I had immersed myself in a couple projects in which I was not terribly excited to be participating: cleaning out the enclosed porch off the kitchen so I can start curing soap in there and disassembling the non-circulating hydroponics experiment that did not turn out well. I was feeling a bit "blah" and a bit distracted. I looked at the clock; maybe I could just squeeze in a batch of soap before my husband got home from work. He always likes his dinner ready soon after he arrives home. Making soap would certainly be a lot more fun than all this cleaning!
I happily set to work on White Magnolia Clay, made with Bramble Berry's White Magnolia fragrance, kaolin clay, and a couple of subtle swirls colored with oxides. I was working to keep my goat milk/lye reaction going slowly so the milk would not yellow. My goal was to keep the color to a light cream to match the White Magnolia fragrance. Well, the temperature on the goat milk/lye mixture never came up to the 85-90 degrees where I usually like to mix with my oils. So, I was bringing the temperature of the oils down in the cold water bath, but they were getting dangerously close to 76 degrees, which is where my coconut oil returns to solid form. When I mixed the oils and the milk/lye solution, the mixture turned to instant glop, approaching the consistency of oatmeal. What?!
I begin to panic. I still have to mix colors, add fragance (Ay! a floral! [notorious for speeding up soap]), and do the swirls. I moved quickly. I was able to get the pink and white to pour (glop) from enough height that they went deep enough into the pot of soap for a good in-the-pot swirl. That's when I heard the little voice behind me say, "How come there is red stuff coming out of my nose?" Ah, my son has a bloody nose...and I really like that shirt he's wearing. The spatula is left sticking out of the pot of soap as I go into hypermommy mode to not only clean up and contain the blood, but to also comfort my son.
OK, back to the soap. It's time to pour. What?! Seriously? I actually forgot to set out a mold. I've not done that before, talk about amateur! I run to the other room to grab my 9-bar mold. But, where is the paper I had cut earlier to fit in the bottom? Papers and books on the homeschool table are being tossed everywhere as I look. No time. I race back to the kitchen and frantically tear off a sheet of freezer paper, stuffing it into the bottom of the mold. (Take a look at the picture above. I don't usually have my liner looking like such a mess!)
Time to pour, oh, that's not going to work. Let's try a supervised splat of the soap, which arrives in a lumpy heap in the center of the mold. I don't want spatula marks on the top, so I'm tilting and banging the mold to "encourage" it to spread out on its own. This was one of the few times I have been grateful for gravity recently (I've learned to hate it since arriving at middle age).
Almost done, I just need to squirt some gold mica in gentle arcs over the top. Are you kidding me?! The dropper is clogged. Mica goes in, Mica won't come out. What to do? I'm ready to bite off the end. A couple of hours earlier, I had read the story of missionary Elizabeth Geikie to my boys where she had pulled a thorn out of an Indian man's foot with her teeth because she couldn't locate her tweezers. Now, I'm starting to giggle. Whatever works! Ah, but here are some scissors. So much for gentle arcs, I'm flinging mica at the soap from the sliced-open plastic dropper, grateful when some actually ends up on the top of the soap rather than on my kitchen wall.
I breathe a sigh of relief, and then satisfaction. The soap turned out just fine. I'm taking it all in when my husband comes rushing into the kitchen, panting, "I'm so sorry I'm late. I hope dinner is not cold." Oh? I calculate in my mind, do I tell him I hadn't even noticed so he feels better, or would that make him feel worse? I punt. "Not to worry, Honey. I have something for you to cook on the BBQ whenever you are ready. Once you get that started, I'll make the side dishes." Yeah, Editor Melinda still has game <wink>.
Er, actually, God gives me an abundance of grace in all kinds of crazy situations. I am so grateful that when things turn to chaos in my life, it all ends with a giggle in the end. What on earth would I do if my life were placid and normal?