Sunday, November 16, 2014

I Made Soap!

I finally completed a project I have been wanting to do for years now. I made soap!
It's been on my bucket list since I was in high school, but I have never made it a priority. With my husbands encouragement, and an ever increasing desire to eliminate toxins, as much as possible from our daily lives (and be thrifty too), I set out two weeks ago to learn as much as I could about cold process soap making.
And discovered the basic process to be fairly simple. I think the most difficult part of the process was deciding which recipe to try first! :P
I decided on an "Oatmeal Lavender" recipe, from "The Simple Dollar" website. You can find the recipe here.
So, here are some pics from the process...
All the ingredients laid out...
Oils heating up...
Lavender buds and oatmeal added to oils...
No pics of the lye/water solution. I figured it would be a good idea to be TOTALLY focused while dealing with such a caustic substance. Neither did I get pics of it tracing. But here is the soap, poured into molds, ready to be covered and sit for 24 hours...
After what felt like almost the longest 24 hours of my life, I finally got to check it, and found it was ready to cut...
Yes, I did this in my P.J.s. (Sunday afternoons are meant for P.J.s, in my book...)...

All cut, and laid out to dry for 3-4 weeks...

This week, I hope to make a batch of Calendula infused soap. I think it is safe to say, I'm going to be addicted to this soap making thing. :D

Have you ever made soap? If so, do you have a favorite recipe?

Have a wonderfully blessed day everyone! Thanks for stopping by!

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Saturday, November 15, 2014


Today is a cold day in my part of North Carolina. The current temp at 10:15 am is 38 degrees. And it's only forecast to get up to about 48 degrees today.

Justin has gone hunting. With my low cold tolerance, I have been left home to spend the day.

As of 9:30 am I had...
1 load of clothes drying,
Another load washing,
Sweet Potatoes in the oven, to go with Justins pork chop lunch, on his return,
Tomato Basil soup in the crock pot for dinner tonight,
And 1 tall mug of extra dark, hot chocolate heartily consumed.
The rest of the day will be spent...
Making my first ever batch of cold process soap,
Washing more clothes,
Evening hunting if it warms up some,
And hopefully finding some snuggle time with the hubby. 
GOD is good, ALL the time!
What are you up to today?
Have a wonderfully blessed day! Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Good Moments, In the Bad

Well hello! How have you been? I pray you are having a wonderfully blessed day in our LORD! I'm excited to be back. I didn't intend on taking such a break from blogging, but physically I had to for a couple weeks.
Ever since I started back teaching my K-3 class, I have suffered from a lingering cold. Which got pretty rough about two and a half weeks ago. There was constant sinus inflammation, an ever aching head, and total lack of energy by the end of the day.
But praise the LORD! I have not had a headache for 3 days now, and I have had an almost scary amount of energy! Which has been great for getting housework done. :D
So, enough complaining. It's time to praise the LORD for the good moments HE has blessed me with during these past few weeks.
My last post was about how my hubby and I were going hunting for the first time together. We did go, but didn't see a thing. We did enjoy the time spent together, but agreed we prefer to hunt in our own tree from now on. That physical attraction between a man and wife, well, let's just say it's kind of hard to ignore it and focus on hunting when sitting so close together in such gorgeous scenery... :P

I was able to enjoy some fresh fried chicken, mostly guilt free, for the first time in over a year. There was one evening, I just has a terrible craving for it, but fought an inner battle on how unhealthy this meal typically is. So I went online to try and find a way to enjoy this treat, without completely wrecking a years work of eating mostly clean. And I found a recipe where the chicken is fried in coconut oil! SCORE!

And oh, how yummy it was with homegrown, sautéed green beans, sweet potatoes, homemade wheat rolls and sweet tea! :D

My hubby was extra sweet one evening. When I came back in from hunting one evening, I found this sitting on the table...
A sweet note, fresh sunflowers, and pumpkin spice doughnuts (which I ate without ANY guilt). Oh, do I love that man...
I've had to endure this scene quite a bit of late...
A house almost constantly disorganized. Not matter how hard I try, I can not seem to keep my house organized. It is especially hard this time of year when we are constantly coming in and going out  with our hunting gear. I love to keep a tidy house, and I will admit seeing it out of order gets me flustered very quickly.
But this has been a tool the LORD is using in my life. To teach me how to be slow to anger, and not to let something so little as a disorganized house drive me batty. I'm striving to be thankful that I have a house, that will become disorganized at times, and to praise the LORD for the time and ability I have to be able to put it back together. :)
The fair rolled into town last week. Which meant an evening spent with family and friends, riding rides, and eating loads of cotton candy... :)
Saturday, I went along with Justin, while he cleared a new hunting trail...
I did take a few swings with the machete. But mostly I was there to watch our out for him. It did give me a great opportunity to take some photos of the slowly turning leaves...

Thank-you LORD for your blessing on me! :)

Well, time to get off here and get supper started.

How have you been enjoying life theses past few weeks?

Have a wonderfully blessed day! Thanks for stopping by!


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Friday, October 24, 2014

Sitting In A Tree This Weekend

Tomorrow, Justin and I will...

Wake up around 5:45 am.
Load up the truck with a gun and a bow.
Drive 20 minutes from home.
Hike 3/10 of a mile through swamp.
Climb up a tree.
Sit in said tree for about 3 hours.
And hope and pray that a deer passes our way.
Hunting is nothing new for either of us. What will be new is sitting in the same tree stand, hunting together.
We have hunted in the same woods before, but never in the same tree stand.
Hmmm... I'm wondering how well I will be able to keep my attention on my surroundings. And not so much on those blue eyes, sitting beside me. ;)
It's going to be a good weekend. Thank-you LORD for your goodness. :)
What are ya'll up to this weekend?
Have a wonderfully blessed day! Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

So Thankful For HIS Watch, Care, and Protection

No wordless Wednesday this week folks! I have to stop right now and publicly give praise to my heavenly father for HIS watch, care, and protection for me this morning.

I decided that after I completed a 30 minute run, I would take my bike out for a spin. It's been almost 3 weeks since I rode it, and I just felt like I needed the extra exercise.

I pulled out my driveway, and took a left, just as I have done countless times over the past 2 months. I went down to the end of the road, took another left, onto a main road, and went one mile to take another left on a cutover road.

The cutover road is a mile, maybe 2 mile long country road. On either side are fields, or woods.

I came up to the last field on this road, and heard a buzzing sound. I looked to my left and saw a very low flying, black helicopter. A VERY strange site for this back woods community.

I proceeded down the end of this cutover road, and got on another main road, that has me taking a left at the end of it, to get home.

I came to some bridges that are very close to the end of this main road, and noticed a stopped vehicle in a driveway coming up on my right. I kept pedaling, and just a little bit before I came up to this driveway, the vehicle pulled out and headed my direction

I noticed they were slowing down, and right before I passed them they waved their hand out the window for me to stop.

I didn't stop to begin with. I didn't recognize this vehicle, and I'm kind of paranoid when it comes to slow moving vehicles when I'm out biking alone. But something told me to stop.

The man in the vehicle said, "I'm not trying to scare you, but you need to be warned there is a man hunt going on up the road".  He said some people tried to break into a house, and the police were searching for them.

I thanked him for letting me know, and took off. My head was spinning. I didn't know whether I should keep going, or stop at someone's house to call my in-laws to come get me.

I picked up my cell phone to call Justin while still pedaling, to see that he had called me just a little bit before.

I dialed his number, but got no answer.

I heard the helicopter again, and saw it off to the right. With my head spinning and unsure of what to do, I reached the stop sign to turn left for home, and kept pedaling.

And pedal, did I do.

Terrified that someone might jump out of the woods after me, I was booking it.

I don't think I have EVER biked that mile so fast before. Or prayed so hard for protection either.

Praise the LORD, I made it home safely, with legs and lungs burning.

Justin returned my call 15 minutes after I was safe inside. He had been in a meeting, and was unable to reach the phone when I called him back.

I asked him why he had called. He was checking to see if I was planning on biking that day, and to let me know that it would be wise not to. (His boss/cousin received news of the incident and manhunt, and told Justin about it)

I laughed and said "Babe, I was riding my bike when you called, and I had the scare of my life!".

I praise GOD right now for getting me safely home. Whoever the police were searching for, could have easily been hiding along the road, ready to jump an unsuspecting passerby.

I prayed for the LORD to give my legs wings to get me home quickly, and HE did. And I am SOOO... thankful for that. :)

Have a wonderfully blessed day everyone! Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, October 20, 2014

I Cried, But Thankful I Went

Oh, how I love Mondays! I might be the only person in the world to think that thought, but it holds very true for me. Mondays around my house mean staying home, and cleaning, and did I mention staying at home? ;)
I especially feel grateful for this Monday, as it is the first day I have been at home all day in two weeks. I have either been at church, working, or out of town. There has not been the slightest need to rush around today. I even sat down a little while a go, and just sipped a glass of hot apple cider, put on the Sherlock Series 3 soundtrack, and stared out the window, at my chickens pecking and scratching around. :D
I mentioned a little while back that I was planning on going with my family to West Virginia to see my dad's branch of the family. While my mouth was saying I was going, my mind was screaming "no way".
I had never been away from my husband, since being married 18 months ago. And the thought of traveling over 400 miles away from him, didn't set well. (my family was even jokingly taking bets on whether I would actually go).
I went back and forth, and back and forth, on my decision. And trust me, there were quite a few tears shed trying to decide what to do... I knew I needed to visit some of my aging, and sick relatives, but I did NOT want to go without my sweet hubby. 
In the end, I decided on going. Thirty minutes before they planned on leaving. :P
Thankfully, I drove the whole trip. I think that if I had not, I would have cried the whole 8 hour ride there. The LORD worked that out perfectly. :D
Here are some picture of my journey in the mountains...
A lake me, my brother, and sister hiked around on Sunday...

The fall foliage was GORGEOUS!!!

There were some very tame dear living near this lake. I was quite killer to my brother and I to be so close to venison, and not be able to "harvest" it. :P
A state park overlook...

Brother, and sisters, being brother and sisters with grandma... :D
Left to right: Daddy, Mama, brother Noah, Moi, and sister Grace...
My walking path early Monday morning. I would be in such amazing shape if I lived up there...
I was able to take the Jeep off road, ad go up some pretty steep mountains. I got her good and muddy...
Another state park on Monday evening...

An old barn on our drive back home Tuesday afternoon...

I survived the trip, by calling Justin 3-4 times a day, and cuddling up to the stuffed frog he gave me on our first Valentine's day. :D

In the end, I'm grateful for the opportunity I had to travel, and visit family. I missed Justin terribly, and felt as if some part of me was missing quite a bit of the time, but the time I spent with my family is precious to me. :D

Have you ever spent time away from your hubby? How did you cope? Am I the only to cry about spending three days without their husband?

Have a wonderfully blessed day everyone! Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Changes: From With Her Hands to Shy Country Gal

I have been doing quite a bit of thinking about this little blog, I have been so blessed to have, for a bit now. And I have decided it is in need of some changes.

I have had this little space, with the same URL of since 2010. The title of the blog then was "Seeking HIS Guidance In All Things".

At that point in my life, I was not married and did not see marriage in my near future. As a matter of fact, I had no idea what the LORD held in store for my future. So, I wrote about how I was seeking the LORD's guidance, while HE showed me the path in life I would take.

Sometime during that time period, the LORD showed me HIS path, as clear as day. I was to become a "stay at home daughter", preparing myself for the possibility of marriage. And so the blog name changed again.

It was renamed "With Her Hands". I wrote about how the LORD was using my time as a stay at home daughter, learning to be as the Proverbs 31 woman...

 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. Proverbs 31:10-13
Two years went by, and I did marry the man of my dreams in April of 2013. I am now a mostly stay at home wife (I teach a preschool class, two half days a week).
And somehow this little blog has gone somewhat neglected.
I never meant to be so inconsistent with my blogging upon being married. It just happened.
When I did finally get back to blogging regularly this summer, I was at a loss on what to write. It's like something inside me was screaming to write, and share my thoughts, but there was something blocking me from doing so. So I have just been posting fashion, or recipes.
While I dearly love sharing those things, it's not what I want to spend all of my time sharing.
I considered a new blog, but voted against it.  So, I have changed the name of this blog, once again, to simply "Shy Country Gal" (that is what I am). (finally it matches the URL!!!)
I want to get back to sharing this life the LORD has blessed me with.
It is not an exciting, spectacular life, but GOD has given it to me. And I see HIS goodness in it EVERY DAY! And I want to share that goodness with others, so they can look, and see GOD's goodness in their own wonderful lives.
So you can count on some more personal posts, and much of the same old same old. Like fashion, or photography, or homemaking.
Things won't look HUGELY different around here. But hopefully, you'll see me a bit more. :D
So, welcome to "Shy Country Gal". My prayer is that you see GOD's goodness, in ALL that is said here. :)
Have a wonderfully blessed day everyone! Thanks for stopping by!
P.S. I am open to any post suggestions! Or if you have a question about me, ASK! I'd love to answer you! :D

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Our Wee Bit O' Fall Decor