Monday, November 16, 2009

Lynne's Soap Wonderland, Bunnies and Postcards

Now that I have had sufficient Virgin Smoothies (add a bit of rum and you have a Virgin Daiquiri!) my blood level allow me to be awake and aware again. Cheryl is off again on a Government mission (I can’t say except she is taking her blowdarts and jungle cameo) so will not be over next weekend. I had been working on a plan called, “Don’t let anyone down” which has been created by Guilt Inc. Seriously, I wanted to get a lot of nice postcards done because I kept passing out last week and got very few done (hence I am BAD, if I am unconscious and do not keep to my own inner voice quota, I am 'bad Beth!'). Also, I prepared to send the rest of the ‘Winter Gifts’ which I guess those who keep Xmas call ‘Xmas Gifts.’

Some things I do need to wait on arriving but I sent out about 23+ packages this week and a bunch last week. In two weeks, the lines to the post office and the slow down of service means everything is difficult. And I have enough self esteem issues that I believe if I send things to arrive Dec 20th-24th I will be lost amoungst family and friends and just be, “Shall we open this envelope from that crazy internet chick?”

Now while I can’t get the big presents, I do try to find something both unique and that will make people happy or improve their life. So I want my gift to have space to breath, so I send it early. Of course that Aunt who gets you Thomas the Train Ear Muffs even though you are 35 ALSO thinks she is getting just the right gift for you. See how insecurity and Guilt Inc. are having fun with me!

Thanks to Linda, we were able to go see Lynne who is a locally renown carver and soap maker. She spends way too many hours a day carving and in the summer I showed you her stall at the local market. Well, for two days she has a ‘special’ event where she sells what she has been carving over the time since the summer market. She told us to come early in order to have full accessibility as she gets crowded.

First we weave through a tended garden with lovely flowers, a pathway and painted out- buildings before arriving at the kind of door which appears in Fairy Tales, and it opens to a sort of winter celebration land, smelling divine from all the hand made, organic and good for your skin soap (sadly she doesn’t sell online).
I wanted to get there early so I could see all the new things she had carved. There were additional clams and shells but also full cooking onions as well as this garlic. As I was loading the picture, one worker said, “Oh, I love that purple garlic, it is so delicious, where did you get it?” This is why when I send the soap out I have to put a note saying: “This is soap, do NOT eat” as even I forget. The baskets to shop with were Walton’s General Store style depression fruit baskets/boxes and here you can see the fruit she normally has (plus pears). Even I go, “Well, once it is pitted, that peach will be good to use.” Before I remember that the pit IS carved and it is all still soap.

Another new item were these Amaryllis bulbs which is traditional to grow for some people’s Xmas. Since I am new to all this 'tradition' and more of a ‘lets have a party to celebrate not being dead in winter’, I tend to drift from Wicca to Christian and toward anyone else who will give me cake. I have to admit the Christian Xmas is wee like being on acid when there is the ‘conception day’ celebrated three weeks before the ‘birthday’ and while I am thinking ‘So Jesus was…an insect to be hatched so quick?” Then I remember the great American Xmas Tradition: Killing People on Xmas Eve after dinner and drink! (I am SO locking my doors)

Yeah, remember Washington crossing the River standing in his boat at the dead of night on the way to glorious victory? Well he was going over to the Prussians/Hanoverians who owed the British from the help in that seven years war I talked about last week. George Washington, a British Officer during that war KNEW that the most holy day of the year (and the one they get most drunk on) for the Prussians was Xmas (Indeed, the tree, the punch, the whole traditions we have arrived with Queen Victoria when the Hanovarian arm filled in the British Royal line, spreading Xmas to the British Empire and then now, to the world). So Washington snuck over to where, on the holiest day of the year, where the troops celebrated and were too drunk/asleep to resist, he slaughtered them, thus creating the first colonial victory! Oddly, most classes and pictures focus on Washington leading the troops across the icy river (because it was December) and so far, have found no pictures of troops bayoneted or throats slit while holding a bit of fruitcake mumbling, “It looks like normal food…but you can never finish it…so thick and heavy!”

Um, aside over, back to gift buying, here is a table of all the bars of cocoa butter based soaps from Blackberry to other lush scents. So smooth. What made me go, “I wanna, I wanna!!!” was the finding of these carved vellum covered, gold leaf books. Amazing no? She said that years ago, with better eyesight she had put titles on and everything. I wanted to hand one to her and give the Bambi eyes and go, “Put Titles on?” But she was already giving me special treatment. Here I am looking youthful and happy. “That’s because I’m not just a spokesperson for this soap but I use it regularly!”

She also had made gingerbread men, which looked so edible, and smelled of ginger. I didn’t get one as I thought the gingerbread man had endured enough than to be cleaning Area 51 and the other delicates.

After the soap we headed up to the university with our bag of a bit of left over lettuce to find the ‘wabbits, I mean rabbits. Over a decade ago, a few pet rabbits ran away, across the road and the rest is history. Now people come and dump rabbits here as they think with so many, they won’t be noticed. Much like the squirrels, once they heard the bag, the rabbits found US.
And now, for my NEXT act, I will attempt to feed TWO rabbits from the hand at once! Ta-da! Not as impressive as tigers, right? Oh well. Even Linda was getting heavy attention as the holder of the bag from rabbits and fed them.
I noticed that the rabbits or at least this one must be a Literature Major as he had the whole Oliver Twist, “Mum, may I please have a bit more gruel’ look down pretty perfectly.
This next picture of me feeding the rabbits is a bit of a test. Okay, done!

If it took you up to three seconds to notice there was a BUNNY in the picture, then you are male/lesbian/bisexual/interested in my breasts.

If it took you more than FIVE seconds to notice then you are sexually frustrated and WAY too interested in my breasts.

If you never noticed a Bunny in the picture, then you are the male who they make those reports about, the ones which they say that 16-21 year old males think of sex every six seconds (How are they able to complete sentences? And why are they allowed to operate motor vehicles?).

It was cold, I had frostbite and we were out of lettuce. We headed home. Over the next 36 hours I had a FEW incidents which required extra sleep or suddenly being in bed on the concentrator mask for oxygen as my weaker state meant that my heart or lungs were not working properly or as happened one time, my blood pressure went from 120/70 to 178/164 in a few minutes. Also I had a lot of fevers. BUT (lets ignore the spiral of downward health and focus on what is IMPORTANT, so says Guilt Inc.) I got some postcard done, about 59 in all, which brings me over 100 so far this month and over 3,100 in total. I really like the stamp of the girl reading. I also, of all the postcards we brought back from Hawaii have a couple favourites: one is the set of the ones of Turtles which are sold out in Hawaii and online so this is the only pack (if you have a love for endangered turtles please let me know!).

The second is this picture of the spinner dolphins in Hawaii doing a group dive. It is so beautiful. The old picture of the moon taken through an early telescope is pretty cool too. We stickered, we matched, stamped and I wrote and wrote and wrote and I really hope you can understand my handwriting. Here are some of the postcards which we sent out, from Magic Eye to Polar Bears, there are gifts of postcards from the postcard project here from at least six different people plus postcards I bought from Hawaii, Japan and online from three places. But for the quality postcards you send me as a gift, I honestly do send them out again just as fast as I can around the world. This posting went to four continents and one subcontinent (or two - how many subcontinents are there?)

Next time we are doing a ‘kids posting’ (shh don’t tell them) which is where we send a postcard to every teen or child on our list. So if you have a child or teen or 2 or 3 year old who likes animals that I don’t have on the list, or have forgotten please let me know. Last time it was Polar Bears, and this time there is another cute primary animal which I managed to get the postcard book of, which is good considering it goes for between $20 and $60 (I got in on the swing and paid a rational price). So I am looking forward to that, it is always fun in terms of stamping and of stickering. We know there isn't going to be post back but we also remember how good it was to get post/mail when a kid.

I hope you had a good weekend, those were my small pleasures. Please comment on any soap that delighted you, or children who need postcards or anything that comes to mind, except for very long and detailed comments of my breast, even (especially) if they start with ‘Like the beautiful smooth, cool and white round alabaster breasts one sees on a statue or a corpse, your breast was the fullness of beauty. It made me long to work in a mortuary near you so that one day I might fondle them at my leisure!”


wendryn said...

The spinner dolphins were even cooler in person - made us both smile!

Um. Guilt. You do a lot. I mean, seriously, you do a huge amount for other people. If you have to rest, rest.

Xander told me the garlic wasn't soap, that I was mistaken, it was garlic. Same general response to the fruit. :P

The rabbits are so cute!

Nyx went to daycare today and is curled up next to me on the couch, snoring gently. I think maybe our dog is just a tiny bit spoiled.

I really hope you manage to keep your lungs working with oxygen - sounds scary.

Oh, and I cracked up at Jesus was an insect. Heh.

Take care, my dear!

e said...

Hi Beth,

Those postcards, soaps and bunnies all look wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing them here.

For now, I'll bid you goodnight as the cats and I are off to sleep. A card is on its way and I'll e-mail tomorrow. Take care.

Raccoon said...

I think the general consensus among Bible scholars is that the child was born in the summer, and that it took approximately 2 years before the wise men showed up.

The date change had to do with trying to convert the Germanic tribes. They celebrated Winter Solstice, the birth of the Sun. The early Christian church thought that combining the two holy days would be a good idea...

"Great American Xmas Tradition." Yeah, the fine founders of our so-called "Christian nation." You know, there's the very famous story of a soccer game on a World War II battlefield. Christians fighting Christians, yet taking a day off. Oh! And don't forget "Snoopy and the Red Baron's Christmas!" (

Too many rabbits. And did you notice that all the rabbits are black?

As for your trick question... I noticed the flowers in your hand and the rabbit first. What does that say about me?

Yay! Postcards! I thought you were trying to cut down on how many you were going to do at one time? 59 doesn't sound like cutting down.

I'm thinking of going to Mrs. Grossman's Sticker Factory next week, anything particular I should look for?

yanub said...

Those soaps truly are the most amazing things. So, she whittles soap to get it like that? Molds it? Paints it? My mind boggles.

Christmas day surprise attacks are an outgrowth of extreme protestantism. Remember that Christmas was frowned on, even outlawed, in much of England and the American colonies throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. By the mid-18th century, most of the religious antagonism against Christmas had waned, but the cultural association of Christmas with foreigners remained. And Washington, being a Christian in only the inherited sort of fashion and a disbeliever in every other sort of fashion, had absolutely no reason to personally keep the day at all and every cultural and strategic reason to attack. You might think that the British would have cautioned the Hessian troops about this sort of thing, but they didn't actually care for the Hessians any more than the Americans did, using them quite purposely as cannon fodder.

I am always amazed that you get postcards done at all. Oh, don't think it is because you are a seriously dying that I am in amazement. I'd be amazed if you were at the peak of health, too. It's a stunning accomplishment to get them done up and sent, says the person who still has two postcards and a letter in her bookbag a month after writing them.

Rachael said...

Not bad Beth - GOOD BETH! That old Guilt Inc is too big for it's boots - Good Beth!

We had chickens and bantams like you have rabbits, in a local shopping area - after years of enjoyment for most of us, and a few grumpy shopkeepers, they all got 'culled' (read destroyed).
I think your girl reading stamp is SO cool, almost as cool as your tiger!
Just remember - GOOD Beth!


Elizabeth McClung said...

Wendryn: I am glad you liked them. I do have to rest and then evaluate my health in two weeks. I am running out of plans to be honest.

The Garlic and other fruit are soap and I guess that is a hint for a 'winter gift' - I don't know how she does it all as they smell and look just like the real thing but she uses her hands, carving and all natural products.

In bed today, on oxygen now, off to see the doctor tomorrow to find out why referral to help health was not made. At this point, I don't have the literal time, we don't believe, or energy to redo a lot of the tests, we need an advocate GP, and if we get a GP but one who wants to see me twice to do a bit of paperwork, then that isn't going to work, soon, already, I am too ill to come to the office all the time, so phone ins will need to be set up (they are welcome to come to my house, and wait in a chair after being told, 'Just one minute' for 30 minutes then told with a huff, "Well she is a DOCTOR, and that means she is Busy" when the GP asks if I am ready to see her yet. Sorry, some sort of reversal fantasy going on there.

e: I don't know if it is a card or a postcard or what but something is on its way. I know that. I like your post, I enjoy getting it.

Raccoon: Well, three weeks did seem a sort of 'Exorcist' style pregnancy.

Ah yes, the decision in 400 to 'Christianize' 'pagan' things since as Christ can cleanse all people, taking over a 'pagan' popular holiday and then giving it a new name involving the word Saint or something like that was very popular. Including the decision to move the meeting day to Sunday (the 8th day of the week as they called it)

There seemed to be rabbit segregation as later there was an all brown colony, then an all white one. We just stopped at the first we saw close to a ramp.

Um, well, no, but then I did less last week because I passed out...well not more, I actually was in the hospital bed MORE this weekend but I had preplanned more so I could use the time. Um, well, I want to make sure that people are not lonely, are not alone. I am going to cut down though, I will have to.

For stickers, we are GOOD for kids, lots of kids stickers, we need adult stickers which are either cultural (japanese geisha, tea ceremony, etc), or things like detailed planes, or motorcycles, or any san-x boots the cat (Kutu-chan) or any other adult stickers, like whales, or narwhales, often these are in the scrapbooking section as more people use them for scrapbooking.

Yanub: The shape and detail is made entirely by carving, which is combined with natural powers and oils that go with the soap. I know for example the small potatoes, each potato is carved then hand rubbed with cocoa butter power in dark brown to give them the 'just from the soil' look - how the books are done I have no idea, the garlic I know she uses some cocoa as she does on a bit of the lemon, the rest is a mystery, but she will give a list of ingredients and they are all natural oils and ingredients for sensative skins.

Racheal: Hi, thanks for commenting, it is good to see you! Well, I don't know, I think Guilt Inc. has a permanent branch office in my head. I work more now than when I had a job and could have an 'end' to the day - now I eat while I work, when I do eat. But trying to retrain that an alive Beth sending less over a longer time is better than a spiraling down Beth. Guilt Inc. doesn't yet believe that no one really wants to get a postcard from me AFTER I have passed on, so ergo, endangering health for postcards is okay.

The Tiger is very cool, there is a leopard now too! I like the reading girl and there another one of 'three girls exploring a cellar' of the same sort of time period.

Here there are/were also rabbits on the hospital green which the older people who had little to look at liked to watch. They of course were killed 'in case' they carried an illness. That hospital has had a staph infection problem now for months and month (long after the rabbits went away).

SharonMV said...

Dear Beth,

Please, let's put guilt. Inc out of business! the postcards bring so much joy (i just sent you an e-mail about all the cards you've sent me), they should not be associated with guilt, only happiness. Beth is always Good Beth ( though she does get into a little trouble now & again).

The garden, the house & the wondrous soaps - all so much fun to see. And loved the little bunnies. We have little wild rabbits nearby, & we used to see a few larger & obviously former pet bunnies. But they fell prey to the coyotes, I fear.

So many postcards! I love seeing them all. And having received more than my share, I know how much work & thought goes into each one - from search & purchase to choosing the right one, then the decorating & writing the message.

I hope your new doctor is good & will follow through. I just had a nasty scare from my insurance company - a letter saying they were not going to cover anymore IVIG treatments. The reason - it "didn't seem to be helping" me! I was able to get a case manager to deal with it and all should be well after my doctor has a "peer to peer" phone appointment with the so-called medical director who made who made this decision.

Please let me know how it goes at your appointment.



Stephanie said...

LOL! I've always wondered how adolescent males are allowed to operate heavy machinery myself, what with that thinking of sex every six seconds thing. I wonder how they came up with it.

It sounds like you had a super busy weekend, filled with lots of small pleasures. I'm glad to hear that. Hopefully it helps strengthen you for the hard stuff, like GP visits. I'll be thinking of you today and hoping it's all going well!

I know Guilt, Inc. My branch threatens me when I'm procrastinating on schoolwork or trying to relax or something. There's also a smaller department in my head when I letters to respond to. I love those though, so it's okay. I'm both amused that you're pushing yourself and I'm going to worry about you pushing yourself too much. So don't push yourself too much. Take advantage of not being unconscious as much as last week but don't make yourself worse. Good Beth is one that doesn't work herself to death! :P

Hurray for bunnies!

FridaWrites said...

Thank you for posting the photos of the soaps and the bunnies--not only do I love seeing what you do, but I get to take a mini-trip with you guys on the days I can't get out at all(today, aaaaaaaagh pain).

The soaps and fruits are absolutely beautiful, as are the gardens. What a neat vocation to have, to bring delight to people through making these unique soaps (in a unique, beautiful business place). The bunnies--I thought those didn't look like squirrels. My daughter's wanted one for a long time--we've thought about it.

Victor Kellar said...

I'm not a big soap guy, but that was pretty incredible, you have to admire art in any form

Big bunnies. We have lots of wild rabbits in my part of the city but they are small, and tend to be brown or grey. Hayley, being a herding dog, doesn't notice them if they freeze, even if they are two feet away, which I think is hilarious. There's a reason I buy food for her, I think

Love all the stickers and postcards. Collette recieved a Hawaii package from you, she will be emailing you shortly

Baba Yaga said...

I recommend a change of employer. Guilt Inc. clearly leave something to be required. If I manage three postcards in one batch, I think I'm doing rather well; and those are sans the decoration you apply to yours. Your postcards *are always a delight, but I'd happily forgo them if it meant your getting some health-giving rest. (Turning blue does not count. Am I getting boring yet?)

I dunno where this puts me on the lesbian/bi/hetero/desperate continuum, but I'd noticed your chest development [did you ever read those old magazines with ads for things like chest expanders and Learn To Throw Your Voice (send 2 penny stamps to box so-and-so)] well before the bunny pics. The hormones are having a noticeable effect.

OTOH, when it came to the bunny pics, I was looking at bunnies. Perhaps that just indicates an unnatural interest in small mammals.

The local rabbits, btw, are all greyish-brown and about half the size of your black monsters, and far too shy to eat from anyone's hand; 'though only when they notice that they ought to be. Very entertaining if one happens to be waiting quietly for a bus by an interesting patch of nibblable grass.

My prize small mammal-watching story comes from donkey's ages back. I'd stopped on a path between woods and riverbank to watch a small furry beastie, which at closer quarters turned out to be a vole. Very close quarters, in fact: it came right up to my shoe, sniffed a bit at my shoelaces, and tested the hem of my trousers between its teeth, before deciding that I wasn't of any interest, and bustling towards the river.

(Someone I knew at the time suggested that that must be am "omen" and that I should buy a lottery ticket. Rather a profane response, I think.)

I do see one problem with those soaps: they're such works of art, one'd feel guilty washing one's hands. And I really hope the garlic doesn't smell as convincing as it looks...

Oh, and by the way, early is just the time for Winter Gifts. Anything arriving on my mat around the solistice/ christmas tends to be received with grumpiness. (Graceless and ungrateful, but true. With the one exception of the invariably unsuitable gifts - one rubber chicken might be an aberration, two are clearly the result of malice aforethought - from a friend with a reprehensible sense of humour, which come as light relief.) A mid-November package, on the other hand, is a minor adventure. Even if it contained Thomas the Tank Engine ear-muffs, I dare say.

Cereus Sphinx said...

Yes, please get rid of Guilt. Good Beth is how you are right now - wonderful. And "Bad Beth" isn't actually that bad... she's kind of nice.

And I'm glad you go to see some interesting things.

The soaps sound amazing. I'm not a soap person - but the craft and effort that goes into those - amazing!

The fossilized shell with all the blue stones - I'm glad its going to a good home. Also the Defenders of wildlife ones and the "Attack of the Killer Cactus".
Yes, it shoots radioactive needles and KILLS!

Thank you for the gifts, they got me through some tough times and gave me and my boyfriend one of the warmest, fuzziest weekends ever.

Elizabeth McClung said...

Baba Yaga: The estrogen waxes and wanes, I am using larger amounts as estrogen depletion symptoms were showing up and so I upped the dosage - why and what my body is using all that estrogen for is something I am very curious about - but since I have bigger breasts - woo hoo! No, I should still probably find out where all the estrogen is going (nerve related? Anemia?). Great comment. How do you feel about gifts showing up say around Nov 27th or so?

Cereus Sphinx: Like you, I am not a big soap person but the amount of care and love and craft has made me start to become a bit of a soap person. Not that I am about to soap myself up with a carrot or Rhubarb stick, no matter how artfully carved (lewd jokes kept to a minimum please!).

Thanks for the postcards, they come in, they find a good home and they go out - that the plan. Thanks.

I am glad that you and BF were able to have a good weekend. Not absolutely sure but might be something still floating out there, this is where memory would be good - postcard or box, postcard or box?

Denise said...

Just got your gift yesterday. I love it! Thanks!

That soap looks amazing, too. I wish I lived closer so I could check it out myself. :)

cheryl g said...

Boobies! Uhmmmm, I mean BUNNIES!
They were very cute,especially the black one with the white nose. Yes, I am talking about the bunnies.

no more Guilt Inc. You are always good Beth.

It was fun going to the little cottage an seeing all the amazing soaps.

Baba Yaga said...

Heh, the 27th of November is certainly acceptable. However, having received a very fine package on the 17th of November, which will clearly bring pleasure for quite some time to come (I feel an urge to go out and buy brown ink), I feel that perhaps treating Beth, or Linda, or Cheryl should be a higher priority.

Neil said...

Okay, sweetie, enough guilt. You are NOT to feel guilty about anything! This blog is all about you, Linda is doing what she can to keep her legally wedding spouse and best friend alive, and Cheryl of the large heart is helping. See? It really IS all about you!

And you're not allowed to feel guilty about expressing guilt.:)

Now, about the frui- er, soap. Wow. HOW does she DO that? They are incredible, and I really wonder how many ever get used. Surley they'd just sit in a dish and look wonderful.

The rabbits are very cute. There's a batch around the U of Regina, too. Lab animals that excaped or someone couldn't kill off at the end of the experiment, I wonder?

Your test is admirable, but a gentleman would NEVER notice that you were poorly posed, and would only, um, what was I talking about?

The postcards are, as usual, amazing, as is your dedication to the project. But please, slow down, my dear Internet niece; it's not a race, and you're not letting anyone down except your guilt ff you don't do amazing things. And guilt is *OFF the menu.* Understand?!?

Just be a cat, Beth. Cats do what they want, when they want to, and it pleases us, their retainers, to have them do it. They allow us to make them happy. Yes, you should definitely imitate a cat.

With love and zen hugs,


Lene Andersen said...

I failed the test. I didn't notice your cleavage until after you mentioned it. However, I did go back and check 'em out and they are looking quite lovely!

The soaps are incredible. If I could handle scents, I'd be ordering a bunch to place about the house. Instead I'll just sit here and drool.

Gorgeous postcards! However, I need to have a chat with Guilt Inc. Guilt seems to not quite understand that being unconscious isn't exactly a choice. Guilt Inc. ought to leave my friend alone - I'll come throttle it if you want?