Why Did I Make Soap?

Showers and baths were always sort of dull routines as far as I was concerned. Wash hair, wash body, shave--all it meant was that once I got out I would possibly be cold (if it was winter) and I would still have to go through the process of drying and fixing my hair, putting on makeup, continuing a routine that was boring. Bubble baths didn't help much. I'm a reader and that would have been nice in the tub if I could have kept my book from getting soapy or wet but I wasn't very successful at that. So, sitting in the water while it got lukewarm and trying to look like the relaxed women in all the movies just didn't work. I would lean back (seriously, a hard tub is not that comfortable on one's head) and do my best to duplicate those languid poses (even placing lighted candles around the rim) but I just couldn't find the ambiance.

Then one day-I don't know when-sometime in my 20s-I got a shower gel. My shower changed. I felt luxurious, pampered. It smelled so good! I loved it. So, I started buying and asking for shower gels for presents. The shower was a much more pleasant experience when I had gels. I used them for years. The three things I could be counted on to ask for birthday and Christmas presents were coffee, books (or gift cards for books) and shower gels.

Then I married. Fast forward 20 some years. My husband loves coffee.  And he roasts it. I no longer needed to ask for coffee. Then one day I realized the shower gels I was being given for presents didn't really appeal to me. The scents were not what I liked, the gels were not that great a quality. The shower lost its appeal again. I only asked for books.

Around this time I was given a linen spray. When it was used up I went and bought some more. Clean sheets, a soothing aroma of eucalyptus and spearmint and it was like every care fell away for a while. So relaxing. It didn't take me long to fall asleep when I used it.

Then we moved to TX and my husband began traveling a lot for work. He started bringing me back the little hotel soaps that he had not used. When we went on vacation and stayed at hotels, I would collect them as well. They had wonderful scents--rosemary, peppermint, lemongrass. And they were creamy and lovely to look at. I collected them in a basket in my bathroom and all of the sudden I had little bars to use in my shower and it was heaven again. I felt pampered and peaceful. I know it's really weird but somehow those scents soothed my soul.  Around this time I saw soap on the internet. Goat's milk soap! Another new revelation. The beautiful colors! The amazing selection of scents! But after having my readily available free little hotel soaps (some of which I later found out were not really soap), and having a hard time spending money on ME, I did what I always do. Ask for it for a present. My sister came to the rescue. For Christmas she sent me three absolutely amazing soaps. I loved every minute using them. But then they were gone. My birthday was 6 months away. What was I going to do? Could I make soap? Could I actually make a goat's milk soap and make these lovely colored and scented ones so I could have them ALL the time?

Thus was born my quest to see if making my own soap was possible. Years before I had made some colored glycerin soap with my little girls and a group called Keepers at Home. I had not really enjoyed the process. The soaps seemed cheap, sweaty and were in cutesy shapes that did not appeal to me. (I later found that it was because we didn't know what we were doing.) But now I found out that people actually made goat's milk soap so I started looking into it. I also thought that if I could learn how to make soap I could donate it to a silent auction our church had every year to raise money for our India missions. I had never felt like I had anything to contribute but now I would! My journey began…..