Tuesday, January 26, 2016


I don't know if you noticed, but I haven't blogged in a couple of days. That's because I was no where near internet access, nor even phone service. I accompanied my daughter to the mountains to celebrate my granddaughter's 5th birthday with a snow trip. The wee one could hardly be pulled from the drifts when it was time to go. She absolutely loved the snow! As children will do. I, however, stuck to the warm cabin, my Nook books, and spent time watching the wee one sliding off the snow-covered porch. It snowed two of the three days we were there, which meant that each day the wee one went out to play, the landscape had changed from the previous adventure. Like I said, she was beside herself with happiness to spend hours bundled up in a snow suit, double mittens, and snow boots, and left to disk down short slopes -- and sometimes slipping into trees. One night, while she and I were up late watching cartoons, I heard banging sounds from outside and instantly knew what was going on. Having spent my childhood living in those very same mountains, I knew exactly what what causing the ruckus. I rushed to the window, switched on the porch light and caught the scurrying backside of a fat raccoon racing away from the tin trash cans, one lid expertly pried off. I went out and secured the lid and laid a snowboard across the can so the little devil couldn't open it again if he, or she, decided to come back. When I sat back down next to the wee one, I said, "Guess what I just saw outside?" She looked at me with half asleep eyes and said, "A bear?" I answered, "No, silly! A raccoon." Her answer was a shrug of the shoulders and more drooping of the eyelids. I guess if it had been a bear, she may have sat up and paid attention, but a raccoon, apparently, isn't worth her time.

So I'm back and all the projects will resume. I checked my remaining stash of bergamot oranges and they are holding up beautifully. I'm saving all of the peel from the enfleurage to create another hydrosol using peel only instead of whole fruit, as I had done before when the still decided to explode on me. All the pulp and mash boils up too easily into the tubing, plugging it up and causing pressure to build until -- BOOM! There it goes, splashed all over the window and walls, cupboards and ceiling. Not to mention the sauced up floor. I still need to save some peel for cooking. I've got my spring rose and bergamot marshmallows to work up to ship to family and friends. I'm hoping to get an early bloom from the Cecile Brunner's at the organic nursery in Los Osos and use those beauties as the rose component in the mallows.

I'm gearing up to resupply for the year -- organic alcohol, fractionated coconut oil, some raw shea for soap making, lots and lots of incense materials, lots and lots of oils and absolutes -- it's going to be a good year to rebuild and define my business.

A couple of dear friends lit the fire under my bum, sharing some insight into obtaining the studio space I'm looking for. I need to be a bit more flexible with the space and location than I have been. I'm going to start it out as a studio space, and then after a few months, open as a retail shop. The problem is storage. As I've said before, repeatedly, as I'm sure you're aware, is that there is zero storage left in the in-home studio. I have no space to store raw materials, and none to spare for finished product. I just have to get out of here! Because of the space the studio takes up in the house, many household items are left lying around in the open where they ought to be stored away. Anyway, I know I harp on about it, but it really is an issue with business expansion. I simply cannot do it in the current situation. And I'm ready! Able! So this month is a time of searching for a space to work in. Something small, affordable, and with potential retail opportunities.

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