My Favorite

Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.
He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.
–Jer. 17:7-8


In Search of Soap


It all started the first Christmas Doug and I were married. I put a bar of Scottish Fine Soap in Doug’s stocking. He liked it so much, the following Christmas I gave him a year’s supply of soap. The next year, however, the kind of soap he liked could only be imported from Scotland. We looked for other quality soaps, and that’s when I started noticing that a lot of the best soaps were handmade.

I decided I could learn how to make soap. The result? A handmade bar that is, as Doug described it, as exceptional as the original Christmas bar. It’s an all-vegetable soap made of saponified olive, coconut, and palms oils, plus shea butter. ┬áIt was really easy and fun to make:

A Beginner’s Guide to Soapmaking

Tulip Magnolia

This blooming tree caught me totally by surprise when I saw it while stopped at a red light. I had to look it up. It’s a tulip magnolia, and it has cup-sized pink blossoms that bloom in early spring before the leaves sprout.