Orange and Sandalwood
Orange and Sandalwood

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Manly Man
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  • Tina

My bib overall wearing nay-saying wonder buns now has two females in his life working against him. Although he never really gave me an answer about baby ducks, he didn’t actually say no either. Jenna, our wonder girl, gifted me baby ducks, and they arrived yesterday. I am referring to Jenna’s surprise gift of baby ducks as The Quack Attack…it just makes me giggle. Jenna came to work with a box full of fluffy, yellow balls of delight. Eric may have had an idea they would be coming, but he didn’t know for sure. Two things were working in my favor 1) They were a gift from Jenna. Jenna is golden in Eric’s book. 2) Eric didn’t have to do anything to ready for the baby ducks. I don’t blame the man for not wanting anything else to take care of or feed.

I spent the morning readying the little green coop to house our new fluffy balls of delight. I cleaned it, swept it, removed the roost, filled it with clean wood shavings, filled a waterer with fresh water and electrolytes, filled a feeder with chick starter that Jenna also considerately provided, and hung a heat lamp. The little green coop is like a cozy little duck resort. I am smitten with these little ducks, can you tell?

In the time it took me to ready the little green coop, The Bean had imprinted on the little ducks. She had little ducks cuddling on her lap and following her wherever she went…inside the house. Sigh. When I returned to the house to fetch the ducks, The Bean lay on the floor with baby ducks nestled against her. She excitedly told me to “watch this!” She slowly got up and started walking around the living room with ten baby ducks waddling after her quacking. It was so cute that I couldn’t bring myself to utter my usual phrase of exasperation, “Dammit, Bean!” My child was smiling from ear to ear, laughing with unadulterated joy. It was a sight to behold…in my living room. She informed me that they hadn’t pooped at all because they didn’t have anything in their little ducky bellies. I took her word for it. We hustled the little fluffinaters back into their box and took them to the coop.

The Bean dipped each of their small bills into the water and showed them the feed. Before I knew what was happening, The Bean had climbed inside the tiny coop and sat, looking gargantuan, inside with the baby ducks. She looked like Alice in Wonderland when Alice ate the “grow big” cookie inside the house. It’s safe to say; that my daughter loves the baby ducks too.

We are very grateful to Jenna for the gift of these lovely little fuzz balls. Even my bib overall- wearing grumpy pants, came out to gaze at the delightful little quackers. This morning, I went out to check on them as soon as I awoke. The Bibbed Wonder informed me he had already checked on them, and they were fine. He acts like a tough guy, but he’s really a big softie. Shockingly, he hasn’t uttered one word of complaint about the little ducks.

I can’t wait for them to get big enough to swim. We have four weeks before we can introduce them to the baby pool. I won’t take them to the pond until they are grown. I hope that Mildred, our lone duck, will join the babies and follow them to the coop each night. Ducks are like chickens; they come home to sleep at dusk. Putting them to bed at night is the only way we will be able to keep them safe from predators. Fingers crossed, Mildred follows their lead.

Until then, our poor lone Mildred sits beside our cars, quacking at her own reflection. Ducks aren’t the brightest creatures, but what they lack in brains, they make up for in adorableness. I’m quite sure that social media will be inundated with pictures of our little gifts of happiness between myself and The Bean. Now we need to name them. They are all girls, so it has to be girls’ names. I’m thinking old-fashioned names since we already have Mildred. I’m sure as time goes on and they grow, their little personalities will become apparent, and we will name them accordingly. If you have any old-fashioned name suggestions, please share them.

As always, dear reader, stay safe, be smart, may you have friends in your life who gift you baby ducks, and keep washing your hands.

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  • Tina

Ahhh, the wisdom of youth. We have the privilege to work with three twenty and under individuals this summer. They bring freshness, energy, and comic relief to our work day. Although we sometimes roll our eyes and say, “Hmmm!” to some of the ideas and antics, they are a real asset and benefit to our little company.

There are times our age is glaringly apparent. For example, when one goes into Staples to purchase printer ink and then laments about the high cost of said ink to the young man who has the pleasure of waiting on you, the lamenting old fart. One is aghast to find oneself saying things like, What is this world coming to, young man? I could sell my firstborn for less than the cost of printer ink!” FYI, I am not the one complaining to Staple’s employees…I’m just saying. Then, there is the whole social media thing, ugh!

If it were up to me, I would stay behind the scenes making beautiful, good-for-you soap and products. I would never attend a market. I would never put my face on social media. I would never do a speaking event. I would hide in my soap studio with my bad hair, that’s not as bad as it was, wear comfortable pants and shoes, and play with my goats when I take a break—not caring if I smell like goat and have hoof prints on my back.

Alas, this is not the way of the world. In order “to stay relevant,” -who comes up with these buzz terms? Like I am irrelevant if I don’t put my face on Facebook? Gahh, you see my frustration? Anyhow, to stay “relevant,” a Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok post must be published at least twice a day. Otherwise, people forget about you and what you are doing. I feel silly even writing those words, but this is what the social media gurus tell us.

The Bibbed Wonder has done almost all the social media up to this point. I am too forgetful to be in charge, and my secret weapon is to do things really badly, then I don’t have to do them…shhh, don’t tell The Bibbed Wonder, insert wink. However, the fact is, if I hate doing something, it is not a priority, and I simply won’t do it. I don’t feel clever, witty, or engaging. It is so far out of my comfort zone because it goes against everything I was taught growing up; be humble, work hard, and don’t brag or boast. In my eyes, social media contradicts those teachings. The Bibbed Wonder and I refer to social media as “The Look At Me Show.” But that is what one must do to promote one’s business in this day and age.

We have a young lady who just graduated from high school and is attending IUP in the fall, majoring in marketing. With her fascination with her phone, this young lady can drive one bib overall wearing curmudgeon off his rocker. She’s a great kid. She works hard, she’s smart, and when she is focused, one cannot ask for a better helper. The Bibbed Wonder’s frustration level with phone use was reaching an all-time high when he decided to “embrace the suck.” Rather than lose his cool, he sat down with our up-and-coming marketer and told her if she was going to be on her phone all the time, he would use it to his advantage. She is now in charge of social media.

What could have been an uncomfortable and heated conversation has turned into a fantastic win/win situation. Our young social media guru has knocked it out of the park with her posts, engagement, and creativity. She has created “stories” and “reels.” We don’t even know what a story or a reel is on social media. It’s been impressive to watch our following and engagement improve. More rewarding has been to watch our young prodigy grow in her self-confidence and ability. We have no doubt she is going to make an amazing marketing professional.

Jenna, The Wonder Girl, has also advised us to increase our engagement with some fantastic ideas like drawings, a customer of the month drawing, and subscription boxes. She also got us digital business cards. It’s the coolest thing! A person just taps their phone to the card, and all our information is on their phone, AND it takes them to the website. It’s so cool!

These capable and creative young women will drag us into the modern world, albeit kicking, screaming, and complaining. We may be old, but we are smart enough to recognize and appreciate the wisdom of youth.

As always, dear reader, stay safe, be smart, appreciate the wisdom of youth, and keep washing your hands.

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  • Tina

***Warning: Oversharing in this post***

I naturally think of feet when I think about Peppermint Soap and Moisturizer. Peppermint soap can be used to wash all parts of your body, and the moisturizer is lovely all over, especially in the summer on hot days when the cool tingle feels so refreshing. However, I LOVE using peppermint soap and moisturizer on my feet and legs.

I’m going to overshare with you, as I often do. My feet are a mess this summer. My heels, in particular, are dry, cracked, and peeling. The bottoms of my feet feel like sandpaper. I have had a pedicure, and Lexi, my poor pedicurist, broke out a Dremel tool to sand the dry skin off my heels, much to my horror and embarrassment. At least I didn’t have toe jam. Apparently, toe jam is the one thing Lexi the pedicurist gags over. Also, I find it somewhat disturbing, but it speaks to how much we love our goats that my goats get a pedicure waaaaay more often than I do. We never have to use a Dremel tool on the goats’ feet...insert a long-suffering, woe-be-gone sigh.

Again, we’ve gone down this rabbit hole with the over-sharing, so follow me a bit further. I am a compulsive “picker.” If there is a tear in my jeans, I will pick at it until it’s gaping. If there is a bubble in the paint on a wall, I will pick at it until half the paint is removed. If I have dry skin, I will pick at it until it’s raw. I know what you’re thinking, and no, I don’t compulsively pick my nose… lets be adults here, people. My feet were no exception; my heels cracked, and I compulsively picked at them until they bled. Now they are sore, and I am limping about like I was shot in the foot. Okay, over-sharing is over. Let’s discuss how this can be remedied. The limping, not the compulsive picking…there is no hope for that.

So, by now, you know I believe goat’s milk is a small miracle here on earth. Not only can almost any baby creature be raised on goat’s milk, and it is AAAAAA-MAAAA-ZING for one’s skin, but it works miracles on overly dry and inflamed skin. When my bean suffers an eczema outbreak, I add a quart of raw goat’s milk to her bath water, and when she gets out, her eczema is almost invisible. I also do goat’s milk foot soaks; although not perfect, my heels and feet are greatly improved. After soaking my feet in warm water, a quart of goat’s milk, peppermint oil, jojoba oil, and shreds of peppermint goat’s milk soap dissolved in the water; the dead skin simply wiped off my feet with a towel. I used my handy-dandy PedEgg to finish removing the remaining dead skin. My feet were soft and much smoother. I followed up with refreshing peppermint goat’s milk moisturizer, and my feet were significantly improved. They also smelled much better.

One more incident of over-sharing, and then I’m done...for today...I promise...well, no guarantees, but I’ll try. One bib overall, wearing wonder buns with a plethora of foul odors from various sources, has the audacity to tell me my feet smell like man’s feet. Rude! However, peppermint really does help to combat odor, so it is lovely for feet. Perhaps The Bibbed Wonder should try putting peppermint soap in dark, dank, smelly regions which shall not be named. Maybe, I would be happy to aggressively shove said soap in said regions...insert wicked giggle.

I wish I had taken a video of my pedicure and its results, not the soap-shoving thing; I feel like nobody wants to see that. Well, there is probably a population for such videos, but we’re not that kind of company. Anyhow, I digress. I would be horrified to share pictures of the state of my feet, but the results were pretty impressive. As with anything, maintenance is vital. I wish I could just be done with at-home goat’s milk pedicures, but I believe that in maintaining and improving the condition of my feet; I will have to do several more over the following weeks. I refuse to subject poor Lexi, the pedicurist, to using power tools on my heels again. That dear reader is my accurate account of the wonders of goat’s milk and goat’s milk peppermint soap and moisturizer.

This week Peppermint Soap and Moisturizer are half-off exclusively on the website. This week is a wonderful time to surprise someone who works hard and spends a lot of time on their feet with a surprise care package. It’s also an excellent time to pamper your feet and prepare them for flip-flop season.

As always, dear reader, stay safe, be smart, don’t ignore your feet for so long that a power tool has to be used to maintain them, and keep washing your hands…and feet with peppermint soap…insert wink.

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