Over the course of the past week or so, I have reveled in the newly exposed dirt/grass/leaf litter. Not once, but twice I managed an impromptu slip 'n slide down the side yard on the way to investigate the garden, both times covering myself with mud, and laughing the whole time. Other days included things like writing articles, typing in back issues from the very early days for the next book, packing and shipping orders, and making soap. I even made it into the woods, and wandered around the yard for hours, peeking under leaves, clearing dried debris, replacing protective collars around precious medicinal shrubs, and just generally letting Mother Nature know how glad I was to smell spring's advance.
We make tons of soap here - usually at least a couple of days a week are spent on that. Maryanne's Lancaster County Soap (see link in sidebar) is a wholesale business that can really keep us hopping when we aren't working on the magazine or other projects. We make a terrific product, and it's what we always use. None of that store-bought stuff around here! At the same time, it is fun to try the hand-crafted soap of other artisans. Typically I participate in a swap or two each year that satisfies my urge, but for some reason the other day I found myself at the site of Sylett Soap and decided to try a few bars. They arrived the other day, and it is some gorgeous stuff! Creamy feeling, slick bubbles, smells great, hefty bars - really nice soap!
One bar of the lemon-y Saving Face is on my bathroom sink, while a second bar has been tucked away for my lemon-loving man. The kid claimed the Juniper Sage and the Crowded Shower immediately to take back to college, and the Spearmint Patchouli will soon take the place of a wickedly rich shampoo bar that I've been using as a body bar in my shower. There were a few samples included, one being a Dead Sea Mud bar. It wasn't on her site, but I do love mud bars! I will enjoy the sample.
It's funny. People think that soap is soap. In a way, that is true. However, each time I try someone else's soap I am reminded of how we each work so hard to put our individuality into our products and how they really are unique to the soapmaker. Maybe I notice it more because it is something I do, but that fact alone makes me proud of this art/craft/product that we soapmakers produce.