The Happy Peasant Soaps

The Happy Peasant Soaps
Wild Water & Woods Gypsy Artisan Goatsmilk Soaps Call (734) 426-WILD to Order

Sunday, February 28, 2010

In your Heart,
in your Soul,

did you find
Peace there? -
L. McKennitt

I Dream in Italian


Beautiful Words


Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

A 'Bed-Jacket' Kind of Night

There are nights when I realize, too late, that I have done too much with the day. I get an inside-out sort of chilly feeling, as though my body temperature has actually lowered. It is nights like these, that I call a Bed Jacket Kind of Night. I don't know how many women of my generation even wear bed-jackets, or know what they are for that matter. But I have several. One beautiful lacy one, that was reserved for the birth of each of my babies, and one that is soft and worn pink and white and flannel. When I am feeling curly-uppy and in need of stacks of books and shut draperies, I slip on my Bed Jacket and everyone knows it is Mom's quiet night.

Oh the stack of books that I have added to my winter reading pile. If...if I dared to show you the picture I took of them the other day, you my dear readers, would gasp in horror. They are sliding hither and yon...little quaint quote books splat on top of Big Fat Early English dictionaries. Herbal cookbooks mixed in with Biblical scripture. Brambley Hedge stacked next to 5, yes count them, 5 wonderfully hardbound and promising Victoria Holt novels. (Those were to be my sincere attempt at a winter's rest).

This sliding, tipping, sloping, frequently kitty-cat-toppled pile of books is WHY I wish January and February would start all over again. There is no physically possible way, short of doctor's order bed rest, that I will ever get through all these juicy tomes. Ah well, there's always next winter.

Grab your favorite wool blanket and a book and do a little reading for me, if you'd be so kind?

Friday, February 26, 2010


Original Artwork by The Happy Peasant
Copyright 2006

Monday, February 22, 2010

Maple Sugaring Time

Our son, Albert, has been waiting two years to try his hand at tapping sugar maples and boiling down his own maple syrup. So, this year we invested in some used buckets and lids from a company in Minnesota. On Sunday, for four shoulder-paining hours, we hand drilled (we are being authentic here) holes in seven ancient 100 year old maples and placed 14 spiles, buckets and lids. The sap was flowing as we tapped and placed the buckets. Each of us bent down and let the sap fall on our tongues like candy. I can't tell you how exciting and joyful that was, even with my sore shoulders! Back at the warm farm kitchen, we all thawed out with giant mugs of scalding hot Darjeeling tea.

Last night, the weather blanketed us with 10 inches of heavy wet snow. Amanda and I created the 'Snow Cone Castle'...a fort to beat all forts. It is adorned with icicles, dried flowers and a banner that says 'Welcome'. We molded mugs and plates and bowls out of snow, smoothed a table top and made snow chunk chairs. We made 'knick-knack' shelves and frozen slush refrigerators in the snow. She made a snow bed and, last of all, we found a brown pebble studded 'chunkagle' in the driveway from the mailman and placed it in our 'living room' area as our television. We added a walnut frond for the antennae. Wish it was that simple in real life!

The children and I just went out, at dusk, to check the buckets and pour the sap. Almost 4 gallons of sap from a very early tapping. Beautiful and exciting. I will post pictures as we progress and show you all the stages that I can.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Breast Cancer Fears Grow Around Household Cleaners - DailyFinance

Breast Cancer Fears Grow Around Household Cleaners - DailyFinance

Naturally Clean

A couple of months ago, when I went out to the organic farm where we purchase our cow's share of raw milk, I made a mental note of how 'natural' and clean the milk kitchen seemed. Natural, in that there was clearly earthy footsteps and dirt in the throw rugs on the floor...from the farmers and workers coming and going and clean in that everything was spotless and nice and scrubbed. But, there was no cloying Spic and Span smell or flawlessly white sinks. Instead, I saw natural rust stains from the high iron content of the water and dish clothes that were freshly washed and dry, but slightly off color. This made me feel good and happy inside. Why? Because I knew that the people who were milking the cows and pouring my milk into bottles were concerned with natural things and clean things all rolled in one.

I have been thinking, for some time now, about buying large boxes of baking soda and vinegar and just cleaning the house this way. Now, after reading mainstream reports that common household cleaners such as Windex and Clorox may be causing breast cancer in our generation and generations to come, I think my mind is made up.

Oh, for the record, the little cardboard sign that says 'do you REALLY need to use this?' is going back in our microwave today as well!

Have a naturally clean, but not too clean, day

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Renewed Inspiration

What renews your inspiration? What fuels your creative side? What brings it to the front and center of your daily life? Is it music, dance or just time by yourself? Or, is it time with others? For me, inspiration comes from varied places. Today, inspiration came in an envelope in the mail. The mailbox held a yellow packet from Seeds of Change. I didn't order anything this year from Seeds of Change...yet. So, my curiosity was peaked as I opened the package in the warmth of the kitchen. Inside the envelope were four packets of Ianto's Yellow Fava Beans. These were heirloom fava beans that I ordered LAST YEAR and must have been sold out. I was sad when they didn't show up with last year's seeds, but I am filled with a surprise and an inspiration. Why? Because I vividly recall laughing about ordering them as they are touted to contain high natural levels of dopamine. Dopamine and Serotonin are some of the things us Northern Sunlight Vitamin D Deprived Individuals crave now and then. So, it was a double dose of sunshine in my mailbox. Inspiration. Seeds, life, new beginnings. Sweep out the old and make way for the NEW. New is good...even if the new is about old things. Give yourself permission today to embrace the new. It might just lead you to a wonderful path of inspired living, creative do-ing and reconnected thoughts/threads that you had put down and forgotten. Have you, perhaps, ignored how important some of those threads were to you? Pick them up and they will carry you to the land of inspiration.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

A Well Deserved Winter's Rest

The kitties say it best with their picture. Seven-Of-Nine's Kittens are asleep along with Uncle Ulysses and Mamma. Ahhh, they make me sleepy...Cat Naps!

Friday, February 5, 2010

A Brambly Hedge Sort Of World

Hands-down, one of our favorite series of children's books are the Brambly Hedge series by Jill Barklem. Cozy little mice, snug in their tree trunks, live exciting lives according to the seasons. As I read 'Winter Story' last night, the children and I couldn't help but laugh at the adorable detail and thought that Barklem has put into each illustration. If you haven't had the joy of looking at and reading one of her books, you really should!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Jesus and Coca-Cola

It is a very cold and chilly winter's day here! I have yet to thaw out since I woke up! Honestly. I wore my wool mittens INSIDE the grocery store!

I don't know about you, but when I am ill or under the weather, I always turn to things that soothe me and comfort me. Once, when I was deathly ill and 9 months pregnant with Amanda, laying on the couch like a shadow of my former self, I glanced over at the coffee table and saw the cover of Birds & Blooms magazine. What a comfort! Or, how about an icey cold glass bottle of bubbly fizzy Coca-Cola when your tummy is upset? Or best of all...Jesus, when you are scared and alone. Is there anything more comforting than our Savior's face kindly looking back at us when we feel alone, sick, tired, downtrodden, scared or afraid?

I recently ordered a 'vintage' nightlight with a picture of Jesus' face that lights up when you click on the light. I replaced our old family nightlight on the living room table with this cozy comforting light. True comfort from the truest source.