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We recently experienced a soap tragedy here on the hill.  We lost our entire stock of soap that was on the curing rack.  It was heart breaking for us and I know that there will be some who are very disappointed that you won’t be able to get soap at the Apple and Pork Festival this year.  We hate it too.  This has brought us to a crossroads where a decision must be made whether to continue with soaping or to let it go.  It’s weighing heavy on my heart and mind.

I guess since I don’t have any soap to show you this fall I will have to share other things.  My mom and I have been selling vintage items for a while so maybe I’ll highlight an item now and then.  And of course there are always canning stories and recipes to share! 

In other news, I’m starting paralegal studies in preparation for some upcoming changes in my “real” job.  It’s exciting but I sure am looking forward to winter when I won’t have yard work as a drain on my time.  LOL  I really hate mowing and weeds.

I hope you all had a very nice Labor Day and got to spend time with friends and family or doing other things you enjoy. 

My message for today is:  Live the life you want to live, not the life you’re expected to lead.

 

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I had a great day traveling with my friend (and fellow soapmaker), Laurel!  The first person to leave a comment correctly identifying where I was today will win a prize!

Sorry Laurel, you’re not eligible.

WE HAVE A WINNER!  Erin K correctly guessed via my facebook page that I was at the Hippie Memorial in Arcola, IL.  Erin will be receiving a bar of Hippie Memorial commemorative soap scented with Sandalwood and Patchouli essential oils.  In a tie dye pattern, of course.  🙂

The sun prisms seem very fitting.

And since we already have a winner, here are a few more photos…

My favorite part of the sculpture.

Most of the monument - with an intruding train in the background. How rude.

And me waving the peace sign, of course. And yes, I AM wearing tie dye.

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If I had unlimited funds or even close to enough funds to do it, I’d start a school.  When I think about the field to the north, I envision heading down a road in that direction where there are trees, gardens of herbs and vegetables, fruit bushes, and of course various animals.   Chickens, goats, cows, guinea fowl, cats, dogs, and whatever else comes our way would be present.

Beyond the plantings and animals, I see various buildings – barns of course, but also large cabins with flower boxes at the windows and rocking chairs on the porches, buildings that would house classrooms, workshops, offices, and a small shop where we can sell some of the products that we would make here year around.

What would we teach here at the school?  The traditional arts that are so rare to find these days.  I would bring in artisans and craftsmen to teach the lost skills of chair caning, blacksmithing, quilting, candlemaking, soapmaking, herbalism, distilling and brewing, weaving, furniture making,  how to bake breads and make cheeses, and much, much more.  All of those skills that used to be part of the lives of our ancestors would come to life again at the hands of masters and students.   I would love to go to “camp” at a place like this and surely there are others.  I know.  I know if I build it they will come.

It sounds like a huge undertaking but I’ve had this dream in my heart and my brain for so long now that I see it clearly.  And the truth of the matter is, I already know the people who could teach most of the classes and those people know other people.   I would set up a schedule of classes and bring in people to teach those I, or members of my family, can’t teach.  Our students would come to stay for varying periods of time – 2-3 days or perhaps even a couple of weeks.  Those who wanted a reduced rate on their stay could work in the gardens or help with some sort of maintenance to help pay for their tuition.

Who are those students?  Ahh, they are a varied bunch:  business people who want to have a few days at a slower pace, families who want to get a taste of some of the skills needed for homesteading, retirees who are looking for a new hobby or talent to keep busy, and people like me who just love to learn and learn about the traditional skills.

I have heard of a place such as this and I would love to attend some time but what I really want is to have it all here.  Where I can look out and know I’m part of a revival and that I’m making a difference in the way people live their lives, if only for a day.  Here.  Where I could look out over Swisher Hill School of Traditional Arts  and smile.

Oh yes, I have this dream…

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Coming Soon!

Swisher Hill Soapworks’ blog will be up and running soon.  The well here at the farm is fixed and I’m nearly recovered from my shoulder surgery so we’ll be making soap soon and will be back online selling our soaps, balms, and other products soon. 

Thanks for your patience, and if you’re new here, welcome to the family!

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