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  • Writer's pictureTina

We welcome the autumnal season at 2:50 on Saturday morning. Fall is my absolute favorite season. I love everything about fall unless I feel pessimistic and remember that winter will come after fall. However, I rarely feel pessimistic and try to focus on the beautiful fall colors, seasonal fall produce, and my favorite holidays. I look forward to wearing sweaters, sweatshirts, fall boots, and shoes and carrying fall purses. I much prefer fall makeup to summer colors, and I love our fall scents for soap and moisturizer. I welcome fall with open arms, a big smile, and a tight squeeze.

Fall is also festival season. I feel like The Bibbed Wonder, and I should make more of an effort to participate in fall festivals, but truth be told, once our weekly farmer's market at Ligonier is over, we are spent. I greatly enjoy our little festival here at the farm. It is low-key, filled with all my favorite people, and I enjoy welcoming my soap family to the place I love the most. Spending a few hours in our open field with people who are happy to be here doesn't get much better. We are working on several projects to prepare for our day at the farm and are excited to have everyone come and enjoy themselves.

Looking ahead, I am already prepping for our little community's Halloween hayride and trick-or-treat. Our neighbors plan a fantastic hay ride every year for the kids on our road and surrounding friends and families. My Bean plans to participate for one more year, and then she feels like she has aged out of trick-or-treating. I won't even begin to lament about how sad this makes me. Usually, I give the kids full-size candy bars. However, this year, I am thinking about doing treat bags with various treats. One of my favorite things about living in Brookville, Pennsylvania, was trick-or-treat night. I used to prepare elaborate treat bags and walk my niece and nephew around the town trick or treating, telling passersby to go to 179 Franklin Avenue because they were giving out amazing treats. Those were fun times. Once we got onto the hayride trick-or-treat map, I again enjoyed a crowd of trick-or-treaters.

Along with Halloween and the spooky season come Halloween movie nights. We will, of course, do our annual viewing of my favorite movie, Hocus Pocus. The Bean now likes actual horror films, which I don't care for as much, but we compromise. I remember being fourteen and loving to be scared with my friends—safe scares, not genuine scares. As an adult, I fully understand what it is to be genuinely afraid, which isn't fun. However, I will watch The Birds, Psycho, and The Sixth Sense with my little buddy and give in to the suspension of disbelief for a few hours. Watching The Haunted Mansion, Halloween Town, and The Witches will be more enjoyable for me. Of course, one cannot forget It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown! I don't think I will ever grow up.

Not only is it fall festival season, sweater season, and spooky season, but it is also soup season! I love soup! Although The Bean and The Bibbed Wonder complain if I feed them too much soup, I try to incorporate at least one soup a week. If I get too carried away, I am bombarded with comments like, "Soup is a lumpy drink!" or "I need something hearty, like a burger!" or "Why does Buster get solid food and we have to live on a liquid diet? It's not fair! You love Buster more than us!" "Sigh. Is it any wonder I love my dog as much as I do? Buster never complains; he doesn't poke me in the butt or belly button and yell funny comments at the top of his voice. Unlike teenagers and man-child husbands, he never refuses to cuddle me and is happiest spending time with me. Sigh. I love my dog.

So, dear reader, I welcome fall with open arms and anticipation. I can't wait for our event on October 7th. I am looking forward to all things fall and fun. On this gorgeous late summer day, stay safe, be smart, embrace the end of summer and welcome fall, and, of course, keep washing your hands.

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  • Writer's pictureTina

On Saturday, October 7, from 9-1, we are hosting our Fall At The Farm event. This has become an annual event that I look forward to for many reasons. However, I am most excited to welcome one of "my kids," Katie Molinengo, to our event this year. It feels like a lifetime ago, but Katie was one of my students when I taught at Brookville High School. I had the pleasure of having Katie in my English class for multiple years. I watched her grow from an awkward seventh grader; I feel like all seventh graders are awkward, not just Katie, into a lovely, talented young woman.

Katie graduated from Brookville, went on to college to study art, and now works at Oglebay Resort in West Virginia. Katie is a talented painter; check out her forest-inspired artwork on her website: She is also creating the beautiful candles pictured above. Katie's candles are gorgeous works of art. One would not think candles could be a creative medium, but my talented friend has taken candle-making to the next level. I don't think I will be able to burn my candles; yes, I plan to stock up; they are too beautiful. By the way, I hate it when people tell me this about my soap. It's how I pay my bills, please use it! Insert a smile and a wink. I, of course, will use Katie's candles no matter how much it pains me to destroy her work.

I plan to purchase Katie's candles as gifts for friends, family, and special soap family members. I am picturing my Pumpkin Sandalwood soap and moisturizer paired with Katie's candles, caramels from Confections by Christina, a hand-embroidered tea towel, and wildflower honey from Pisarcik's Flower Farm. If my friends have dogs, I will add pumpkin treats from Canine Confections. All are handmade, local, small businesses owned by very talented women. I love to support local, small, and especially woman-owned.

I hope you will come out to support all the fantastic small local businesses joining us here at the farm on Saturday, October 7. You won't be disappointed. My friends are lovely people; I am sure you will be as impressed with them and their talent as I am. I am thrilled to welcome Katie to our farm and introduce her and her beautiful work to all my soap family. On this lovely September day, stay safe, be smart, come out to meet Katie at our event, and keep washing your hands.

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Welcome to another Tuesday Spotlight, dear reader. This week, our special is our classic Lavender soap and moisturizer. Lavender has been popular for centuries for its lovely scent, healing, and calming properties—the use of lavender dates back 2500 years. The ancient Egyptians used lavender in the mummification process and for its fragrant scent in perfumes. Today, many use lavender oil for its healing and calming properties.

Personally, I love all things lavender. I drink lavender tea, use lavender simple syrup in my coffee, make lavender sugar for use in baked goods, and even have a recipe for chicken cassoulet that calls for lavender. The lavender adds depth and flavor to this delicious stew. The scent of lavender is one of my all-time favorites. I burn lavender candles in my home, use lavender oil in diffusers, put lavender sachets in my clothing drawers, and spritz my linens with lavender oil. I find the scent both comforting and calming.

I am a firm believer in aroma therapy. When I taught, I often used lavender oil in my classroom to add a sense of calm and to counteract the scent of stinky, questionably hygienic adolescents. Our lavender soap and moisturizer are my most frequently used products. I always have a jar of lavender moisturizer in my cosmetics cabinet. Although I am not a huge fan of floral scents, I love lavender. I know it feels too early to begin thinking about Christmas gifts, but lavender soap and moisturizer make a lovely gift for someone with high anxiety, a stress-filled life, or someone who could benefit from a bit of self-care. You can give someone a thoughtful and helpful gift for less than twenty dollars. As Martha would say, "It's a good thing." Insert a wink.

On this overcast Tuesday, stay safe, be smart, think about gift-giving, enjoy the savings, and keep washing your hands.

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