Sunday, February 15

Sun Feb. 15th…… Sunny…cold… but folks were out & moving around…

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Today was a nice spring like day with the exception of the brutal chill carried on the impending wind that modulated between an almost un-detectable breeze to a tree bending wind that could easily cut to the bone. There were several folks that showed up to buy eggs and the neighbor brought his son-in-law over with his son and daughter to see the chickens, bunnies and the turkeys, but they couldn’t stay very long because of the cold. I mentioned that when they came back in a few months, they would be able to see the Alpacas in their stalls or out in the pasture. They said they were looking forward to seeing them and it being warmer so they could enjoy watching them for a little while.
Later in the day, Vicki and I went to pick up a few things we needed to prepare dinner for the family tomorrow evening here and stopped at Jem Stoves to pick up another ten bags of pellets for the fireplace insert downstairs.
We are going to cut matting material later, so we can matt a canvas picture that Vicki painted for her brother, depicting Richie’s favorite dog Scruffy, which was a mixed Schnauzer, from his younger, adult life in Tannersville, several years ago. As usual, I think Vick outdid herself again. She was working form a tiny picture that was totally against everything we set forth as criteria for painting someone’s pet. This is the very project that led to the list of five things on Vick’s Artwork Commission Agreement listed on this mornings post entry. Richie is sitting with his arm around the dog, obstructing the dogs shape, the lighting is poor, the picture fuzzy and measures about a big 2 ½ x 4”…… a truly miserable picture for her to be painting from, yet she did a lovely job and the dog looks remarkable! He should be absolutely beside himself with joy. I can’t wait to see it when it is matted and framed on his office wall.

Vicki is making soap. Just as they did 200 years ago, she is checking the temperature of the liquid lye. It must be at 100 degrees

Constantly reading the thermometer until 100 degrees is reached on the lye mixture.

The rendered tallow was cooked down from suet we got from the slaughter house in Greenville.

Once both the rendered tallow and lye are at the same temperature of 100 degrees, she mixes the two to achieve the chemical reaction.

As you can see, this is not for the faint of heart and you can get a nasty chemical burn if something goes wrong!

Here you can se the beginning of the reaction as Vick stirs the mixture as the lye is stirred in.

Once the mixture starts to "trail" as you stir and test it, you can pour the mixture into a mold pan.

It now must cure for a few days in a warm area, then Vick can remove it from the mold pan, shave it down into small chips and remelt it again and then add the fragrance and re-pour it into the final molds to cool. It then gets cut into bar size blocks and will be wrapped and sold this summer in the hospice gift shop.

This is our swimming pool after the mysterious "water disappearing act".

This thick chunk of ice goes clear to the bottom..... all the way around the pools perimeter. The water dis-appeared in five minutes time and the cover was on the bottom. The pool rumbled for five solid minutes, then became quiet.

This is Vicki's watercolor on canvas of Scruffy.
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This is a poor reproduction of the original which is really pretty. Neither of these pictures does the original any justice at all, but you at least, get to see it.

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