Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Greetings from the Heartland of Oklahoma

Early Memories of Making Soap:
My Mom and I use to make soap outside in a big round iron potbelly pot. Almost like the "witches brew" type after Dad butchered the hog, Mom would take the skin, cut it in smaller pieces and cook it to make pork rinds and to render the lard.  She would then take the lard from cooking all the skin and use it for soap.

Mom and Dad took the ashes from fireplace and placed them in a trough and ran water thru it.   Mom would collect the lye mixture from the trough and strain it until she had what she wanted.   Dad then built a fire outside and placed the pot on it and Mom put the rendered lard in it.    (We made the soap in the big iron pot too.)   Momma poured the strained lye water in the warm lard and we took turns stirring the mixture until it "traced".    Mom dipped the soap into big pans.   The pot was way too big and heavy to pour from.   The soap had to cure for a couple of weeks.  We used it primarily for laundry soap. I was always afraid of the lye.  Mom put the fear in me about being careful.

I have the old big iron pot on my side porch area with flowers planted in it and it is precious to me; it brings back the old memories.   Mom went with me to one soap gathering in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 2000 before she passed away.   She loved the “new” modern method of making soap and she loved my soap.    Much easier than what we did in the 50’s and so much more conditioning and milder.  

After giving my soap, lotions, creams and salves as gifts to friends and family.   I have been asked many times to start a business so they could buy them.   So I am now in process of setting up my business, Nature’s Secret Blessings, to provide the creations to everyone.   

Amy Warden from Great Cakes Soapworks encouraged me to set up a blog.   She has been extremely helpful.   I love her blog and her Soap Challenge which I just signed up for.   Pressure, Pressure.   LOL     Thank you Amy for your input.

My Personal Story:
My Dad was a rancher, farmer and preacher in SE Oklahoma.  Mom and Dad married right before Mom’s 16th birthday.  They were married 49 years when Dad passed away in 1991.  Mom passed in 2005….in my bed.  Haunted me for years.

I have a sister 4 ½ years older who is a retired school teacher.  She lives in Dallas (Plano).  She is the dainty, small, very graceful and indoorsy one.  She and both my parents look Cherokee; dark brown/black straight hair and dark brown eyes.   I am not dainty or graceful.  I look like my Irish paternal grandmother; blue eyes and reddish brown extremely curly hair.    I was the tomboy entertaining one and usually outside helping Dad.  

I have two sons and a daughter:    Eight grandchildren of which five are still living; 18, 14, 13, 10 and 9.   Lost three granddaughters from genetic issues.  My children live within 15 minutes of me.  My daughter developed breast cancer and had mastectomy at age 21.  They discovered 6 weeks after her first daughter died.  She lost two additional little girls, the last one two years ago.  She and hubby have one very healthy (spoiled) little girl age 9.   She is our little miracle.  Her name is Faith.  Her baby sister’s name who passed 2 years ago was Hope. 

I originally majored in premed when I started college, but got married, then pregnant and dropped out of school.   I went back and changed major to Accounting and Business Administration after I had my children.  I retired from accounting (auditing and consulting), system implementations, etc. in May, 2008.   I love retirement!!!

My favorite hobbies are making soap (bar and liquid) lotions, creams and salves and growing medicinal herbs and plants in garden.  I love researching and creating herbal creams, lotions, infusions.  Anything medicinal. 

I also enjoy working with teenage girls and young adults from church.   Every other Thursday night the young adults come over to my house for dinner, games and just great conversations.

God has blessed me and I am so thankful and humbled by His blessings. 

I will be changing the blog presentation and look as I figure this out.   So please check back and see the new changes.


  1. I love your story, Nancy!! Thank you for sharing it. Might have to get some pointers from you on making liquid soap! :)

  2. Thank you Amy, that means a lot especially from you. Any assistance I can give is yours. I moderate the yahoo liquidsoapers group.

    Great group of ladies and men. Very knowledgeable and experienced. I have learned so much from them. You are always welcome to join.