffron

spray bottle with alcohol (70% rubbing alcohol)

 

 

Directions:

  1. Clean and make your work area safe and sanitized. It is recommended that you wear gloves and a hair net while preparing melt and pour soaps but truth be told I only do so when working with cold process soaps. I do tie my hair back and make sure pets are out of the room so no doggy hair or my hair makes its way into my soaps.
  2. Cut your bases up into chunks and put in two separate bowls.
  3. Heat your white base (I use microwave at 30 second intervals) until melted. Stir to ensure everything is melted. If you can heat your clear base at the same time until it melts or do it after your white base.
  4. Add cocoa to the white base and stir, stir, stir. You may add more if you want the color darker. Add oatmeal and stir to incorporate. Add cedarwood and stir to incorporate.
  5. Pour into your mold soap into molds when grounds are suspended throughout soap base. Spray top with alcohol to get rid of air bubbles. Allow to cool enough to create a tough top layer that gives slightly when touched but you do not get any soap on your finger.
  6. Add dried saffron to the clear base and stir. You will notice the color starts to change to a yellowish orange. Beautiful 🙂 Add saffron essential oil and stir to incorporate.
  7. Allow the bottom layer in mold to cool enough to create a tough top layer that gives slightly when touched but you do not get any soap on your finger.
  8. Spray your soap in mold with quite a bit of alcohol (saturate) and gently pour your saffron soap over the bottom base layer (many times I spoon some over first to make sure it can withstand the weight)
  9.  Spray the top of the soap with alcohol to remove air bubbles.
  10. Let sit in mold for a few hours (less time in a cool environment), unmold, cut, and enjoy!

There you have it! Enjoy and please oh please post pictures and/or comments of your saffron soap and about soaping in general :)

Jhenna

 

Lemon Shrimp Linguine

I’m tellin’ ya, life is interesting. The choices we make are interesting.

As I am typing my little blog post this morning I am enjoying some great whole grain rustic loaf toast with black raspberry jelly (last jar from last summers canning goodness)…

I slathered my toast with the jelly deliciousness and as I’m eating and attempting to type (with a bandaged right index finger from a deep cut on the tip… stupid piece of metal sheeting roofing thingy attacked me) I notice the jelly slowly inching its way closer to my toast’s edge.

I raise my left hand up (toast holding hand), tilting the toast the other way so the jelly heads south instead of north (or west to east, left to right, up to down, who knows…) and continue to try to type with my right hand… ouch ouch ouch every time I tap a key with my index finger.

Another choice I could have made was to put the toast down and take a little break from typing when I wanted to steal a bite. But then could I truly be the multitasking mom, blogger and superwoman that I continually and foolishly try to be?

Lemon Shrimp Linguine (both of my sons LOVE this dish and have since the day I first made it so many years ago)

Ingredients:

2 to 3 lemons (depending on size)

1 pound of frozen or fresh uncooked, peeled, deveined, and tail off shrimp

Linguine noodles

1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs olive oil

2 shallots (small onions usually pre-packaged in mesh bags of two or three. If you can’t get them I have used white and vidalia onions as well. Use 1/4 of a large onion. Grow some shallots this year in your garden or a pot… SOOOOO yummy and they can be kinda spendy in the store)

Garlic (4 cloves or 1 Tbs plus 1 tsp)… not a fan of garlic? Why? it is so very good for you. but if you insist you can use less

Fresh (or bagged) spinach

Parsley (fresh)

Salt

Pepper

Oh great a glob of jelly just went down my arm and the sleeve of my robe. Those globs really get going when helped along by gravity. I could not get to it quickly enough and I was just trying to save the keyboard! I need some coffee and did anyone just see that squirrel?

I think it’s going to be one of those mornings… the ones where nothing goes as planned, I’m on the verge of being cranky for no apparent reason but seem to think I have every right to be, and I will flitter about staying ever so busy but have no finished task to show for my work. Oh yes and it’s Thursday, my homework is due tonight (working on my Masters in Education) UGH!!

I’m back… all cleaned up and with coffee. Did I mention I have a cracked tooth and the soonest our dentist can get me in is next Wednesday? My amazing and supportive husband mentioned that maybe I should find a backup dentist but I refuse because my current dentist gives me awesome gas so I don’t feel the numbing shot. I’ve grown quite fond of that gas. Judge me as you will… I’ve never done illegal drugs so this is the closest thing I will ever get to “high”… I think it’s nitrous oxide? Nitrogen and Oxygen… it certainly can’t be bad for me because those are things we breathe every day (yes, I know my logic is grossly skewed) but I do wonder how many brain cells I’m willing to risk in the name of comfortable dentistry.

I have to admit, lately with all the dentistry I’ve had I actually look forward to sitting in that chair and just relaxing… no where else to be, nothing else I can do, and no one expecting conversation. I think I’ll send him a thank you note 🙂

Let’s try this again…

Lemon Shrimp Linguine (both of my sons LOVE this dish and have since the day I first made it so many years ago)

Ingredients:

  • 2 to 3 lemons (depending on size)
  • 1 pound shrimp (frozen or fresh… uncooked, peeled, deveined, and tail off)
  • linguine noodles
  • 2 shallots (small onions usually pre-packaged in mesh bags of two or three. If you can’t get them I have used white and vidalia onions as well. Use 1/4 of a large onion. Grow some shallots this year in your garden or a pot… SOOOOO yummy and they can be kinda spendy in the store)
  • Garlic (4 cloves or 1 Tbs plus 1 tsp)… not a fan of garlic? Why? it is so very good for you. but if you insist you can use less
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs olive oil
  • Fresh (or bagged) spinach (1 small or medium bag)
  • Parsley (fresh)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

It’s a good idea to use a nice big stock pot to cook your pasta. Pasta needs plenty of room to move around when boiling to help prevent a sticky starchy mess. Perfectly cooked pasta is called “al dente,” which in Italian means “to the tooth.” Al dente pasta is cooked just enough to retain a firm texture while being fully pliable.

Some tips for telling when pasta is al dente…

  • Boil the pasta according to the package’s instructions.
  • At the minimum cooking time indicated on the package, or even a minute before, remove a piece of pasta from the boiling water with a fork.
  • If the pasta is mildly chewy but doesn’t stick in your teeth, it is done.
  • If the pasta seems a little hard or sticks to your teeth, cook it 1 minute longer and test it again.
  • If you don’t relish tasting hot pasta, cut a piece in half. Then look at the cross-section of the pasta. If you can see a difference between the very center and the outer ring of the pasta, it’s not done. If the pasta is one continuous shade and texture, it’s done.
  • Don’t ever rinse your pasta

Steps:

1.Put your pot of water on the stove and turn to high to get it a boilin’ (I use a gallon of water in my large stock pot). Cover pot (if you have a cover, no big deal if you don’t).

Pot of water ... watched pot never boils... stop watching my pot!

Pot of water … watched pot never boils… stop watching my pot!

2. Zest 1 lemon

*don’t have a zester?… it’s a really good tool to have in the kitchen! Pampered Chef has a great one or check out reviews on Amazon.com for a good one. You want a high quality zester for the same reason that you want a high quality knife, easier to use and safer (usually holds their “sharpness longer” therefore making it easier and safe to cut (knife) or zest (zester) things). Place your zest from 1 lemon into the 1/4 cup of olive oil, give it a little stir and set it aside.

Ooh I have an idea… if you share and comment below this post I will enter you into a drawing for a free Pampered Chef zester! The name will be drawn randomly This Sunday, March 30th at 7:00pm central time so share and comment before then. I’ll mail it to the winner (or deliver if you are local).

The zester (this one is Pampered Chef)

The zester (this one is Pampered Chef)

3. Zest your second lemon into/onto (whatever… grammar is not my strongest point) a bowl or plate. Did you know you get more juice out of a lemon when it is at room temperature You do!

Cut all the lemons in half and juice them (with a juicer or the sheer strength of your hands). Pick out all seeds (if you squeezed by hand), no one wants to eat lemon seeds. You will want about 1/4 cup of lemon juice (no more but it can be a bit less). Add the zest of your lemon (on the plate or in the bowl) to your lemon juice and set aside.

Just a juicin'!

Just a juicin’!

4. Finely chop your shallots and mince your garlic. If you have a garlic press I highly recommend you mince fresh garlic cloves but to be honest there are some great brands of already minced garlic out there that taste just as good and make 1 less dirty dish (oh wait… you won’t be scooping it out of the jar with your fingers, you will need a spoon so I guess the amount of dirty dishes remains the same).

garlic and shallots
garlic and shallots

 

5. Put your 2 Tbs of oilive oil in a large skillet (I love using my wok for this recipe) and turn to medium high (on the higher end of medium or lower end of high, however you want to think about it). Let it heat up for a couple minutes and then throw your garlic and onions in to sauté (cook in oil over a high heat). Let them cook for about 2 minutes, stirring and “tossing” (that’s what I call messing with food in a skillet or wok) only a couple times.

shallots and garlic hanging out together happily

shallots and garlic hanging out together happily

6. Add your shrimp to the skillet with garlic and shallots. Here I admit we double the shrimp but only because my oldest son LOVES shrimp and tends to eat more shrimp than linguine. Toss (stir) them about a bit to get them mixed with the shallots and garlic.

We put two bags of these in but most would probably like just one... wow, just realized we eat 120 shrimp.

We put two bags of these in but most would probably like just one… wow, just realized we eat at least 120 shrimp.

You will notice as the shrimp cook they turn from white to pink. They are considered done when they are fully pink 🙂

just put in, white, raw shrimp

just put in, white, raw shrimp

Starting to turn pink

Starting to turn pink

We have cooked shrimp!

We have cooked shrimp!

 

When your shrimp is done cooking just pull it off the heat and set aside.

 

7. At some point up until now your water should be boiling or close to it. When boiling, heavily salt your water (1 to 2 Tbs depending on how much linguine you are cooking), break your linguine in half and put it in the boiling water. I love using sea salt and buy organic sea salt in bulk and then store it in quart jars.
Sea salt, yum!
Sea salt, yum!
We cook the entire box of linguine (a pound? That can’t be right… do we really eat a pound of pasta as a family of 4?) Two growing boys makes the amount of pasta I cook seem more normal I guess. However, according to the serving size indication on the back of the box I am cooking 8 servings of pasta… and then adding shrimp and spinach. We like to eat good food.
Serving "suggestion"... I'll just dump the whole box in thank you very much!

Serving “suggestion”… I’ll just dump the whole box in thank you very much!

 
8. Cook pasta according to directions on package and tips listed above.
9. When pasta is done strain it (DO NOT RINSE) and put it back into big pot. Make sure your burner is off (will probably still be warm, that’s fine). Add shrimp mixture, lemon juice with zest, and strain your olive oil into big pot (don’t want the zest from olive oil in pot). Add salt (1 tsp or less) and pepper (1/2 tsp or less). Mix everything together.
straining lemon olive oil

straining lemon olive oil

10. The final step is one based on preference. You can either dump the bag of spinach into the pot and gently stir, the spinach will wilt and get soft because of heat of pasta (yummy!) or if you like your spinach a little more crisp you can plate your spinach and add the pasta on top. Once plated (whichever method you use) add a couple piches of chopped fresh parsley.

yum yum yum

yum yum yum

Enjoy and happy cooking and eating! This is a favorite here at The Shepherd Hobby Farm

Jhenna

 

 

 

 

 

Available Bath and body products

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Welcome to Simple Hobby Homesteading’s goat’s milk bath and body product page. We have a wonderful herd of Nubians, mini-Nubians, fainters, and Nigerian Dwarf goats that provide us plentifully with rich milk for our products! Everything is made by me here at The Shepherd Hobby Farm and I can even tell you the name of each goat who’s milk goes into your product (I always label the containers after each goat is milked) if you’d like to know 🙂

These are all the goat’s milk bath and body products I currently have available! Please check back often as this changes on an almost daily basis as orders are filled and new soaps cure. If you don’t see anything you like please feel free to email me and let me know what you would like to see! We do take wholesale custom orders upfront as well.

Goat’s Milk: Goat milk soap is wonderful for people with dry or sensitive skin, or conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. It also makes a fantastic bar for folks of ALL skin types to maintain that healthy glow so don’t feel like you have to have skin problems to justify pampering yourself with goat’s milk products. Unprocessed goat milk fresh from the farm (which ours is) contains many benefits to include:

* alpha-hydroxy acids such as lactic acid which help remove dead skin cells from your skin’s surface. This leaves new cells on the surface of your skin that are
smoother and younger looking

* vitamins…Goat milk contains many vitamins, but is particularly high in Vitamin A, which
is necessary to repair damaged skin tissue, and maintain healthy skin. There have been several medical studies showing that creams made with Vitamin A reduce
lines and wrinkles, control acne, and provide some psoriasis relief.

* Cream…Fat molecules are an important part of making good soap. The cream that is
present in goat milk helps boost the moisturizing quality of goat milk soaps

* Minerals…Goat milk contains important minerals for the skin such as selenium. Selenium is believed by scientists to have an important role in preventing skin cancer.
Selenium can also help prevent damage to the skin from excessive time in the sun

Shipping rate varies depending on the order but if you are in the Owensboro, Evansville, Boonville, Newburgh, or Chandler area we can easily work out a drop off 🙂 You can also mix and match any $5 soaps for the 3/$12 deal.

We also put together awesome gift boxes which I am working on getting pictures of to go with each description.

Please note each batch is unique and will look somewhat similar to the picture shown but may look a bit different depending on my mood, patience for artistic flair, weather, and any soap gremlins that stir up trouble in a batch. No matter the looks I promise each soap to have the ingredients listed and be amazing!

 

Lotion: 4 ounce: $5     2 ounce: $3    bagged (to fill your own container): $1 per ounce

 Essential oils

Peppermint

Rosemary Peppermint

Lavender

Spearmint Eucalyptus

Bug Off Blend (mosquito and tick repellant)

Patchouli

Muscle Rescue

Sinus Relief

Lemongrass

Lemon Verbena

many more… you name it I probably have it or can get it!

Essential and fragrance oil mix

Aloha California (orange coconut)

Lime Coconut

Vanilla Coffee

Fragrance oils

You name it and I have it… soooo many!

 

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Man Soap

*picture to come soon*

Ingredients:

312 Beer: The younger generation (mid twenties) seem to really like this beer so that makes this a Hipster soap, right? It’s a great beer folks, how could we go wrong? Beer actually adds to the moisturizing and lather of the bar of soap and gives amazing natural color!

Goat’s milk: Contains minerals (such as selenium which is thought to prevent skin cancer), vitamins (especially high in vitamin A which repairs damaged skin tissue), anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, moisturizing.

Olive oil: Great moisturizer and forms a “breathable” layer on the skin, preventing loss of internal moisture.

Coconut oil: Provides great lather, cleansing properties, and hardness to the bar.

Tallow:

Sodium Hydroxide (lye): All of our soaps cure for at least 4 weeks to neutralize the lye. Lye, liquid, and oils/butters are what make soap… well, soap.

Castor oil: A humectant (attracts and retains moisture to the skin) and provides great bubbles for the soap.

Shea Butter: Softens skin

Fragrance oil: Urban Cowboy fragrance oil, smells like a really awesome men’s cologne but not too strong… just right!

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Blue Lagoon

*picture to come soon (basic cream rectangle bar)*

Ingredients:

Goat’s milk: Contains minerals (such as selenium which is thought to prevent skin cancer), vitamins (especially high in vitamin A which repairs damaged skin tissue), anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, moisturizing.

Olive oil: Great moisturizer and forms a “breathable” layer on the skin, preventing loss of internal moisture.

Coconut oil: Provides great lather, cleansing properties, and hardness to the bar.

Tallow: Provides creamy and stable lather. It also makes a soap that is very moisturizing and gentle to your skin

Sodium Hydroxide (lye): All of our soaps cure for at least 4 weeks to neutralize the lye. Lye, liquid, and oils/butters are what make soap… well, soap.

Castor oil: A humectant (attracts and retains moisture to the skin) and provides great bubbles for the soap.

Shea Butter: Softens skin

Fragrance oil: “Blue Lagoon” fragrance, fresh and clean smelling

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Childhood Memories

*picture to come soon (basic cream rectangle bar)*

Ingredients:

Goat’s milk: Contains minerals (such as selenium which is thought to prevent skin cancer), vitamins (especially high in vitamin A which repairs damaged skin tissue), anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, moisturizing.

Olive oil: Great moisturizer and forms a “breathable” layer on the skin, preventing loss of internal moisture.

Coconut oil: Provides great lather, cleansing properties, and hardness to the bar.

Tallow: Provides creamy and stable lather. It also makes a soap that is very moisturizing and gentle to your skin

Sodium Hydroxide (lye): All of our soaps cure for at least 4 weeks to neutralize the lye. Lye, liquid, and oils/butters are what make soap… well, soap.

Castor oil: A humectant (attracts and retains moisture to the skin) and provides great bubbles for the soap.

Shea Butter: Softens skin

Fragrance oil: “Childhood” fragrance… think of clean sheets, warm breeze, and fresh air… yup, that’s what this soap delivers!

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Lavender

*picture to come soon (basic cream rectangle bar)*

Ingredients:

Goat’s milk: Contains minerals (such as selenium which is thought to prevent skin cancer), vitamins (especially high in vitamin A which repairs damaged skin tissue), anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, moisturizing.

Olive oil: Great moisturizer and forms a “breathable” layer on the skin, preventing loss of internal moisture.

Coconut oil: Provides great lather, cleansing properties, and hardness to the bar.

Tallow: Provides creamy and stable lather. It also makes a soap that is very moisturizing and gentle to your skin

Sodium Hydroxide (lye): All of our soaps cure for at least 4 weeks to neutralize the lye. Lye, liquid, and oils/butters are what make soap… well, soap.

Castor oil: A humectant (attracts and retains moisture to the skin) and provides great bubbles for the soap.

Shea Butter: Softens skin

Lavender Essential oil: Calming effect on body and reduces anxiety, stress as well as promotes sleep. Most commonly associated with burns and the healing of skin.

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Date Night

*picture to come soon (basic cream rectangle bar)*

Ingredients:

Goat’s milk: Contains minerals (such as selenium which is thought to prevent skin cancer), vitamins (especially high in vitamin A which repairs damaged skin tissue), anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, moisturizing.

Olive oil: Great moisturizer and forms a “breathable” layer on the skin, preventing loss of internal moisture.

Coconut oil: Provides great lather, cleansing properties, and hardness to the bar.

Tallow: Provides creamy and stable lather. It also makes a soap that is very moisturizing and gentle to your skin

Sodium Hydroxide (lye): All of our soaps cure for at least 4 weeks to neutralize the lye. Lye, liquid, and oils/butters are what make soap… well, soap.

Castor oil: A humectant (attracts and retains moisture to the skin) and provides great bubbles for the soap.

Shea Butter: Softens skin

Fragrance oil: “Ezra Fitch” fragrance… masculine fragrance launched by Abercrombie and Fitch in 2006… it has a clean and “modern” scent. Young men really like this soap! The scent reminds me of a young couple heading out for a night on the town.

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Beer Soap

#022

Beer Soap made by Jhenna Conway and photographed by Casey Braden

Beer Soap made by Jhenna Conway and photographed by Casey Braden

Beer Soap (with Frankincense and Myrh scent) made by Jhenna Conway and photographed by Casey Braden

Beer Soap (with Frankincense and Myrh scent) made by Jhenna Conway and photographed by Casey Braden

Ingredients:

Palm oil: Provides a mild soap that cleans well and adds to the hardness of the bar of soap.

Samuel Adams Lager: Ummmm it’s a great beer folks, how could we go wrong? Beer actually adds to the moisturizing and lather of the bar of soap and gives amazing natural color!

Castor oil: A humectant (attracts and retains moisture to the skin) and provides great bubbles for the soap.

Goat’s milk: Contains minerals (such as selenium which is thought to prevent skin cancer), vitamins (especially high in vitamin A which repairs damaged skin tissue), anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, moisturizing.

Coconut oil: Provides great lather and hardness to the bar.

Sodium Hydroxide (lye): All of our soaps cure for at least 4 weeks to neutralize the lye. Lye, liquid, and oils/butters are what make soap soap.

Olive oil: Great moisturizer and forms a “breathable” layer on the skin, preventing loss of internal moisture.

Available with or without fragrance (frankincense and myrh)

$5 or 3/$12 or

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Coconut Lime Soap

#014

**Temporarily Sold out… Making more!!****

Coconut Dreams made by Jhenna Conway and photograph by Casey Braden.

Coconut Dreams made by Jhenna Conway and photograph by Casey Braden.

Coconut Dreams is a fun and refreshing coconut lime triple butter soap that stands beautifully on its own but pairs exceptionally well with our Coconut Dreams Goat’s Milk Lotion as well. You can say we put the lime in the coconut and shook it all up 🙂

Ingredients:

Castor oil: A humectant (attracts and retains moisture to the skin) and provides great bubbles for the soap.

Coconut oil: Provides great lather and hardness to the bar.

Sodium Hydroxide (lye): All of our soaps cure for at least 4 weeks to neutralize the lye. Lye, liquid, and oils/butters are what make soap soap.

Olive oil: Great moisturizer and forms a “breathable” layer on the skin, preventing loss of internal moisture.

Goat’s milk: Contains minerals (such as selenium which is thought to prevent skin cancer), vitamins (especially high in vitamin A which repairs damaged skin tissue), anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, moisturizing. Seriously, I need to get some more goats and make ALL my lotion with just goat’s milk!

Mango Butter: Moisturizing

Shea Butter: Softens Skin

Cocoa Butter: Moisturizing

Distilled water: Hydration for skin (do not eat soap!)

Glycerin (to include sodium hydroxide (lye)): Moisturizer

Lime Essential Oil: Uplifting and reviatlizing scent properties. Acts as an astringent (help clear oily skin)

Coconut Fragrance Oil: This fragrance is phthalate free. Fresh and clean smelling scent.

Shredded Coconut: Exfoliant.

Lime Zest: Exfoliant as well as an astringent (help clear oily skin).

$5 or 3/$12

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Oceanfront Property Soap

#005

Oceanfront Property amde by Jhenna Conway and photo by Casey Braden

Oceanfront Property amde by Jhenna Conway and photo by Casey Braden

Ingredients:

Castor oil: A humectant (attracts and retains moisture to the skin) and provides great bubbles for the soap.

Coconut oil: Provides great lather and hardness to the bar.

Sodium Hydroxide (lye): All of our soaps cure for at least 4 weeks to neutralize the lye. Lye, liquid, and oils/butters are what make soap soap.

Olive oil: Great moisturizer and forms a “breathable” layer on the skin, preventing loss of internal moisture.

Glycerin (to include sodium hydroxide (lye): Moisturizer

Distilled water: Hydration for skin (do not eat soap!)

Shea butter: Softens skin

Mango butter: Moisturizing

Goat’s milk: Contains minerals (such as selenium which is thought to prevent skin cancer), vitamins (especially high in vitamin A which repairs damaged skin tissue), anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, moisturizing. Seriously, I need to get some more goats and make ALL my lotion with just goat’s milk!

Oatmeal: Moisturizer, skin softener, repairs and revitalizes skin.

Ground almonds: Antioxidants reduce wrinkles and fine lines, fights acne, major source of vitamin E (nourishes skin and vital for healthy skin), exfoliant.

Epsom salt (magnesium): Essential electrolyte mineral for our bodies. So many people are deficient in magnesium. Often called the “lamp of life” magnesium is a skin soother as well.

Honey: Antimicrobial (antibacterial), anti fungal and a humectant (compound that attracts moisture to itself and helps retain the moisture). You’re welcome for the new “word of the day”

Ocean rain fragrance oil

Blue colorant: Can be special ordered without the colorant.

$5 or 3/$12

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Dinosaur Discovery Soaps

 

Dinosaur Discovery Soap made by Jhenna Conway and photographed by Casey Braden

7 apr 2014 001

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7 apr 2014 003

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Dinosaur Discovery is a great soap that can be made to order with whatever scent and color (optional) you would like. I have a clear glycerin base that I use as well as a olive oil alove vera base… both are wonderful! The dinosaur is firmly embedded in the middle so it will take some great handwashing to get to him/her (how does one tell male or female dinoasaur toys apart? Ponder that tonight!)

Ingredients:

All soaps will contain:

Castor oil: A humectant (attracts and retains moisture to the skin) and provides great bubbles for the soap.

Coconut oil: Provides great lather and hardness to the bar.

Sodium Hydroxide (lye): All of our soaps cure for at least 4 weeks to neutralize the lye. Lye, liquid, and oils/butters are what make soap soap.

Olive oil: Great moisturizer and forms a “breathable” layer on the skin, preventing loss of internal moisture.

Glycerin (to include sodium hydroxide (lye): Moisturizer

Distilled water: Hydration for skin (do not eat soap!)

Shea butter: Softens skin

Mango butter: Moisturizing

Goat’s milk: Contains minerals (such as selenium which is thought to prevent skin cancer), vitamins (especially high in vitamin A which repairs damaged skin tissue), anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, moisturizing. Seriously, I need to get some more goats and make ALL my lotion with just goat’s milk!

Scent: Optional

Color: Optional

Choice of clear Glycerin and Aloe Vera/Olive Oil soap base.

$6 per soap

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Vanilla Coffee Soap

#003

Starbucks Vanilla Coffee Soap, made by me, Jhenna Conway, and picture by Casey Braden

Starbucks Vanilla Coffee Soap, made by me, Jhenna Conway, and picture by Casey Braden

Ingredients:

Coconut oil: Provides great lather and hardness to the bar.

Sodium Hydroxide (lye): All of our soaps cure for at least 4 weeks to neutralize the lye. Lye, liquid, and oils/butters are what make soap soap.

Olive oil: Great moisturizer and forms a “breathable” layer on the skin, preventing loss of internal moisture.

Mango Butter: Moisturizing

Shea Butter: Softens Skin

Cocoa Butter: Moisturizing

Distilled water: Hydration for skin (do not eat soap!)

Glycerin (to include sodium hydroxide (lye): Moisturizer

Vanilla Coffee: Fragrance, skin hydrating

Goat’s milk: Contains minerals (such as selenium which is thought to prevent skin cancer), vitamins (especially high in vitamin A which repairs damaged skin tissue), anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, moisturizing. Seriously, I need to get some more goats and make ALL my lotion with just goat’s milk!

Jojoba oil: Most closely resembles the natural oils of our skin. Hardly anyone is allergic or sensitive to this oil (actually a wax) and therefore it is often recommended for baby cradle cap and diaper rash. Antibacterial and anti fungal and rich in skin nourishing vitamins.

Castor oil: A humectant (compound that attracts moisture to itself and helps retain the moisture) and increases bubbles in soaping (“bubble booster”).

Coffee Fragrance Oil: smells great and wakes ya up!

French Vanilla Essential Oil: Comforting and relaxing fragrance.

Coffee Grounds: Fragrance and exfoliation

$5 or 3/$12

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 Chamomile Face Soap

#019

**Temporarily sold out, making more**

Chamomile Face Soap made by Jhenna Conway and photo by Casey Braden

Chamomile Face Soap made by Jhenna Conway and photo by Casey Braden

Ingredients:

Olive Oil: Great moisturizer and forms a “breathable” layer on the skin, preventing loss of internal moisture.

Soybean Oil: Adds mildness, lots of fluffy lather, and is moiturizing.

Coconut Oil: Provides great lather and hardness to the bar.

Goat’s Milk:Goat milk soap is wonderful for people with dry or sensitive skin, or conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Unprocessed goat milk fresh from the farm (which ours is) contains many benefits to include:

* alpha-hydroxy acids such as lactic acid which help remove dead skin cells from your skin’s surface. This leaves new cells on the surface of your skin that are
smoother and younger looking

* vitamins…Goat milk contains many vitamins, but is particularly high in Vitamin A, which
is necessary to repair damaged skin tissue, and maintain healthy skin. There have been several medical studies showing that creams made with Vitamin A reduce
lines and wrinkles, control acne, and provide some psoriasis relief.

* Cream…Fat molecules are an important part of making good soap. The cream that is
present in goat milk helps boost the moisturizing quality of goat milk soaps

* Minerals…Goat milk contains important minerals for the skin such as selenium. Selenium is believed by scientists to have an important role in preventing skin cancer.
Selenium can also help prevent damage to the skin from excessive time in the sun

Sodium Hydroxide (lye): All of our soaps cure
for at least 4 weeks to neutralize the lye. Lye, liquid, and oils/butters are
what make soap soap.

Palmarosa Essential Oil: Sweet and flral aroma with hint of rose. It has antiseptic, bactericidal, digestive, hydrating and digestive and circulatory stimulant properties.

Patchouli Essential Oil: Warm and earthy aroma with fresh fruity tones. Effective for combating nervous disorders, helping with dandruff, sores, skin irritations and acne.

Dried Chamomile Flowers: Provides soothing calming and cleansing benefits useful for burns, blisters, inflamed wounds, dermatitis, eczema, rashes and wounds.

$5 or 3/$12

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Can’t Wait Til Summer Soap

#002

Can't Wait Tiil Summer made by Jhenna Conway and photo by Casey Braden

Can’t Wait Tiil Summer made by Jhenna Conway and photo by Casey Braden

Ingredients:

Coconut oil: Provides great lather and hardness to the bar.

Sodium Hydroxide (lye): All of our soaps cure for at least 4 weeks to neutralize the lye. Lye, liquid, and oils/butters are what make soap soap.

Olive oil: Great moisturizer and forms a “breathable” layer on the skin, preventing loss of internal moisture.

Mango butter: Moisturizing

Shea butter: Softens skin

Distilled water: Hydration for skin (do not eat soap!)

Glycerin (to include sodium hydroxide (lye): Moisturizer

Goat’s milk: Contains minerals (such as selenium which is thought to prevent skin cancer), vitamins (especially high in vitamin A which repairs damaged skin tissue), anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, moisturizing. Seriously, I need to get some more goats and make ALL my lotion with just goat’s milk!

Jojoba oil: Most closely resembles the natural oils of our skin. Hardly anyone is allergic or sensitive to this oil (actually a wax) and therefore it is often recommended for baby cradle cap and diaper rash. Antibacterial and anti fungal and rich in skin nourishing vitamins.

Castor oil: A humectant (compound that attracts moisture to itself and helps retain the moisture) and increases bubbles in soaping (“bubble booster”).

Lemongrass essential oil: Invigorating and antiseptic properties. Astringent properties as well as an anti-depressant. Tones and fortifies the nervous system and soothes muscular nerves and pain.

Lemon-eucalyptus essential oil: Assists with ailments such as arthritis, bronchitis, cold sores, colds, coughing, fever, flu, poor circulation and sinusitis.

Lavender essential oil: Calming effect on body and reduces anxiety, stress as well as promotes sleep. Most commonly associated with burns and the healing of skin.

Ground oats: Moisturizer, skin softener, repairs and revitalizes skin.

Ground almonds: Antioxidants reduce wrinkles and fine lines, fights acne, major source of vitamin E (nourishes skin and vital for healthy skin), exfoliant.

Lemon zest: Exfoliant and antiseptic.

Dried lavender buds: Exfoliant

Dried lemongrass: Exfoliant, atiseptic and invigorating aroma.

$5 or 3/$12

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Goat’s Milk Carrot Bastille Baby Bar

#020

**Temporarily sold out, making more**

Goat's Milk Carrot Bastille Baby Bar Soap made by Jhenna Conway and photgraphed by Casey Braden

Goat’s Milk Carrot Bastille Baby Bar Soap made by Jhenna Conway and photgraphed by Casey Braden

Ingredients:

Olive Oil: Great moisturizer and forms a “breathable” layer on the skin, preventing loss of internal moisture.

Coconut Oil: Provides great lather and hardness to the bar.

Goat’s milk: Contains minerals (such as selenium which is thought to prevent skin cancer), vitamins (especially high in vitamin A which repairs damaged skin tissue), anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, moisturizing. Seriously, I need to get some more goats and make ALL my lotion with just goat’s milk!

Sodium Hydroxide (lye): All of our soaps cure for at least 4 weeks to neutralize the lye. Lye, liquid, and oils/butters are what make soap soap.

Carrot Baby Food: Natural carrot ingredient beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant that noxious and harmful toxins from our body works to remove. In addition, it enhances the regeneration, renewal and expansion of skin cells that makes you shed old, dead cells faster. The result is a fine white skin for those who have tried the product because healthy new cells are exposed.

$5 or 3/$12

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Eucalyptus and Spearmint

MY ALL TIME FAVORITE!!!!!!

**picture soon to come**

Ingredients:

Goat’s milk: Contains minerals (such as selenium which is thought to prevent skin cancer), vitamins (especially high in vitamin A which repairs damaged skin tissue), anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, moisturizing. Seriously, I need to get some more goats and make ALL my lotion with just goat’s milk!

Coconut oil: Provides great lather and hardness to the bar.

Sodium Hydroxide (lye): All of our soaps cure for at least 4 weeks to neutralize the lye. Lye, liquid, and oils/butters are what make soap soap.

Olive oil: Great moisturizer and forms a “breathable” layer on the skin, preventing loss of internal moisture.

Shea butter: Softens skin

Tallow:

Eucalyptus Essential Oil: Refreshing fragrance that is fantastic on skin ailments such as burns, insect bites, lice and skin infections, as well as to help combat the effects of colds and flu.

Spearmint Essential oil:

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Doggy Dreams Soap

#011

**Temporarily sold out, making more**

Doggy Dreams made by Jhenna Conway and photo by Casey Braden

Doggy Dreams made by Jhenna Conway and photo by Jhenna Conway

Here are the qulaity of pictures you will get when Casey doesn’t do my photography… I had snapped a quick pic to show her the stamped paw prints on teh burlap and she said she liked the sleeping Axel in the background… I hadn’t even noticed he was there!

This bar is a dog owner’s dream! The antiparasitic, antifungal,a dn antiseptic qualities make it not only perfect for a dog bar but also for people with athlete’s foot! So just jump in the shower with Fido when he’s due his next bath and trust that this shampoo bar is safe and beneficial for you both!

Ingredients:

Mango butter: Moisturizing

Shea butter: Softens skin

Glycerin (to include sodium hydroxide (lye): Moisturizer

Distilled water: Hydration for skin (do not eat soap!)

Oatmeal: Moisturizer, skin softener, repairs and revitalizes skin.

Neem oil: Known as “plant with a promise” this oil is the wonder oil of all oils. Because of cost an fragrance (by itself) it is not widely used. Nevermind the cost, I needed a bath bar for my dogs that was awesome AND safe for me to use! Anti-bacterial, antifungal and anti-parasitic, neem is extremely beneficial in treating various infections and strengthening the immune system. It is extremely beneficial for eczema prone skin and will benefit people who suffer from psoriasis and acne. Its astringent properties help to cure minor cuts and wounds. Neem oil helps to relieve dry and itchy skin.

Castor oil: A humectant (compound that attracts moisture to itself and helps retain the moisture) and increases bubbles in soaping (“bubble booster”).

Honey: Antimicrobial (antibacterial), anti fungal and a humectant (compound that attracts moisture to itself and helps retain the moisture).

Litsea essential oil: Calming and anti-inflammatory properties. Is an astringent, antiseptic and natural insecticide.

Lavender essential oil: Calming effect on body and reduces anxiety, stress as well as promotes sleep. Most commonly associated with burns and the healing of skin.

Tea tree essential oil: Antiseptic and immune system stimulant. Fights all three categories of infectious organisms (bacteria, fungi and viruses). Combats acne, oily skin, head lice and dandruff. Now you can see why this is a MUST in dog shampoo bars!

Peppermint essential oil: Stress relief (so many dogs are totally stressed over baths!), topical pain relief, soothing and hay fever (allergies) relief. It is also an expectorant and

$5 or 3/$12

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Himalayan Mountain Air Soap

#006

second set 7 mar 2014 iphone pics 007

Himalayan Mountain Air made by Jhenna Conway and photo by Casey Braden

Ingredients:

**Not a goat’s milk soap**

Glycerin (to include sodium hydroxide (lye): Moisturizer

Distilled water: Hydration for skin (do not eat soap!)

Himalayan sea salt: Used to stimulate circulation, relax the body, lower blood pressure, soothe sore muscles, and remove toxins from the body. Has a rich mineral content that includes over 84 minerals and trace elements such as: calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper and iron. It can also assist with relief from arthritis, skin rashes, psoriasis, herpes, and flu and fever symptoms.

Peppermint essential oil: Stress relief (so many dogs are totally stressed over baths!), topical pain relief, soothing and hay fever (allergies) relief. It is also an expectorant and decongestant which helps clear your respiratory tract.

Rosemary essential oil: Stimulates cell renewal and improves dry skin, easing lines and wrinkles. Helpful in clearing acne, blemishes or dull dry skin by fighting bacteria and regulating oil secretions. Imprives circulation and can reduce the apearance of broken capillaries and varicose veins.

Lemon essential oil: Cleanser, antiseptic, refreshing and cooling properties.

Eucalyptus essential oil: Refreshing fragrance that is fantastic on skin ailments such as burns, insect bites, lice and skin infections, as well as to help combat the effects of colds and flu.

$5 or 3/$12 or

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Bunny Takes a Bath Soap

#007

Bunny Takes a Bath made by Jhenna Conway and photo by Casey Braden

Ingredients:

Mango butter: Moisturizing

Shea butter: Softens skin

Distilled water: Hydration for skin (do not eat soap!)

Glycerin (to include sodium hydroxide (lye): Moisturizer

Goat’s milk: Contains minerals (such as selenium which is thought to prevent skin cancer), vitamins (especially high in vitamin A which repairs damaged skin tissue), anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, moisturizing. Seriously, I need to get some more goats and make ALL my lotion with just goat’s milk!

fragrance or essential oil of your choice::

Blue colorant

1 plastic toy bunny: Awesome fun and bendy

$6 each and can change scent to whatever you want for $1.00 extra.

_______________________________________________________________________

Aloha California Soap

#008

Aloha California made by Jhenna Conway and photo by Casey Braden

Ingredients:

Shea butter: Softens skin

Cocoa Butter: Contains natural antioxidants and provides a barrier that helps retain and restore the moisture in your skin.

Mango butter: Moisturizing

Goat’s milk: Contains minerals (such as selenium which is thought to prevent skin cancer), vitamins (especially high in vitamin A which repairs damaged skin tissue), anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, moisturizing. Seriously, I need to get some more goats and make ALL my lotion with just goat’s milk!

Glycerin (to include sodium hydroxide (lye):Moisturizing

Coconut oil: Cleansing and helps to make a hard bar of soap.

Castor seed oil: A humectant (compound that attracts moisture to itself and helps retain the moisture) and increases bubbles in soaping (“bubble booster”).

Shredded coconut: Exfoliant and natural healing powers in acne problems, burns and even fungus infections. Also helps with hair care, stress, metabolism, and even cholestoral problems.

Valencia orange zest: Exfoliant and just so pretty

Valencia orange essential oil: Light and airy mood enhancer

$5 or 3/$12

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Cyprus Sunset Soap

#010

Cyprus Sunset Soap made by Jhenna Conway and photo by Casey Braden

Cyprus Sunset Soap made by Jhenna Conway and photo by Casey Braden

Ingredients:

Mango butter: Moisturizing

Shea butter: Softens skin

Glycerin (to include sodium hydroxide (lye): Moisturizing

Goat’s milk: Contains minerals (such as selenium which is thought to prevent skin cancer), vitamins (especially high in vitamin A which repairs damaged skin tissue), anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, moisturizing. Seriously, I need to get some more goats and make ALL my lotion with just goat’s milk!

Oatmeal: Moisturizer, skin softener, repairs and revitalizes skin.

Cocoa: Contains antioxidents, has high moisturizing qualities and helps protect and soften skin.

Cedar and saffron oil: Earthy woodsy aroma and is believed to be an antiseptic, anti-putrescent, aphrodisiac, astringent, diuretic, experctorant, fungicidal, nervous sedative, circulatory stimulant and tonic.

Dried saffron: The most expensive soap in the world, saffron is used to lighten and even your skin tone, while cleansing away pore-deep impurities. It gently fades away pigmentation marks and blemishes; and grants you a fairer & flawless complexion. Adds a natural glow!

$5 or 3/$12

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Tobacco & Bay Leaf Soap

#030

*Picture soon to come, temporarily sold out*

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Cocoa Butter Dream Soap

#021

**Temporarily sold out, making more**

Cocoa Butter Dream Soap made by Jhenna Conway and photographed by Casey Braden

Cocoa Butter Dream Soap made by Jhenna Conway and photographed by Casey Braden

OK, seriously, this has to be one of my most luxurious bars so far. When I finished it I couldn’t stop smelling it and letting it cure for the last 6 weeks has been pure torture! You are so lucky I am even selling these bars because I wanted to keep them for myself but I want to support the Arthritis Foundation so it is in fact for sale to you. Amazing blend of essential oils, natural aroma of the cocoa butter (over 2 pounds use for a relatively small batch) and balance of complimenting base oils make this bar simply amazing. OK I used amazing far too many times but seriously, this soap is AMAZING!

Ingredients:

Goat’s milk: Contains minerals (such as selenium which is thought to prevent skin cancer), vitamins (especially high in vitamin A which repairs damaged skin tissue), anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, moisturizing. Seriously, I need to get some more goats and make ALL my lotion with just goat’s milk!

Cocoa Butter: Puts down a protective layer that holds moisture to the skin, acting as a softener. Contributes to hardness of bar and smells so yummy!

Olive oil: Great moisturizer and forms a “breathable” layer on the skin, preventing loss of internal moisture.

Coconut Oil: Provides great lather and hardness to the bar.

Soybean Oil: Adds mildness, lots of fluffy lather and is moisturizing.

Castor oil: A humectant (attracts and retains moisture to the skin) and provides great bubbles for the soap.

Distilled Water: Hydration for skin (do not eat soap!)

Sodium Hydroxide (lye): All of our soaps cure for at least 4 weeks to neutralize the lye. Lye, liquid, and oils/butters are what make soap soap.

Grapefruit Essential Oil: Uplifting scent. It is also a purifier of congested, oily and acne prone skinand is used as a natural toner and cellulite treatment. It is thought to ease nervous exhaustion and relieve depression.

Lavender Essential Oil: Calming effect on body and reduces anxiety, stress as well as promotes sleep. Most commonly associated with burns and the healing of skin.

Cedarwood Essential Oil: Earthy woodsy aroma and is believed to be an antiseptic, anti-putrescent, aphrodisiac, astringent, diuretic, experctorant, fungicidal, nervous sedative, circulatory stimulant and tonic.

$5 or 3/$12

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 Oatmeal Goat’s Milk & Honey Soap

#017

Oatmeal Goat's Milk and Honey Soap made by Jhenna Conway and photo by Casey Braden

Oatmeal Goat’s Milk and Honey Soap made by Jhenna Conway and photo by Casey Braden

Ingredients:

Soybean oil:

Coconut oil: Provides great lather and hardness to the bar.

Olive oil: Great moisturizer and forms a “breathable” layer on the skin, preventing loss of internal moisture.

Goat’s milk: Contains minerals (such as selenium which is thought to prevent skin cancer), vitamins (especially high in vitamin A which repairs damaged skin tissue), anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, moisturizing. Seriously, I need to get some more goats and make ALL my lotion with just goat’s milk!

Sodium hydroxide (lye): All of our soaps cure for at least 4 weeks to neutralize the lye. Lye, liquid, and oils/butters are what make soap soap.

Ground and whole oatmeal: Moisturizer, skin softener, repairs and revitalizes skin.

Cyprus honey: Antimicrobial (antibacterial), anti fungal and a humectant (compound that attracts moisture to itself and helps retain the moisture).

Ground almonds: Exfoliant, rich in numerous skin-loving vitamins and is naturally moisturizing.

Avocado oil: Rich in vitamins A, D and E as well as amino acids and protein. Wonderfully moisturizing and excellent for anyone with extremely sensitive skin.

$5 or 3/$12 or 5/$20 for April

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Calming Goat’s Milk Soap

#015

25 mar 2014 038

Calming Goat's Milk Soap made by Jhenna Conway and Casey Braden. Photo by Casey Braden

Calming Goat’s Milk Soap made by Jhenna Conway and Casey Braden. Photo by Casey Braden

Ingredients:

Soybean oil: Adds mildness, lots of fluffy lather and is moisturizing.

Coconut oil: Provides great lather and hardness to the bar.

Olive oil: Great moisturizer and forms a “breathable” layer on the skin, preventing loss of internal moisture.

Goat’s milk: Contains minerals (such as selenium which is thought to prevent skin cancer), vitamins (especially high in vitamin A which repairs damaged skin tissue), anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, moisturizing. Seriously, I need to get some more goats and make ALL my lotion with just goat’s milk!

Sodium hydroxide (lye): All of our soaps cure for at least 4 weeks to neutralize the lye. Lye, liquid, and oils/butters are what make soap soap.

Ylang-ylang essential oil: Has a sweet, exotic and floral aroma and is a highly sought after essential oil. Can assist with high blood pressure, rapid breathing and heartbeat, nervous conditions, as well as impotence and frigidity.

Pathchouli essential oil: Warm and earthy aroma with fresh fruity tones. Effective for combating nervous disorders, helping with dandruff, sores, skin irritations and acne.

$5 or 3/$12

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Acne Soap

#018

Acne Soap made by Jhenna Conway and photo by Casey Braden

Acne Soap made by Jhenna Conway and photo by Casey Braden

Ingredients: Goat’s milk, distilled water, glycerin (to include sodium hydroxide (lye)), honey, Cyprus Mediterranean Sea Salt, activated charcoal, ground almonds, neem oil, sweet almond oil, vitamin E oil, tea tree, lavender, lemongrass, rosemary and thyme essential oils, dried rosemary and dried thyme.

$5 or 3/$12

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Mid Summer’s Night Soap

#026

Mid Summer's Might: Made by Casey Braden for The Shepherd Hobby Farm and photographed by Casey Braden

Mid Summer’s Might: Made by Casey Braden for The Shepherd Hobby Farm and photographed by Casey Braden

Midsummer's Night Soap made by Casey Braden and photographed by Jhenna Conway

Midsummer’s Night Soap made by Casey Braden and photographed by Jhenna Conway

Midsummer's Night Soap made by Casey Braden and photographed by Jhenna Conway

Midsummer’s Night Soap made by Casey Braden and photographed by Jhenna Conway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

Goat’s milk: Contains minerals (such as selenium which is thought to prevent skin cancer), vitamins (especially high in vitamin A which repairs damaged skin tissue), anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, moisturizing. Seriously, I need to get some more goats and make ALL my lotion with just goat’s milk!

Olive Oil:

Palm Oil:

Coconut Oil:

Sodium Hydroxide (lye):

Jojoba Oil:

Grapeseed Oil:

Castor Oil:

Mid Summer’s Night Fragrance Oil:

Blue Mica:

$5 or 3/$12

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Poison Ivy Rescue Soap

#027

Poison Ivy Relief Soap: Made and photgraphed by Jhenna Conway of The Shepherd Hobby Farm

Poison Ivy Relief Soap: Made and photgraphed by Jhenna Conway of The Shepherd Hobby Farm

Poison Ivy Relief Soap: Made and photgraphed by Jhenna Conway of The Shepherd Hobby Farm

Poison Ivy Relief Soap: Made and photgraphed by Jhenna Conway of The Shepherd Hobby Farm

Ingredients:

Goat’s milk: Contains minerals (such as selenium which is thought to prevent skin cancer), vitamins (especially high in vitamin A which repairs damaged skin tissue), anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, moisturizing.

Aloe:

Olive Oil:

Glycerin:

Sodium Hydroxide (lye):

Pine Tar:

Tea Tree Oil:

Jewelweed Extract:

Cyprus Sea Salt:

Activated Charcoal:

Ground Oatmeal:

Dried Chamomile Flowers:

$5 or 3/$12

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Almond Biscotti Soap

#025

**Temporarily sold out, making more**

Almond Biscotti made by Casey Braden for eh Shepherd Hobby Farm and photographed by Casey Braden.

Almond Biscotti made by Casey Braden for eh Shepherd Hobby Farm and photographed by Casey Braden.

Ingrdients:

Distilled Water:

Coconut Oil:

Olive Oil:

Palm Oil:

Canola Oil:

Sodium Hydroxide (lye):

Castor Oil:

Almond Biscotti Frangrance Oil:

Ethiopian Ground Coffee Beans:

$5 or 3/$12 or 5/$20 for April

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Sweet Baby Chamomile

#004

Sweet Baby Chamomile Soap. Made by Jhenna Conway and picture by Casey Braden

Sweet Baby Chamomile Soap. Made by Jhenna Conway and picture by Casey Braden

Sweet Baby Chamomile Soap. Made by Jhenna Conway and picture by Casey Braden

Sweet Baby Chamomile Soap. Made by Jhenna Conway and picture by Casey Braden

Ingredients:

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Baby Rose  Soap

#023

**Photo soon to come**

Ingredients:

Palm Oil:

Goat’s Milk:

Coconut Oil:

Olive Oil:

Sodium Hydroxide (lye):

Canola Oil:

Dried Hibiscus Flowers:

Baby Rose Essential Oil:

Raspberry Hibiscus Tea:

$5 or 3/$12 or 5/$20 for April

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Half Pint Soap

*Picture and description soon to come**

*Lemon Verbena essential oil based

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Payment can be made via check, cash, credit/debit card, or paypal.

 

Starbucks Vanilla Coffee Soap Recipe

Starbucks Vanilla Coffee Soap, made by me, Jhenna Conway, and picture by Casey Braden

Starbucks Vanilla Coffee Soap, made by me, Jhenna Conway, and picture by Casey Braden

My soaps have been a way to raise money for the Arthritis Foundation and this soap is sure doing that job.

If you ever feel moved to donate you can do so HERE.

This has been one of my best sellers using a base that is already cured and ready to use immediately after it takes the hour or two to set up (even faster when you put in refrigerator.)

I have to give a shout out to my Keurig for making coffee soap SO EASY to make and so versatile. I am able to brew one big cup of coffee (or small, ain’t technology great!) of any flavor to use in my soaps instead of having to make a whole pot.

Sorry I skip around from grams to ounces but I don’t want new soapers to think they need a ton of base to make this soap (for me 822 grams seemed liked a TON while 29 oz was manageable… proportion has never been my strong point.) If your scale only does one or the other you can convert grams to oz or vice versa here.

Here goes… my Starbucks Vanilla Coffee Soap Recipe

29 oz (822 grams) Shea and Mango Butter base (melt and pour)… can substitute Goat’s milk base for awesome results as well!

.46 (13 grams) room temperature coffee (for this one I used Keurig Starbucks Vanilla Coffee)

15 oz (425 grams) clear glycerin base (melt and pour)

a little castor oil… I seriously wrote down “a little” on my recipe sheet and have no idea how much. I’m thinking it was only .5 oz.

.4 oz (9 grams) jojoba oil

.84 oz (4 grams) coffee grounds

.2 oz (4.5 grams)  vanilla bean seeds (optional, but I love them in there! Scrape them out of a couple vanilla beans)

.25 oz (7 grams) cocoa butter

.9 oz (25.5 grams) Vanilla essential oil (you can also add .8 oz coffee fragrance oil but I tend to like to stay away from fragrance oils if I can)

 

Directions:

  1. Clean and make your work area safe and sanitized. It is recommended that you wear gloves and a hair net while preparing melt and pour soaps but truth be told I only do so when working with cold process soaps. I do tie my hair pack and make sure pets are out of the room so no doggy hair or my hair makes its way into my soaps.
  2. Cut your bases up into chunks and put in two separate bowls.
  3. Heat your double butter (I use microwave at 30 second intervals) until melted and add cocoa butter. Stir to ensure everything is melted.
  4. Add about 1/3 brewed coffee, about 2/3 of the vanilla essential oil (eyeball it), castor oil and jojoba oil. Stir to incorporate everything.
  5. Add coffee grounds and vanilla been seeds, stir.  You may need to reheat the base but be careful to not heat too much *DO NOT BE TEMPTED TO STOP AND GET A CUP OF COFFEE!
  6. Pour double (now triple) butter soap into molds when grounds are suspended throughout soap base. Allow to cool enough to create a substantial hard top layer.
  7. Melt your glycerin chunks.
  8. Add coffee and remaining Vanilla essential oil
  9. Pour gently and evenly into mold over top the triple butter base. Let sit to harden about 3 to 4 hours or 1 hour in refrigerator.

There you have it! Enjoy and please oh please post pictures and/or comments of your coffee soap and about soaping in general 🙂

 

Happy Soaping

Jhenna

 

 

 

Training starts… TODAY!

So I innocently opened my dresser drawer while getting ready for church this morning and I saw them… spandex. It hit me like a ton of bricks that in five short months I would be spending eight straight days in spandex. At the same moment I realized that five months is also the gestation period for a Nigerian Dwarf Goat and Sebastian would certainly need to be separated from mama Ariel as he was unmistakably coming into his own in the buck department. Get ready for a new guy in Buckville boys! We don’t want any babies born on the farm while we are cycling down the California coast.

I think Kevin and I are officially calling this ride our honeymoon. We never had one after we were married 16 years ago and I think I even went to work the next day (quite possibly that same day… I can’t quite remember).

So I thought the night I went pig wrastlin’ (Read about that little escapade here…) I had started my training because I ran and ran and ran some more after that little pig racing champion (seriously, I think she won gold in the Olympics) but alas my drive thru McDonalds trip on the way home probably was a sign I wasn’t quite serious about training.

Add that to the fact that I’ve had my bike almost two weeks now and haven’t been on it yet may tell you that I’m procrastinating with this whole “stop eating Warm Delights cakes, start the cycling exercise program, and quit fooling myself that hobby farm chores keep me in “good enough” shape.”

Warm Delights... yum! Wait I mean BAD, so very BAD!

Warm Delights… yum! Wait I mean BAD, so very BAD!

Incentive… I need incentive. I need some instant gratification (bad on me, I know. Save the lecture for when we are enjoying a nice piece of chocolate cake together as I will surely be more receptive to what you have to say at that point). The ride itself… the 550 mile ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles to be specific, serves as motivation but five months is SO FAR away.

Raising money for the Arthritis Foundation is motivation but I hate asking people for money (hence my soap making and selling… I love making soap!) Wanna give me incentive and more motivation? Donate here for the Arthritis Foundation and make my California Coast Classic ride a reality. If I do all this training for nothing you all are in trouble… just kidding… or am I?

Back to the spandex. I saw it in my drawer… I didn’t put it on… yet. I will need to, and soon, but not today. I may scare the horses.

So I did find some incentive to this whole bike ride (the kids keep caling it a race and I keep correcting them that it is most assuredly a “ride.” They reply, “Dad is so gonna beat you in the bike race.” Ugh!) with the recent purchase of new bikes for the boys.

Our youngest son is nine and has never wanted to learn how to ride a bike. We got him one years ago and he put his foot down, no bike riding for him. However, with all the talk in the house about our big bike RIDE (not race) both boys are excited to jump on some bikes and do some family riding.

On the way home from getting the bikes our youngest son kept going on and on about how he was going to learn as soon as we got home. We had about 45 minutes of daylight when we pulled into the drive and he used every second of it to practice. Kevin and I took turns holding on to the back of the seat and running along, helping him to steer when he got nervous and refused to look up or straight ahead. He’s learning. He doesn’t have it down yet, but he’s learning. My heart was and is soaring. This was one of those “I can’t wait for it” moments… watching my husband teach his son to ride a bike.

Kevin teaching our youngest son to ride!

Kevin teaching our youngest son to ride!

So, I’m calling it… training starts today. Eating right, training, spandex wearing… all today! Well, the spandex may wait for tomorrow but the rest starts TODAY!

So my question is… do you all want to hear how it goes? Daily installments, weekly, only highlights/lowlights? Let me know 🙂 I think I’m actually excited about all of this, love it!

Goat pic... because I can

Goat pic… because I can

 

 

How to make Goat’s Milk Chamomile Soap

Time for another soap installment!

We are going to up the difficulty level ever so slightly but still within the realm of “yes, YOU can do this!” Trust me, if I can do it, anyone can do it.

This soap recipe takes a little preparation ahead of time to freeze your goat’s milk and infuse your olive oil with chamomile. It is well worth the effort as this is one of my fastest selling bars (only to be outdone by my most basic goat’s milk bar which has such a boring recipe but amazing results.)

You need all your basic supplies for cold process soap making. These include:

  • Safety goggles/glasses
  • Good rubber gloves (like the ones you’d wash dishes with… not the thin “surgical” gloves. We are not doing surgery here people.)
  • Container to put frozen goat’s milk in (thick plastic pitcher works well as does a 4 cup glass Pyrex meassuring glass… that’s what I use.)
  • Thermometer (candy thermometer works well though I prefer my longer sciency looking one that I nabbed from Jackson’s chemistry stuff… note to self, order Jackson another thermometer.)
  • Stainless steel pot… must be stainless steel as lye does nasty things to other types
  • temperature resistent stirrer of some sort (shout out to my Pampered Chef rubber scrapers… always want to call them spatulas but those are the things you flip pancakes with. Seems like the two utensils should share the name.)
  • Some sort of soap mold. Check out my “Grocery Store Soap” post to get some good YouTube videos of how to make a mold out of an ordinary box…

http://simplehobbyhomesteading.com/diy-homemade-grocery-store-soap-yes-you-can-do-this/

  • spray bottle with vinegar (to be used in case you spill any lye on your worksurface)
  • Kitchen scale (I keep mine in a gallon size plastic bag to keep it clean while measuring oils)
  • Container to measure oils in and a separate container to measure lye in.
  • Immersion blender… you could get away without this but it cuts the mixing time down considerably! Compare 3 or 4 minutes of pulsating an immersion blender with 30 to 45 minutes of constant brisk hand stirring… yup I’ll buy the $15 immersion blender.
  • Crockpot (this is used to infuse the olive oil with the chamomile. No worries, you can use the crockpot for food again, no lye will be touching it)
  • Big bowl for ice water or hot water

Ok, now that we got supplies all out of the way let’s get on to the fun stuff… ingredients! Remember everything is by weight, not fluid ounces.

Ingredients

Ingredients

  1. Olive oil: 65 ounces total (for infusing) though only 48.8 ounces will go into soap (not the extra virgin or the virgin… look for the regular ol’ classic.)
  2. Chamomile leaves: 1 box or 1/4 pound of loose leaves/flowers (you can easily use a whole box of chamomile tea. Cut bags open and empty contents into crockpot)
  3. Castor oil: 4.3 ounces (often found in the medicine aisle of a store)
  4. Goat’s Milk: 20 ounces (get buddy buddy with someone with goats or buy it in the baking aisle of the store)
  5. Lye: 6.6 ounces

This recipe perfectly fills two of the white molds I got at Michaels with my 40% off coupon 🙂

That’s it, five ingredients. Almost seems easier than the grocery store soap doesn’t it! The goat’s milk and preparation is what is going to kick this one up a notch. If we were cooking I’d say “Bam!”… another note to self, come up with a cool word while soaping that means “Bam”

Put your goat’s milk in the freezer until it is very frozen. What’s “very frozen” you ask? Not slushy like, actual frozen chunks.

* Side note… have you seen the movie “Frozen” yet? Sooooooo cute! Tons of singing so my boys tried to hate it but they liked it and asked if we could get it, score!

Combine all 65 ounces of your olive oil with loose chamomile leaves/flowers in the crockpot and set on low for 3 to 4 hours (I just do mine overnight).

After olive oil has been infused strain the chamomile out of the olive oil (I have a little sieve just for this job but cheesecloth would work too). No worries if some of the chamomile flowers/leaves make their way through and into the olive oil, it adds to the prettiness of the bar. However, you do not want all of them in there… too much pretty can be a bad thing.

Step 1: Weigh out the olive oil and castor oil. Heat them on low in the stainless steel pot.

Step 2: Get your molds ready (line them, grease them with crisco, whatever trips your trigger)

Step 3: Put pitcher/Pyrex on scale and zero out the scale. Add your 20 ounces of goat’s milk.

Step 4: Get your big bowl of ice water ready… just in case.

Step 5: Put on safety gear! Ensure worsurface and area is safe, send the kids and animals out of the room to watch a movie… ooh FROZEN!

Frozen goat's milk

Frozen goat’s milk

Step 6: Measure out lye. Add lye to milk slowly and stir slowly and constantly. Check the temperature often and if it goes above 130 degrees stop adding lye and put pitcher/Pyrex in ice water bowl. Continue adding lye slowly and then stir, stir, stir checking temperature often. You do not want milk getting past 140 degrees or it could easily scald and that creates a nasty smell and somewhat unsightly appearance (though some people like the appearance I haven’t met anyone who likes the smell).

My lye mixture got too cool so I had to put it in a hot water spa bath

My lye mixture got too cool in its ice bath so I had to put it in a hot water spa bath

Step 7: Check temperatrure of oils. Check temperature of lye mixture. Get them both between 90 and 115 degrees (both need to be about (within 5 degrees) the same temperature). If your lye mixture gets too cold dump your bowl of ice water and fill with hot water. Put your pitcher/Pyrex in the hot water and stir to warm it up.

Step 8: When both are about the same temperature slowly add lye mixture to oils and stir to incorporate. With your immersion blender pulse, pulse, pulse until you get a medium to thick trace. When I did this today it took me about 4 minutes to get to a medium, almost thick trace. If you want you can add some of the chamomile that you strained out of not much got into the oil. I added about a tablespoon.

Just keep blending, just keep blending

Just keep blending, just keep blending

Step 9: Pour into molds.

Freshly poured!

Freshly poured!

Step 10: You can cover this soap if you would like but I have found that this particular recipe turns out great without covering.

After 36 hours in mold you can unmold and slice. Then the hard part… waiting the 4 to 6 weeks for it to cure! UGH! It’s so worth it though.

This bar is so amazing for people with sensitive skin, especially babies. I always love to give this at baby showers.

I’ll update with a pic after I unmold tomorrow. Can’t wait!

May the soaping force be with you!

Jhenna

 

 

Why EVERY parent should homeschool… (the reason may surprise you)

Family field trip to Marengo Cave!

Family field trip to Marengo Cave!

I’m guessing some of you read this blog post so you could start formulating your “How dare you tell me what I should do” letter to me while others read out of sheer curiosity. Alas, the majority of you read because I am still in the infancy of my blogging and most of my readers consist of friends and family… yes, my family, you are totally obligated to read my posts… mostly to see if I mention any of you! Thank You God for a big family!

Why should every parent homeschool? The answer is beautiful and simple…

You should homeschool because you already do and to quit would be to cease being a parent!

It is time to peel the stigma away from what most think of when they hear “homeschooling.” I’m hoping to give you a glimpse of our own homeschooling journey to show you how I was just as much of a teacher to my sons while they were in “brick and mortar” schools as I am now that they are not.

Our oldest son went to public school from kindergarten through fifth grade because I was active duty Air Force and my husband worked full time. He went to public schools in Germany (that’s where he started and they refused to speak English to him… talk about a steep learning curve, but it was so amazing for him and he soon became my little translator for our 90 year old German landlord who refused to believe I was anything but a nurse on the German air force base! I was not a nurse.). We experienced the public school system with that son in Germany, Nebraska, California, Wisconsin, and Indiana… we’ve been around.

Compare that to our youngest son who only attended half day kindergarten in public school and you get the basis of our oldest son’s common comment that his younger brother is more loved (not true…I’m adding this becuase they both often read this blog and I want to remind them that they are loved equally… you are both loved equally!). Apparently our oldest thought public school was some sort of punishment… not sure where that ever came from but I’m guessing it had something to do with the 6:45am bus stop.

Boys that like to hang out together... crazy ;)

Boys that like to hang out together… crazy 😉

My husband and I have educated our sons from the moment they were born as you have done with your children. Learning how to obery, respect others, and communicate effectively came from parents or parent figures for the majority of us. How to tie shoes… yup, parents. How to eat… yup, parents. Make their bed… you guessed it, parents. How to ride a bike… yup, parents. However, my best friend Minnette taught my oldest to ride a bike because I was horrible at teaching that skill (to say frustration and hesitancy do not mix well is an understatement) and to this day I still apologize to my oldest son for my tone of voice and words that day.

The fact that I reached out to another to help teach my kids in an area that I was ill equipped brings up a great point. Parents do not teach their children in a vacuum. Just as parents who teach all, or the majority, of their children’s academics at home do not do so in a vacuum. We all reach out to others when help is needed so in that way we are more alike than we are different. What have you had “outside help” in teaching your kids?

Panning for riches at Marengo Cave... this is where Gunner's geology passion began.

Panning for riches at Marengo Cave… this is where Gunner’s geology passion began.

We have always been very active in our kids’ education. Kevin is the go to math, computer programming and history nut (as well as mathemtaical based sciences… physics etc.) while I tackle language arts, biological and chemistry based sciences, foreign languages, and well… everything else. We were in the kids’ public school classrooms often helping and enjoying the interaction. We sat at the table with the kids when homework was being done at night to see what they were learning and be on hand should they have needed help. I did plenty of projects “for them” because I wanted them to get a good grade and impress their teachers. We fought about “our way” of doing things versus “the teacher’s way” and most often lost to the “teacher’s way” even though we thought to the very core of our being that our way was the best. We read, read, and read some more. With our kids, to our kids, and having them read to us. This has been a staple in our family from day one and really is a blessing if it is in your home as well.

I became a stay at home mom after my medical retirement from the air force and we moved to Indiana. I really liked the public school system here because it allowed for parents to be very involved in their child’s education both in school and after school. The teachers showed a genuine interest in getting to know our kids and would often report how much they enjoyed having them in class (bear with me here, I’m not putting my kids on any sort of pedastal). Our boys were raised to say, “yes ma’am, no ma’am, yes sir, and no sir” throughout their whole life (gotta love the military) and the teachers in these “civilian” sections of the nation seemed to really love and eat this up (Wisconsin, Indiana etc. The other schools were always on or near a military base so the teachers were used to the yes ma’am etc.).

Youngest son's first meme... awwwww

Youngest son’s first meme… awwwww

Then we noticed a disturbing trend… our sons were learning (quickly) to manipulate their teachers and the system. If they were quiet, respectful, and helpful (without being pushy) the teachers would lower the standards for them and let them get away with more.

Our sons have always had horrid handwriting (no secret, they know this). We work on it and work on it but to little improvement unless they take 10 minutes to carefully write one word (nope, not even I have the patience for that and it’s not practical). In public school my oldest son’s teacher would actually call him up to ask him what his answer said because she could not read it. He would try to read his own writing (many times he could not) and the teacher would let him get away with it without marking it wrong because he was so kind, polite, and followed along in class well. She mentioned this during a conference. We talked to our son and found out he wasn’t even trying to write legibly because he didn’t have to and got it right. He admitted in fact that sometimes if he didn’t know the answer he wrote “super sloppy” so she couldn’t read it… apparently she always gave him the benefit of the doubt. Well played son, well played.

This was the straw that broke the camels back so to say. We weren’t mad at the teacher, we were unhappy with our son’s attitude and choices. We thought we had taught our son to do what is true and right regardless if others expect it of you or not. Your actions are not determined by another’s. Just because his teacher let him get away with something does not mean he should continue in that behavior. Both of our sons had learned that all that was necessary at school was the bare minimum. Ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous and proof that our work ethic training was not carrying through to time away from us at school.

The world is our classroom... youngest son volunteering at the humane society

The world is our classroom… youngest son volunteering at the humane society

It was at that moment I finally agreed to Kevin’s longtime plea that we pull the boys out of public school and take it to the home. It turned out to be the best decision of our lives and the lives of our boys. We are on year five and I am actually teaching a high schooler *gasp*! Our boys are learning work ethic, compassion, and good decision making now all day, every day, at a time in their lives when their brains are developing rapidly and outside influences truly have a huge effect on them. We are controlling the influences they are surrounded by as much as we can during this time of development so when they are adults and their judgment and impulse control are better cultivated they will have already developed good habits and sound decision making in their maturity.

Not every kid needs this type of intense structure and guidance. Our kids do. There are parents who work their tail ends off in the time that their kids are home to instill these things and their kids carry them through to their school days. I know so many kids like this and I love to be around them and learn with and from them. There are also kids who are naturally more mature, focused, and able to succeed easily in whatever they put their minds to and their parents encourage them in ways that are absolutely beautiful and breathtaking. Love these kids as well!

Everyone has to learn at The Shepherd Hobby Farm!

Everyone has to learn at The Shepherd Hobby Farm!

My point is, every kid is different just as every family is different. Just don’t assume that parents pull their kids out of school and tackle academics at home because they think their kids are better than yours or the school system is horrible (though truth be told with standardized testing and common core I may be leaning more towards horrible the more I see of it).

Below are the top reasons we homeschool

  • Instill work ethic in our children
  • Teach creation (Bible) based academics
  • To be together as a family
  • To guide our sons decision making at a time of great cerebral development
  • To teach each child based on their learning style
  • To link what we teach to real world application
  • Flexibility in schedules and traveling
  • To pursue passions and interests with ease and excitement
  • To ensure proper rest, exercise, and nutrition for growing boys (and the whole family)
  • To socialize MORE with varied peer groups and people of all different race, age, and culture
  • Increased community involvement

If you look at that list you will find that you, as a parent, are filling a lot of those boxes with your kids as well regardless if they are in public, private, or home school. Homeschooling just works well for our family because we were not capable of filling those boxes above when our kids were in public school.

I’d love to hear what led you to homeschooling, how you fill thses boxes with kids in public school, and/or myths/questions you have about homeschooling! Comment here!

Keep on keeping on and HAPPY FIRST DAY OF SPRING! (yes I know I shouted that)!

Jhenna

 

Meet the Nigerian Dwarf… Goat

Jackson and baby Ella

 

 

iphone pics 11 Feb 2012 179

Baby Ella, Feb 2012… Could you resist?

 

I just had to go with this title as my husband always loves to joke about all my little Nigerian Dwarves running about the farm. I beg him to add “goat” so people don’t think we have some sort of labor camp for foreign little people but he refuses to give up this joke.

To be perfectly clear, we have Nigerian Dwarf Goats. In fact the boys actually counted this morning and we officially have 11 of these amazing little creatures. We have 13 goats total but 1 is a Nubian and 1 is a fainting goat (sooooo funny to watch!). The boys and I are proud card carrying members of the Indiana Nigerian Dwarf Goat Association… we even have the shirts to prove it!

I fell in love with the breed immediatley upon getting our oldest son a week old Nigerian Dwarf buckling for his twelth birthday. I saw a picture on Craigslist of the most adorable little goat and said, “He must be ours”… the timing of Jackson’s birthday was perfect and I convinced him he wanted a goat. We named him Elliott. He was our first goat and one of two wethers we have. I’m going to be throwing around some terms during this blog that everyone may not recognize so let’s get a couple things straight in the goat lingo department…

  • doe: female goat
  • buck: male intact (not neutered) goat
  • wether: male goat (neutered, no testicles and therefore none of the hormonal surges and stink of the buck)
  • kid: baby goat (boy and girl)
  • buckling: baby boy
  • doeling: baby girl

We wethered Elliott (via banding) and bottle raised him. Goat’s can easily digest whole cow’s milk and I have to say bottle feeding this goat was an amazing experience which bonded him to us (and us to him) in ways few would ever believe. Elliott comes when called, loves snuggles, and gets along beautifully with everyone he meets (animal and human!). I highly recommend bottle raising goat kids to bond them to you.

Boys with Elliott in 2012. Notice the cat in the background playing with a snake... ugh!

Boys with Elliott in 2012. Notice the cat in the background playing with a snake… ugh!

People ask if we consider our goats as pets. No, we really do not. I define a pet as a creature that you have almost constant contact with and allow in your living space (no, I don’t call my kids my “pets” but they could qualify I guess). There are only a few occasions that we have brought a goat kid inside for any length of time and for that period yes, I guess they could have been considered pets (when they joined the herd outside they relinquished pet status).

However, this does not mean that goats are less friendly, less trainable, or need less attention than our indoor dogs, cats, bunny, or fish pets. Goats certainly need to be checked on at least twice a day, socialized and receive human contact (yes even the smelly bucks… PLEASE handle your bucks people so they do not become unruly!) if you are to have any chance of being able to trim hooves, give veterinary care, milk, and be able to lay hands on your goats for whatever purpose (including snuggles!).

Jhenna and baby goats6

Left to right, Tybalt, Mercutio, and Baine

Jhenna and baby goats4

Bainey Boo is so gonna jump on me as Ariel just watches from a distance!

 

Well socialized bucklings... ATTACK!

Well socialized bucklings… ATTACK!

Why do we have goats? Oh let me count the ways…

  1. Great comic relief and so much fun to watch
  2. We milk our goats and use that milk in lotions and soaps.
  3. We use their droppings (called “berries”) for fertilizer in the garden and compost
  4. They are amazing at clearing brush and poison ivy in our woods
  5. They provide an avenue to build work ethic with our boys
  6. Some day I will talk my sons into joining 4-H and they can take the goats into the show ring!
  7. They are just plain adorable
  8. To teach others about God’s creation
  9. I can’t resist the lure of a baby goat face (not a good reason I know but I’m honest)
Ella all grown up with her baby Baine Bloodhoof

Ella all grown up with her baby Baine Bloodhoof

Many urban areas even allow up to 2 miniature sized breeds of goats (think pygmies and Nigerian Dwarf Goats). Please know that if you are thinking of getting a goat consider this

  1. Goats need hay (or forage to include grass AND more fiberous woody material), minerals (can be bought in bags at feed stores), constant access to clean water (try to elevate it slightly, they seem to love pooping in their water and will not touch it after that… can you blame them?), and a balanced feed ration, especially in winter (often comes in a pelleted form).
  2. Most goats (including the Nigerian Dwarf Goat) are escape artists and can easily jump 4 foot fences and climb seemingly vertical structures to check out if the grass is truly greener on the other side of the fence…or if shingles on your roof are edible. Though they will not eat ANYTHING as most people think, goats do eat A LOT of things (to include your or your neighbors beautiful roses, garden produce, berry bushes, and pine trees). Like horses, goats usually know instinctively which forage is harmful to them and will stay away from it. But, if they are really hungry and nothing else is available (or if it’s heavily mixed with things they do find yummy)they will eat things that can poison them. Goats will not eat any little piece of hay or food that has been urinated or pooped on… put their hay up!
  3. Goats have to be wormed regularly. There are organic and chemical methods for this but it has to be done consistently. Because they eat from the ground they tend to carry wormloads and you don’t want worms overtaking your goat!
  4. Goats are herd animals and want to be part of a herd (this can include other goats, sheep, YOU, and sometimes dogs). If you are getting one goat I highly recommend you get another for its buddy unless you want to hear a goat “yelling” for you day and night.

To understand these things is to understand that you need to let a goat be a goat. I understand our goats really well… they want to eat, drink water, play, sleep, fight, and reproduce. The fighting is few and far between as they all have their herd status and “pecking order” figured out now, but as our bucklings grow up they are testing their elders and each other. Goats spend most of their time grazing (eating). They fill up their bellies to almost bursting proportions and then they lay or stand lazily regurgitating that food and chewing it (chewing their cud) to finally be digested. I wish I had a dime for every person who has asked if my wethers were pregnant… full bellies (known as “rumen” in goats) makes any goat look very pregnant to the unpracticed goat handler.

See those healthy rumens :)

See those healthy rumens 🙂

Why the Nigerian Dwarf Goat?

  1. For their size (small in stature, a tiny bit bigger than a standard pygmy) they give an amzing amount of milk. Ariel, our wonderful beige Nigerian Dwarf Goat, kidded a few months back with a single buckling and we are getting almost 2 quarts of milk out of her a day. Most goats kid twins and triplets and usually will produce even more milk than that!
  2. Their personalities can’t be beat. They are friendly, easily trainable, and truly enjoy human contact.
  3. They are able to breed year round. Most goat breeds only are able to breed once or twice a year, based on seasons, but the Nigerian Dwarf Goat cycles throughout the entire year making it easier for us to schedule breedings and kiddings to fit our plans and schedules.
  4. They are a hardy breed. Great in winter and in summer.
  5. They are small and therefore take less to feed and drink less water than bigger breeds of goat. Their veterinary care is also less expensive (think dosing worming meds, antibiotics, etc.  on weight)
  6. They are very agile and this adds to the entertainment value when you pull up a chair or log and watch them jump about and play.
  7. They are intelligent. All of our goats know their names and come to them. We are working on teaching a couple of them fun tricks and they are proving to be quick learners. Except Ella, she is so stubborn and is trying to teach me tricks! I secretly think she has the upper hand and has me trained quite well.
And then there's Pedro... our Nubian wether and only horned goat (the rest are polled or have been disbudded)

And then there’s Pedro… our Nubian wether and only horned goat (the rest are polled or have been disbudded)

Not to be left out is Pedro… his coming to the farm was a bit of a surprise to my husband (I really thought I had talked with him about Pedro but apparently not…)

One day I was looking at Craigslist (note to self, stop looking at Craigslist) and saw an ad for a Nubian wether who was super friendly! We had just gotten Elliott and the love for goats was becoming strong (think of the Star Wars “force”) in this hobby farmer. I had talked with Kevin (my husband) about a buddy for Elliott and apparently I left out the fact that I had found one. I told the boys I was heading to get Pedro and to let their dad know if they needed anything. I picked up Pedro, brought him home and unloaded him to meet Elliott. They became instant best friends and I saw Kevin and Gunner at the sun room window watching Pedro and Elliott meet. This is the converstaion I could not hear but was told about word for word when I came inside…

Kevin: What is that?

Gunner: That’s Pedro, our other goat.

Kevin: What other goat?

Gunner: You know, Pedro

Kevin: No I do not.

Note to self… make sure I clear all new animals with my husband BEFORE they arrive at the farm.

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