Soap Opera Part 3: I Need Coffee

The next batch is coffee and bergamot with a hint of lavender. Both turned out fine, though the coffee scent is very light, since I used no additional fragrance. Since everybody and their dog will be getting soap this Christmas, I also wanted some more neutral scents, because for reasons I don’t understand not everybody likes fruity scents.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

The “cream” is just unscented soap from the other batch. For some reason that turned out to be softer and a bit grainy and I have no idea why. But now it’s drying. One advantage to sticking it in the oven is that you get it to gel phase beautifully and also it cures a bit faster.

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Bergamot. You can see the “grainy” parts here as well. I can only speculate that it’s too much air in the soap mass before filling it into moulds.

I made another batch that is currently resting, and I’ll make one more batch and then I#m finished for this year,since anything I make later would not be finished in time for Christmas and I DO need to give as much of it away as possible, because soap making is an easy way top make lots of stuff, which is probably ideal if you want to make something with great chances of success  but not too much effort, but if you’re like me, and want to try as many things as possible, you end up with several kilograms of soap…

The huge advantage is that your whole house smells nice because there’s soap drying everywhere…

Jack’s Walk

I call her Cocoa © Voyager, all rights reserved

Jack has been having problems with swelling and pain in his left shoulder. It’s likely arthritic, and it would be good for him to start taking an anti-inflammatory drug called Meloxin. Our first lab Lucy had a lot of joint problems and she took Meloxin for years with good effect and I want Jack to have equal comfort in his senior years. Trouble is, that Jack takes a steroidal allergy tablet every day because he’s allergic to grass, and the two drugs are incompatible so he can’t start it until the grass is dead and he stops the steroids. We see the Vet on Monday to discuss other options, but for now, Jack is limited to one short walk a day. He isn’t very happy about this state of affairs, especially since getting in and out of the car is difficult, and we’ve been sticking close to home. I can’t believe I’m actually saying this out loud, but I hope it snows soon. Sorry folks, but it’s going to come eventually, and the sooner all this lush green October grass goes to bed for the winter, the sooner my Bubba can have some fun again.

The photos are from last week.

Isn’t she beautiful? © Voyager, all rights reserved

This is Cocoa’s best friend, Nugget © Voyager, all rights reserved

Hallowe’en Photo Festival of Fun and Fundraising

Today’s photo is from kestrel and it’s a lovely, serene photo of a plant called plumbago. I did a bit of research to discover that this plant has a few practical uses, including as an emetic and a treatment for wounds and warts. Very useful for the wart plagued witches of October, no?

©kestrel, all rights reserved


(Also, apologies for the bad writing yesterday. That is probably the most awkward sentence I’ve ever written. I was trying 2 different ways to say something and I forgot to edit. Naughty, voyager!! No, please don’t go back and read it. Look at the pretty kitty and forget all about the description.)

I Can’t Vote for Biden, but I Feel Like I Should Be Able To

Well, it is obvious why I can’t vote for Biden. I am not a USA citizen, so I do not have any say in the matter at all. However, I do care about who the POTUS is and I really do feel that I, and with me, billions of people around the globe, should actually have a say in the matter.

The problem is, the USA likes to position itself as the world’s policeman. It is constantly sticking its nose into other countries’ businesses, pretending to care about democracy and freedom and whatnot, whilst not caring about any of those things, not ever the whatnot.

Not to mention the almighty gall of US presidents being proclaimed the “Leader of the free world”. What exactly is the free world they are considered to be leaders of? And on what authority do they assume that title for themselves?

I am on record saying that the USA was a proto-fascist state since before 9/11  and it has been shedding the “proto” a bit by bit ever since Reagan. It slowed slightly under Obama but compensated for that by accelerating even more under Trump. And now, the self-aggrandizing title “Leader of the free world” is carried by an open fascist who does his best to deny the vote even to the citizens on whose behalf he is supposed to govern.

And all I, and with me the rest of the world, can do, is to watch from the sidelines and hope for the best. I think US presidents should either be voted on globally, or they should stop poking their noses outside the US borders. Neither of those two things will happen, which makes me despair.

I know the idea needs some refinement, but whatever. Please vote for Biden, if you can. More than just who gets to sit in the White House for 4 years is at stake.

Degupdate: Candy Mistaking Herself for a Cat

Apparently degus and cats share a tendency to climb up things they then have problems getting down again… I’ll have to take some measures to prevent them from breaking their neck, as Estelle managed to get into the “storage” compartment on top of Degustan and then fall most of the way down…

In the first video you can see Candy trying to jump onto the side track of Degustan where the food is kept.

In the second video she managed to get onto it, and up the side of Degustan. We quickly needed to make that top “degusafe” after that.

Here’s a triumphant Candy with a well deserved stolen treat…

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

They’re also trying hard to gnaw their way out of the enclosure. They’ll find out I have more hinges than that…

©Giliell, all rights reserved

And finally, our “latest degu”: Sugar, a giant crochet degu. There’s a distinctive lack of degu plushies on the market, but thankfully somebody on etsy sold a crochet pattern, so I made one for the little one’s birthday (Happy birthday my love!). While this is meant for small amigurumi projects, that wool was just too amazing.

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Hallowe’en Photo Festival of Fun and Fundraising

Today’s photo comes from William of the Bolingbrook Babbler and it’s a gentle sort of picture, titled Cat on a Fall Afternoon. We all know, though, that although even sleepy calico cats are ruthless killers at heart and this one’s dreams may be filled with mayhem and plans for world domination. Meow!

©William Brinkman of the Bolingbrook Babbler, all rights reserved

Enter the Muskrats

The town our friends live in has a really nice park, with an amazing playground that even the resident teen is happy to visit, so we declared it our meeting place while the plague is on. Apart from the playground it also has a pond with a muskrat family. Unfortunately I only had my phone with me, I promise to do better the next time. They’re neozoons in Europe, but cute.

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