Friday, July 7

{Friday Photo Bliss} Snake Attack, Rat Cake, and 100% Castile Soap Experiment!

On Fridays I like to post snapshots I took that week. Some make me happy and some make me sad (like the one of my dear Piper posted below). 

My poor sweet Piperboy got bit by a copperhead snake! We heard him barking and looked out the window and saw him trying to defend his nap hole from a large copperhead. By the time I was able to get outside it was too late and he ran up to me pawing at his nose.

I have decades experience with dogs getting snakebites thanks to living in Texas, and it is always is rough for the dog and the dog's family. This is the third time Piper has been bit, but the first time on his face. The other two times it was on his paw when he stepped on the snake.

Within an hour he had a giant swollen snout. I don't even have a photo of it when it was most swollen, I was too distressed to take any.

I made sure he had plenty of water and put him in the laundry room to rest. Within a few hours he was drinking and eating and I knew he would be fine. The next day the swelling was almost gone and he was back to normal. Thank goodness!

Hopefully now he will stay out of the way of all snakes. We live on a heavily wooded acre, so I am sure we have plenty of poisonous snakes to spare. I am just glad one of my human sons did not get bit. I couldn't just stick them in their room for a few hours...

My husband tried to kill the snake, but by the time he got on his snake-killing gear (thigh-high waders, jeans, long shirt) the snake was long gone. Personally I was happy the snake will live another day. I respect them and realize they are an important part of our ecosystem. But if a snake bites my boy then hell hath no fury like a Mom!

The boys have had so much free time to play with their best friend. Usually they are having Nerf wars or swimming at their friend's house, but they are also playing some board games. They invented this plane board-game months ago and still play it.

On the 4th of July the boys gave their biannual "Fireworks Extravaganza Show!!!" It was as amazing (long) as ever.

Imp wanted to make an frosted cake for his rats (our pets are spoiled rotten and loved like family members) so we found a recipe for coconut flour banana muffins and the boys made a batch. They left out the honey (who needs extra sugar when you have ripe bananas) and added some chocolate chips.

Once the muffins were done they cut one in half for the rats. The rest were eaten by people.

Imp had the idea of adding mashed bananas to room-temp cream-cheese to make cream-cheese frosting for the rat cake. It looked and tasted great. Then he finished the cake with a blueberry garnish. The rats loved it!

After I took that photo of Imp I released there was another family member who wanted cake. But poor Piper couldn't have any since it has chocolate. But it doesn't hurt to beg, right?

I have a few Amazon affiliate links below. :-)

I have been doing the Whole30 (not an affiliate link!) again with my Mom (only a few days left) and I decided to add some body-weight exercises. I have been using Vol. 1 of You are Your Own Gym off and on for years and I love it. But now I plan on doing it regularly. Since I am not a spring chicken anymore I need to protect my bone mass so I don't break my hip. ;-)

And now I have two exercise buddies that work out with me! This third floor room is not huge, so you can imagine how interesting it is to do a full body workout with three people. But I have to confess it is a blast working out with the kids. I am glad I feel that way because I don't have a choice, they see me head up there and run to join me.

Finally, I am back to making some soap! I had to stop so I could use up all of the soap I already made. I have soap pouring out of my ears and have been using it and giving it away like crazy. And finally I am ready to make some new batches!

I bought this soaping book Pure Soapmaking after checking it out from the library twice. There are hundreds and hundreds of amazing free soap recipes out there, but this book shows how to make gorgeous professional-looking soap! Just the pouring techniques are worth the purchase. If you only had to buy one book, this would be the one I suggest. You can use any oils you like and then follow the instructions to make them pretty!

I decided to make their 100% Castile-brine soap recipe. I have never used real Castile soap (made from 100% olive oil) and I am so excited to try it out. You have to let it age for months and months, but I have heard the wait is worth it.  I added some lemongrass essential oil to this batch, hope it smells nice after it cures.

I have never made a cold-process soap like this one, I have always use my crockpot. But cold-process soap looks less rustic and you can use silicon molds so I decided to try it out. For these soaps I used a flower mold and oval mold. I will post photos when I remove the soaps from the molds in a few days. Then I have to wait at least 6 weeks before trying one.

I found the perfect soap holder for homemade soaps. These soaps will melt if left wet, but I purchased this silicon soap holder and it works great and my soaps last and last now.

I will post a few soap recipes soon. I personally don't like to use pricey oils/additives in my soap, so I have a few of my favorite recipes I made up using only coconut, olive, castor oil, and essential oils. These combo makes an amazing moisturizing yet bubbly soap. Plus the oils are all cheap!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!!!

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  1. I'm so sorry that Piper had to go through all that AGAIN. Poor puppy, you'd think he'd steer clear of anything long in thin including branches after being bit three times. I'm so happy he is doing much better. I can't get over how many poisonous snakes you guys have roaming your property, yikes. However, I suppose you get used to dealing with it. In the last couple of years the bears have been getting more brave and last year we had at least to full size brown bears in our yard. Not something I'd like to come fact to face with driving into the driveway or walking down the street.

    Anyway, enjoy your weekend. Are you guys still doing a Sunday/Monday weekend with Paul's hours? Does that change up at all during the year or is it full time? Just like knowing I'm wishing you a happy weekend on the correct days.

    Lisa D.

    1. Now bears would scare me more than a snake. They can kill you with one bite!!! Wow, what state do you live in? That is so scary!

      And our weekends are still Sunday/Monday and it is year round. We love it because we can take a "weekend" trip but pay the cheaper Sunday night hotel price. ;-) Plus we do many things on Monday when everyone else is at school or work.

  2. I actually live up in northern Ontario in Canada. At least with the bears you can see them, snakes are slinky and hide in the grass.

    Thanks for the update on your weekends. When my hubby used to work a particular job we had the same weekend and loved it as well.


    1. I bet it is gorgeous where you live. Bears and snakes both freak me out if they are close. ;-) And you are right, it is the perfect weekend for us too. Plus Paul gets off a few hours early on Saturdays so it adds some bonus time. It makes up how hard he works during the week.

    2. We do have some nice scenery especially as one gets out of the cities and into the countryside. Lots of trees, that is for sure! Many of our other provinces, especially on each of the coasts, are simply stunning! I love this country and couldn't imagine living anywhere else! -L.


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