I promised myself that I would add one of these stories here every time I told one. I tell them at one point or another throughout the summer. There will be no chronology - not yet anyway - nor will there be much of a schedule. You never know; I might add a story every day and I might not. This is my life. Every day is an adventure.


Thursday, April 15, 2021

Summer in a Hurry

 Let me start this by announcing that subscriptions by email are going away sometime in the middle of this summer, so if you subscribe to any of my blogs, you will no longer be getting those cool emails when I post something. I have no idea if it will be replaced by something else - we'll have to see.

Now on to my post

Less than a week ago temperatures were reaching 0F or colder over night, but the longer days, they were getting into the 30sF and 40sF. For the last few nights, it's not been getting below freezing at night, so it has become time to start worrying about the boats. The goal for today was to go down and shovel out the last boat we pulled, which happened to be the lowest on the bank (easier to launch, you see)

Needless to say, it didn't go quite so simply. 

We headed out knowing the snowmachine trail was going to be soft, but not too soft for the machine. Even going down our hill wasn't bad. Everything was going pretty much as expected all the way until after my husband dropped me off by the boats and headed on down to the river to turn around.

Herein things started to go bad

As soon as my husband hit the bottom of the ramp, soft snow to the side of the trail grabbed a ski and sucked him off the trail and onto his side. I was still putting on my snowshoes, but as soon as I got them on, I headed down to help him. That ramp is a mite steep and I knew it, but I hoped the claws on the bottom of my snowshoes would help. I also had my shovel to use as something of a crutch. That got me about three quarters of the way down when I slipped. I tried to jog ahead in hopes of keeping my feet under me. Needless to say, I sprawled on my face - not hard - I didn't hurt anything - just kinda humiliating - good for a laugh. 

I helped dig the machine out enough to get it mostly upright while my husband unhooked the empty sled (we were going to pick up some firewood on the way back to the house). He dropped the hitch pin into the sled, but I didn't know that. While he was making the loop, I went to roll the sled off the trail so he could get by (bye bye hitch pin). Now he tells me. So, while he goes back to the house for the smaller machine (easier to haul around if needed), and a new hitch pin, I make like an archeologist and go scraping for the missing pin. I finally found it - yay! just as he was showing up again.

He comes down and almost does the same thing as last time, this time aiming directly at me though I was standing off the side of the trail behind where the sled was now. He didn't really get stuck, but he might have if he didn't have to stop. I get me and the sled farther out of the way, and he goes out to do the loop again, this time finding water, but he didn't get stuck in it. He stops at the top of the island so he has a better run at the ramp up off the river, so I push the sled to him so we can hook it up again. The hardest part of doing that was my snowshoes, the sled slid along just fine. 

We get everything hooked up and he takes his run, and the crust - what there was of it - breaks out from under his machine and he gets stuck almost at the top of that ramp - damn!!!! We have to get that machine back down, turned around, and make another run after all our holes are filled in - sigh.

That nice little machine came sliding down that hill just fine after we lifted it out of it's hole. My husband's knee took some painful punishment, and my snowshoe punched down knocking me down almost behind it. I put my other foot on the machine to keep from getting run over, but I got pushed along a few feet anyway. I felt like a turtle on my back at that moment, but it was kinda funny. I just lay there for a few minutes catching my breath and trying to figure out what I could do to get my feet under me again. With my feet slightly higher than my shoulders, it took a little planning. That's the bad thing about snowshoes. I'm glad they were the little ones. I like those. I now have a new bruise on my back hip from when I ended up on the sled's hitch. No biggie, but both of us are getting pretty tired, and we still haven't even gotten to the chore we came down here to do.

We pulled the machine back until we ran out of help from gravity and out of oomph to pull with. Then my husband went to fill in holes while I packed a space wide enough to pull the machine around on. 

Sigh - definitely running out of oomph. 

We got the machine turned around - eternally grateful it was as little as it was - and then he made a run for the ramp without the sled - - - and made it, though it was a close one. 

Next order of business was to go dig up a rope so we could pull the sled up.

We made our snowshoed way over to the boats, going the easy way, which required walking around the back end of our big boat, only to be reminded that there's not much ground behind that boat. No real problem, just shovel some snow into low spots and pack it down. Not bad really. Just running out of ju ju. We worked our way around to the rope we were after; it led from the boat we were going to shovel out to the front of the big boat. I got it all uncovered, but a part of it- about a foot or so - was frozen to the ground, so that rope wasn't going anywhere today. It's uncovered; the snow will melt that in no time at all.

We wended our way back to the snowmachine, and while I was catching my breath, my husband was taking off his snowshoes. As I was taking mine off, he decided to go after the sled and just push it up. It's not all that heavy, and it slides well. The issue is the hill. He gets it most of the way up the ramp, and I'm hurrying to get my shoes off so I can help. I have to dig my heel in, but we get it up, and then we get it hooked up - sigh - almost over.

Not so fast. 

We have an almost switchback on our trail going up that hill, and guess what, he couldn't make the corner. I make my slow way up behind him and hold the brake while he pulls the front over back onto the trail and then the back of the sled over in the other direction. Then it's the rest of the way up the hill - sigh. 

Because it was the little machine (and because I didn't want to walk another six steps), I decided I could ride in the sled, sitting on my snowshoes. It worked just fine.

As I sit here typing this, I feel like I'm about 100 years old. My legs are still stiff from the other day when I hiked down the trail in my snowboots to help my husband cut a tree off the trail - that was the firewood we picked up. Only four rounds and a few sticks - I didn't get there in time to help, and I've been stiff ever since. 

Summer is looming - I really need to get into shape - sigh - not today. I've had enough exercise for one day.


Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Making Beds

 I wasn't back to work for more than a day. People left and my boss and I decided to turn over a cabin to make future incoming guests easier to manage - using this cabin meant that I wouldn't have to rush a turnover in another cabin, and if cancelations happened and we ended up not needing that cabin, it's easy to break down and the laundry is all done.

So, I go in intent on needing to make only the one bed - a double, not that it matters - and I look over at the bunks. This cabin has two sets of bunk beds and a full size bed. It being so late in season, upper bunks have already been wrapped up and put away, but the bottom bunks were still made.

Mind you, I'm picky about appearances, but there was only a couple weeks total left in the season, so I was willing to overlook the style of those who worked in those cabins before, but, picky me, I decided I'd just tweak those two beds so they looked more like the one I was getting ready to make. Whoever had made them before liked to fold down the comforter, blanket, and sheet about 18 inches or so and tuck everything in all around. I always hated tucking in the comforter, because once it's out again - in use - the edge is all wrinkled, and untucked, it covers up some of the roughness of the bed frames. Another thing I used to do was iron out the wide hem on the sheets and pillowcases, because at some point in their history, before I worked with them, they crinkled up - some worse than others. My hope was that those crinkles would eventually iron out, but they never did. Laying flat, however, looks better. For just a few more days, I wasn't about to dig out the iron.

So, I was just going to spread up that fold and go back to making the original bed.

Now, mind you, when you pay anywhere between a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars to stay at a place where you will be sleeping in a bed, the last thing you should expect to do is to remake the bed so you can actually sleep in it. 

The moment I moved those blankets, I saw that whoever had made that bed before didn't give a damn about the guests that would be staying in that cabin. It made me wonder how many times she had done this very thing. It kinda made me mad, but looking back, I should have expected something of the sort because I'd already discovered a shorted blanket on another bed. Rather than spread the blanket out properly, it had been folded in half. It would have been fine if the guest was a child. An adult would have had cold feet, being left with only a sheet and the comforter to cover them. 

But back to this issue.

I grabbed those blankets to smooth them up and discovered that they only went so far as the wall, and carefully so, which pissed me off even more. I turned to the other bunk bed and discovered the same thing. Carefully smoothed to pass a casual inspection until someone sought to get in. The comforter was wide enough to nearly reach the floor once untucked from the front. Each layer was lined up to the wall as if they'd used a ruler. Not even an inch made it around the far corner of the mattress. Double my work if not my laundry. 


Now I had 3 beds to make, but at least the end product was the way I liked it and my picky self was happy (short of the ironing).


Friday, August 21, 2020

2020 - The Year of Changes

 Thanks to this most wonderful pandemic ravaging this world, I've been out of work all summer long. I go back tomorrow for the last days of the month - its something, but not exactly what I planned.

Being out of work this summer has kinda been a blessing. For starters, I managed to blow out my knee somehow just before coming out and snowshoeing around made it worse. Even now, it still bothers me, especially walking over uneven ground - ground slanted down is the worst. So, sitting around all summer helped that a lot. I would have had to quit, and I really didn't want to.

Another problem with me going to work - all our boats are giving up the ghost. Well, not all, but you get the idea. Last fall - oblivious to the future, of course - we had our two best running boats pulled out by a lodge owner who does that for $300 a year (winter) per boat. Not bad, they'd be back in the spring and we'd have our boats back in record time.

Then came 2020 

Then came Covid

The owners of that lodge still have not been able to come here, let alone out here to run their business. It is only thanks to the fact that locals who come down once a week to look after the place that one of those boats was launched. Not the one I usually drive. I wasn't going to work so I didn't really need it. Besides...

We had my old 'sports car' boat. Last year the steering cable broke, but we could put a tiller handle on it to steer it - so we did, but then the throttle cable was acting up worse than usual so my husband grew concerned about that, and then, last time we drove it, it wouldn't start (it has a key start, and there was nothing). Turns out it didn't recognize that it was in neutral, and if it's not in neutral, it won't start. Good thing my hubby was along - he could use a rope to start it. 

We also had a little 15hp we bought from those same lodge owners to troubleshoot, only now it runs worse than when we bought it. Correction, it ran okay when we got it, just not long enough to get me to work. No idea why. So there it sat. Now, after having sat for several years. it hardly starts at all and won't keep running. Kind of a mess.

That brings us to the one we had launched. A compression test says that it's really really low on both cylinders. I can't start it anyway. So, now that I'm going to work, my husband has to take me. Fortunately my boss brings me home. 

I was going to apply for retirement after this summer anyway.

And therein is another issue.

It would seem that the social security people think that everyone has loans so they use those loans as a means of identifying people. So, when I try to apply online, they ask me if I have these two loans and for a selection of choices for how much those loans are. Since I haven't had a loan for like 40 years or so, my information doesn't agree with theirs so I can't apply online. I might have to go to town this winter just so I can use my phone. Time will tell - sigh.

Not really a good year for me, but I suppose it could be worse.


Thursday, October 24, 2019

My Lazy Thyroid

Last winter, as it happens, we had the necessary paperwork so we decided to see if we qualified for VA benefits. As it happens, since both of us had served in the Army, both of us qualified, and since my summer job wage isn't all that impressive, and since my husband is unemployed, we qualify for 100% coverage, to include transportation to and from appointments. (We'll be testing that this winter)

Anyway, as part of our initiation, I got a blood test, and, other than being otherwise healthy, my thyroid was a mite lazy. I think they started me out on the lightest prescription, and after another blood test, they were happy with my numbers - woohoo. Now I get to take a pill for the rest of my days. That's okay - it's just a little thing, but I have to take it first thing in the morning, and then not eat or drink anything except water for half an hour - so much for my cup of coffee first thing in the morning.

However, I may have discovered my magic pill, just as I wanted. I had hopes that it would indeed be magic, that all my extra weight would melt away and I would get down to an ideal weight. Ah, but it didn't work that way. Hopes not withstanding, I knew it was doing something because I stopped gaining weight. I was 217 pounds when I weighed in for my physical, and that's where I stayed, not counting a slight monthly fluctuation. Even though I'd stopped bleeding every month long ago, my body still did it's water retention, making me tired once a month, and then I would get rid of it a few days later. I gained almost five pounds during that time, but then I was back down to 217 pounds. Well then, that was an improvement at least. Putting on a pound a week (or so) all winter long, and then being unable to get rid of all of it during the summer was getting very old. My new hope was that I might lose my summer's weight and not gain it back during the winter.


As of the third week of October - almost two months into my winter's non-working schedule, I have yet to gain a single pound - I'm thrilled. I started my summer at 217 pounds, give or take one or two pounds, and I ended the summer at 196 pounds. I need to get down to 190 before I stop snoring, but this is a good start. I'm thrilled. Best of all, I can eat again - within reason. I still eat not so much potatoes, but I can enjoy homemade bread and homemade cinnamon rolls now. I keep my indulgences to a minimum, but it's still kinda nice. Oh, and corn. I like corn, but since my husband can't eat the vegetable, I don't order it. I did, however, order some popcorn. I really like popcorn. I have missed popcorn.

Can I do the same next year? I certainly hope so. I do intend to try. It will be so nice not to start my summer feeling like a whale. Being out of shape is bad enough.

Update #2 - second year:

Went back to town for another winter and the flight thing didn't work quite as we'd been led to believe. I just love how they tell you bits of information only if you wring it out of them. My son paid for our chopper flight in, but we were able to get reimbursed for that, so, woohoo for that. What they didn't tell us was that we had to go back within 30 days to get the return flight paid for. I asked specifically about staying for several months and they said it was cool, just let them know. Ggrrrrr Even though we had more appointments just before coming out, they refused to pay for our flight back home because it had been too long. 

Anyway, as to my thyroid issue. Blood tests said my thyroid was lazy again, even with my nifty little pills so she increased the dosage. Sigh. Anyway, after taking that pill for like 3 months, I decided to quit entirely and stop taking them. My body has a bad habit. It tends to do the opposite of what medicines are supposed to do. I notice it most when I take pills that might make me drowsy. I got a pretty big buzz after taking Tylenol with Codeine when I had my wisdom teeth taken out. The thyroid controls not only weight but also energy. Supposedly, with it working properly, I should have lots of energy (which would also help me to burn off fat). However, I felt kinda tired. Nothing major - I wasn't exhausted, and I do like to sleep. Maybe I'd have noticed nothing if I was working, but thanks to this virus, I've been home. The thing that confirms my decision was that I actually felt better after I stopped. More alert. It will be something I'll talk about with my Dr. next time I see her. I tried sending a message, but I never got a reply. It is my belief that my slightly lazy thyroid is what it is, and it will refuse to be corrected. To keep trying to mess with it is to dig a danger hole I may never be able to get out of. 


Saturday, October 5, 2019

Homemade Soap #3

It's still a learning curve, but I'm getting better. Two pounds of grated soap + one cup of water is still an awesome mix, and it makes a nice sized bar.

Last year I ended up with two short batches of shavings and bars of Dove that I was reluctant to mix together. I probably could have, but my bucket was already full. At work, it turns out that we go through 36 bars of soap (give or take one or two bars) during the course of the summer months. most of them are used, but a small handful are taken. Coincidentally, the little baskets I store the soap in holds 36 bars of soap. Now, remember, my first batch of soaps I had trouble with the wrapping molding or soaking up the moisture and becoming unsightly. This year, I was still replacing some of those wrappings, so I decided that I wouldn't wrap the soaps I made last year. Those soaps sat in my bucket all last winter (I think I rearranged them a couple different times just to let them breathe); they also stayed in my bucket all summer long. Near the end of this summer, I now had two of those baskets empty.

As I was thinking about moving them, I decided I wouldn't wrap them even after them sitting out for a year. I figured I could wrap them as I put them in the cabin. Using the wax paper I'd bought to keep them from sticking to each other, I packed them into their little baskets. It turns out that even though I packed them laying down, at six per layer, with a little space between each bar, those baskets still held 36 bars. The bars in my bucket (I'd never counted them) filled those two empty baskets plus a little in the next basket. Next summer, I'll be using up the last of my already wrapped soaps and getting into some of those unwrapped soaps. That problem solved.

Back to the results of this year's recycling of soaps.

The first thing I did was weigh my two partial bags and fill them up to two pounds. That left me with enough to make a third batch, and a fourth batch that was like 1.5 pounds. I added the trimmings from the first batch to that fourth batch. The bars I got from that first batch were the perfect size; they actually looked like small bars of soap, being rectangular in shape. I really liked that. Since I wasn't packing the bars into my bucket again (not nearly enough to bother with a container so large), I was packing them back into the OxiClean box I'd brought them home in.

My second batch - well - I should have kept the trimmings for next year, but I decided I'd just add them to the third batch. That was a mistake, but only when it came to the size of the bars. I had to add another half cup of water to the shavings to make them more manageable; the extra volume of soap made the mass something like bread dough. When I got it into my mold, there was more than it could hold - not a lot more, but more. I was really tempted to trim the resulting bars down to the nice size my other two batches turned out to be, but really - chalk it up to a learning experience. I did not trim those bars - they are square, but they are nice and they will do. Next year I won't weigh my batches until I'm ready to cook them up. That way my two pounds will be assured, and I'd only have one bag of leftovers.

My fourth batch did the same thing my third batch did. Too much for my mold, but it is what it is. Next year, I anticipate it working out perfectly. Well - one can hope.


Friday, May 31, 2019

My Long Day

Thursday, May 30, was a VERY long day for me. Our flight was booked for 1:00 departure - we were going home. I was ready, but at the same time, not. Going meant no more grandbaby, it also meant going back to work, pretty much all at once. Very little adjustment time after traveling.

This wasn't at all like last year where a chopper left us right here in the yard. Not like last year at all.

We went to town this year to help my son so he could start some schooling - that fell through, but we were there. I took the opportunity to order a copy of my military DD 214, separation papers, and by coincidence, I had my husband's there too. On a whim, we decided to apply for VA coverage. Up until now, we had no medical coverage. I won't go into the nightmares Obamacare gave me. Come to find out, we were fully covered, to include transportation to and from our home here in the middle of nowhere, and that includes helicopter cost too. You wanna talk about what kind of load that took off our shoulders - HUGE.

Now that we were involved with VA, we both had our rounds past a Dr. Mine had to do with my thyroid, which they found to be a little underactive - now I have a pill to take every morning. My husband has had a lump on his scalp roughly the size of a small grape, and during his examination, they found two more that just small ones that had yet to bubble up. The two were removed during another visit right there in the office, but the Dr. wasn't comfortable doing the same with the big one - it might be something different. So he scheduled him for a CT scan and a follow-up appointment to go over the finding - surgery for it's removal would be later.

Now, understand, time for us to get home before breakup, before it was no longer safe to travel on our river home, was running out, so I called transportation and asked after them helping us with that chopper flight since they hadn't brought us in. We either needed to cancel all those appointments and go, or if they could help us, we'd stay. They assured us we were covered, so we stayed. Sadly, I didn't write down the name of the guy I talked to. Six weeks later, long after things were all going to hell (as far as the river was concerned), I called again to take them up on their offer of help with that flight. We even canceled the surgery, to plan it for next winter, because it was getting so close to breakup. We really wanted to be here to be able to take care of our boats if needed - sometimes the water comes up violently during breakup.

SO, I called VA transportation and asked to book our flight, only to be told that, since they didn't bring us in, they could't justify taking us out. Now this logic escapes me, but they have their rules. I've been dropped off by my son, confident we'd be able to get transportation back to his place, and they would have, if we'd made the appointment to do so 48 hours ahead of time, but they wouldn't do the same with a flight, Course, I didn't think of that detail then either. I'm just not very good at this. Anyway, I was assured that I would be fully covered from now on, and we will have more appointments next winter, so we'll see how it all works out.

SOOO, since the chopper was out, we were stranded until several items fell into place
#1 we had a driver to take us to the airport
#2 we had money for the flight - we did
#3 we had transportation from where the plane landed home.
The first one came about fairly easy. Once we booked the flight, either my son or his wife could take us there. The last part wasn't so easy. Our first effort to arrange our ride home failed as my neighbors were both in town. A week later, several options for transportation came together.
#1 My boss would be arriving out there the same day
#2 One of my neighbors had just returned home
#3 The lodge owner where our big boat was stored had just come out a couple days earlier. 
The third option was by far the best for us.

Thus begins my VERY long day.

My morning alarm goes off a 6 AM, and I usually turn it off and get up maybe a couple hours later. This time, I woke up at around 5, and couldn't stop tossing and turning. I gave up at 5:30. All our stuff was already packed, so I went out into the living room and found my kindle, but I couldn't concentrate on that either. My computer was all packed up too, so I couldn't do anything much on line either. I ended up reading assorted articles on my phone, using up about a third of my battery - so much for coming out with a charged phone.

We didn't go anywhere until around 9. The plan was to hit Fred Meyers and then Costco on the way to the airport, there were some groceries I wanted to bring out. In the end, I decided the trip to Costco was irrelevant - I only wanted the powdered milk they have there. We didn't want to get a lot of things, not knowing what we'd find when we got here. Our worries about whether a bear had broken into the place or torn up the freezer were uppermost. Our worries about whether our house had withstood the earthquake had been alleviated a couple weeks ago when another neighbor sent me an email after flying over - our house was still standing - what kind of chaos awaited us inside was still to be discovered.

Since it was only a little after 10, and since it was a while before we had to get to the airport, we went back to the apartment for a cup of coffee. I was specifically avoiding coffee because it tends to go right through me.

We left for the airport at around 11 - we were all starting to doze off. So my husband and I wandered around the airport until near 1 I think - I was no longer watching the clock. We landed out here and we got our big boat in the water with happily very little trouble. We loaded up and we were on our way.

Thus ends the easy part.

We parked and unloaded our stuff into another boat still on land - it was starting to try to rain so we covered it. We had to walk the quarter mile or so home with what we could carry and get either the 4-wheeler going to come back with the cart. My husband carried his backpack - it was heavy - I carried the gallon of water we'd bought. Ack - I was SO not ready for that hike. I was already tired. We had a cup of coffee and a sit down.

As it turns out, though the 4-wheeler started easily, the mud on our trail caused us to opt not to use it, however there were some things that simply had to come home without much more delay.

I took the cart down and brought back the food and our computers, as well as the tool bag so we could get it ready to use the next day. It was a fairly heavy load, and I was already tired. Needless to say, I stopped many times to rest. When my husband saw me, he came to help push. It was a big help. I'm sure I would have rested at least two more times before actually reaching the house - and that was within less than 100 yards.

I don't know what time it was when we finally settled down for the night, but on my last legs, I fixed supper and sat down to get my computer logged into our satellite system (my phone too), and to eat my supper. Come 8 PM, I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer. I went to bed, half expecting to wake up at some point during the middle of the night - I didn't.

We got up at 8 this morning. My body so very sore. It would seem that I managed to lose nearly 10 pounds yesterday. Woohoo. Most of that was constipation and water weight likely brought on by stress. I don't stress much - I'm not a worrier, but I'm no spring chicken either, and for the first time all winter, my feet were swelling, which added to my pain in doing all that walking yesterday. I've gone potty like four times since hitting dirt here - my, how exercise will get the plumbing moving.

So now, my little boat is in the water, though we have yet to start it - we couldn't find the key. Anyway, we got brave enough and took the 4-wheeler down, since the cart did so well. We should have brought the cart anyway - it would have allowed for fewer trips up that hill carrying things. Ugh, but at least it was only up that hill and not all the way to the house and back, at least two trips that way. Three trips for me - the last one for my plants - and two trips for my husband - he struggles with that hill too - and we were all the way home.

My body is still sore, but I'm a lot less tired today, then again, I did get a 3-hour nap today too.


Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Homemade Soap Second Edition

I learned a few things last year. I solidified my recipe into something that has worked well so far. All my Dove-only bars failed miserably even though they passed the first two rounds of inspections. By the time I had brought them to work, they had continued to shrink and develop cracks as they dried, so they went directly back into my bucket to be redone this fall.

Since there was roughly ten pounds (I was just guessing by volume. I didn't weigh any of it) of Dove soap already waiting for recycling, I decided to buy some soap to be used to that end. There was no way I would acquire enough soaps through the summer to add to them. At first, I thought my recipe called for three pounds of soap, and that I would be having two pounds of Dove to one pound of whatever else. Turns out my memory wasn't so accurate. It would have to be half and half. I found Ivory soap on Amazon - pretty much the cheapest on the market, I think. Anyway, I ordered twelve bars of Ivory with aloe - sounded good to me anyway. Aloe is good for your skin and the bars were white. Turns out twelve bars wasn't enough, so I have three pounds of Dove soap that gets to wait until next year. That's okay. That still leaves me with ten batches to do this year.

So what am I doing different this year? Last year, I wrapped my bars after a couple days of drying - one day as the block straight from my mold and another day after they've been sliced into bars. That third morning, I'd groom the bars to make them pretty and presentable, and then I'd wrap them in typing paper - it's what I had and it looked nice - then I packed them into my bucket. It seemed that I wrapped them way too soon. Later (I forget how long), I decided to check my soaps and discovered that they were still damp and the paper had soaked it up, and in some cases they had molded. No damage to the soap, but the paper certainly wasn't presentable any more. I didn't learn my lesson. I rewrapped those soaps and repacked them into my bucket. When I got them to work, I needed to move those soaps to the shelf where they would be available for use in the cabins. Lo and behold, still some of those soaps wrappings had molded again. After rewrapping again, after all summer, it would seem they were finally dry enough.

This year, I'm not wrapping them at all this winter. I got some wax paper and I'm layering the bars between the the paper with spaces between them. I hope it works - it should - I have my fingers crossed. Maybe early next spring I'll wrap them. As they are packed now, taking the bucket to work would damage them unless I'm really really lucky. Maybe if it was only a car ride to work, but there's a trip with a four-wheeler and then a trip in my boat.

So far I have three batches of nice white bars and one with a blue cast to it. The rest will be shades of light brown - lighter than last year.

Last year, after going through everything I'd brought and discarding the warped, cracked, and broken ones, I had three baskets of like thirty-six bars each. I used one basket. When all is said and done, it looks like I'll have several years worth of soap to use, and in the future, there won't be more than three or four batches to do each year. Maybe not even that much. That's not counting the three left over batches I won't be able to do this year. So, I anticipate having to do half as much next year as I did this year.

There she blows. I'll be sure to keep you informed of future developments. Stay tuned.