Archive for bath and body products

Changes on the Farm

100_4845Over the course of the past week, you’ve seen posts of me selling off goats.  I’ve not made a public announcement about my plans, but have told a few friends in person.  Since I figured there’s probably one or two people curious about what is going on over here, this is my official public announcement.  My goal is to have no more livestock by the end of the year.  Zero.  Zilch.  Nada.

This is a decision I’ve struggled with for about 3 years and very few people have known about that struggle.  Though I still feel strongly about people homesteading and raising their own food, for me it has become too much to maintain.  We started this journey 19-20 years ago with research.  Then at the end of 1998 we bought this property and in spring of 1999, we bought our first farm animals.  It has ebbed and flowed since then, but it’s been pretty intense for the past 5 years as we’ve increased the animals we’re raising, adding more gardens, and trying to grow the farm as a business all at the same time that Keith’s job has required more and more of his time and the older children have been growing up, moving out, going to college, and working full-time outside the home.  Though there are still four at home, mama is just tired of dealing with it all, and has been for quite a while.  I’ve kept it up for multiple reasons, but as this year ramped up in workload, I decided I need to call it quits with animals for a while.

I’m kind of in that “been there done that” stage. I love having the fresh goat milk and eggs.  American Guinea Hog meat is delicious, as are farm-raised chickens, and there’s a great satisfaction in knowing what’s on our plate was raised by us.  But the thought of going through another winter of beating ice out of bowls every day, trudging through snow, and not slipping on ice to get food and water to the animals, picking up frozen eggs, etc., is highly discouraging.  I’ve been doing it for most of the last 18 years, and I need a break.

Before the last of our children is grown we want to be able to do some longer vacations like we did with the older ones, but we don’t have anyone left near us to do chores for us while we’re gone.  A friend gave us a great used camper last year that we have been able to use only once.  Between having no one to watch the animals and the it being difficult for Keith to take vacation time, it’s next to impossible to leave.  Since the job is what’s paying our bills and the farm animals aren’t, it’s logical to me that they are what need to go.  Hopefully we can at least go away for a weekend here and there, and make one bigger trip a year.  We’ve not been able to go see Keith’s dad in FL in almost 4 years.  We also have other friends in other states we’d love to see, not to mention National Parks and other less well-known places.  One son is in MN and I’d love to go up and camp near where he lives and spend some time with him and see that area.  My grandpa’s family, when they moved to America in the 1800’s, settled initially in New Prague, which is not far from him.  I’d like to see that area, even though it’s vastly different now than it was 100 years ago.  I would have liked to have gone up to northern Michigan sometime this summer to camp near where another son of ours is working at a Christian summer camp and seen him for his day-and-a-half-off one weekend.  Basically, I’m wanting a little more freedom to come and go as we please.  We still have our dogs, but they can go to a kennel.  There are no kennels for pigs and goats.

Grandchildren are also a new consideration, in addition to the children I’m still raising and homeschooling.  I want more time with all of them, without the distractions and stresses of caring for farm animals.  Our chores only take me 1-2 hours a day, depending on the season, but that’s time I don’t have to just sit and relax and play with them a little more.

I am going to continue making and selling soap, lotion, lip balm, and sugar scrubs.  Though there is some time-consuming work involved with it, it’s much more sporadic.  I’ll continue to supply Franklin Corner in Dwight, Green Top Grocery in Bloomington, and my Etsy store.  I have 2 events coming up I’ll be selling at also, and I’ll get to the farmers market in Dwight when I can.  I’ve been canning and freezing extra milk for soap making and I think I’ll have enough for a year or so.  When that runs out there are other places I can get milk from until I decide to buy goats again.  I also would like to experiment with other types of soaps, but haven’t had the time to do so.  So for those of you who may be feeling a mild sense of panic over the possible loss of our soap or lotion, you can relax.

I still believe in feeding my family the best food I can, but I don’t necessarily have to try to do it all myself.  Over the past 18 years we have networked with and met several other families like ours, and know of other small farms raising animals for meat and eggs in the same way (or even better than) we have been.  I plan to keep a garden, though I may shrink it back down somewhat to make it more manageable.  There’s also a farm not far away that has a CSA I can subscribe to next year, if I wish.  If we really miss having our own eggs, we can get a few chickens again.  They are the easiest livestock to maintain and pretty easy to leave for a week or so, especially when they are allowed to free-range.

I’m also still needing to finish the permaculture design course I started this year.  I’m only about 2/3 of the way through it and haven’t done any lessons in almost 2 months.  Thankfully this course was extended over a longer period of time and I can still get caught up, create my final project, and earn a second PDC certificate by the end of the year.  I intend to use the information I’m learning to help ourselves with our future homesteading/farming, as well as helping friends better design their places.  Later I may make it part of our farm businesses by being a consultant for others.

By the end of next week, our goats will all be gone.  Turkeys and meat chickens will be moved into the freezer over the next month or so.  Pigs are going to the processor a few at a time, every couple of months, and I hope to sell some live piglets to other farms.  Once fall sets in we’ll take the last of the birds and pigs to be processed.  So, by the time we start getting freezing temps, we shouldn’t have to bust any ice out of any bowls.100_4822


IMG_4335This will be short and sweet :)  It’s just 9 days till Christmas and I’m selling all 7 Christmas scents of soap, lotion, and scrubs at 25% off!  Even if you don’t need more gifts, it’s a great time to stock up for yourself!

There is a limited supply available, and the sale applies only to these 7 scents and only to the items on-hand, ready-made.  (If you want a lotion or scrub in one of these 7 scents that I’ve run out of, I can mix it up for you, but it will be full-price.)  Soap can’t be made and ready that quickly – so when it’s gone, it’s gone!




Here’s the list of what’s available.

Christmas Tree – 8 soap, 3 scrubs, lotion: 2 – 8oz, 3 – 4 oz, 1 – 2 oz.

Frankincense & Myrrh – 5 soap,  lotion: 2 – 8 oz, 2 – 4 oz.

Gingerbread & Spice – 3 soap, 2 scrub, lotion: 1 – 8 oz, 3 – 4 oz.

Candy Cane – 5 soap, 1 scrub, lotion: 1 – 8 oz, 3 – 4 oz.

Bayberry – 8 soap, lotion: 1 – 8 oz, 3 – 4 oz, 2 – 2 oz.

Pumpkin Pie – 6 soap, 1 scrub, lotion:  2 – 8 oz, 2 – 4 oz, 2 – 2 oz.

C’Mere Deer – 7 soap, 1 scrub, lotion: 2 – 8 oz, 2 – 4 oz, 1 – 2 oz.

Email me at to order or send me a message on Facebook.


Small Business Saturday is over.  Now it’s time for Cyber Monday!  Yes, it’s a little early, but it’s my sale – so I can do what I want! 

You get the same 15% discount the Small Business Saturday guests received, PLUS if you need your order shipped to you, you’ll pay only $5 for any size order!  To order, send me an email at: or send a private message to me on our facebook page:  Farmer in Odell LLC, or my personal page if you are my “friend”.  There is a limited supply of all items, so first come – first served!  I can take payment by check, money order, Paypal, or Credit Card through Square (Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express).

Soap, lotion (2-oz, 4-oz, and 8-oz sizes), and scrubs are all available in the following scents:  Hinoki Wood, and Cherry Blossom – both of which are still being sold to raise funds for our daugher’s trip to Tokyo in 2015; Tangerine Lime, Monkey Farts, Vanilla Musk (1 left), Eucalyptus Mint (2 left), Luffa – Almond scent (2 left) or Osmanthus scent (1 left), Plumberry Spice, Bitter Orange Orchid, Oatmeal/Milk/Honey, Pumpkin Pie, Unscented, Bayberry, Candy Cane, Gingerbread & Spice (4 left), Frankincense & Myrrh, C’Mere Deer (Anise-Licorice scent), Christmas Tree, Patchouli, Coconut Lemongrass, Lavender, Tahitian Vanilla (2 left), Lily of the Valley, and Lilac.

Also available are Oily Skin Soap and Shaving Soap.  The shaving soap is also available in a gift pack with a mug and shaving brush for $12.75 after the discount, regularly $15.

Let’s not forget lip balm!  Available in the following flavors:  Root Beer, Buttercream (smells like vanilla frosting!), Orange Vanilla, Peppermint, Chocolate Cream, Vanilla, Lemon Lime, Watermelon (5 left), and just ONE Black Cherry.

And last, but not least, are our two herbal products:  Herbal Salve in either a 4-oz tin, or in a lip balm tube.  This is great to use on very dry skin patches or to put on a minor cut or burn.  I’d mention the bug bites, but unless you’re in the south, that isn’t a likely need right now.  But it will still be good in the summer, so you could stock up on it now while it’s on sale.  We also have Bath Tea sachets in packs of 3.  You just drop one sachet in the tub and pleasant aroma and the properties of the herbs are released.  There are three kinds:  Lavender Bud, Rose Petals, and Baby Bath.  Baby Bath Tea is a combination of lavender buds, rosemary, red rose petals, and yarrow flowers to soothe and cleanse your skin.

If you want to add a unique touch to any gift, for an extra $2 I can pack your gift into an old-fashioned tin with tissue paper.   I have a couple of dozen tins here.  I’ll pick one that will be the right size for your gift.  I’ll just need you to let me know which items are to go into a tin.  Some are very small and will fit just one bar of soap, a small lotion, or a small bunch of lip balms.  Some are larger and will hold several of the large items.

Here are some photos of our little store-on-the-porch:

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The Store is UP!

2012 soap sale_opt

After over a year of having our farm website up, we’ve finally gotten the online store up and running!  I still need to add some products, but all the soap is there, as well as the Herbal Salve.  We are able to take payment through Pay Pal with either your paypal account or a credit card.

We’re still working on the details of how this actually works.  Like HOW do we know an order has been placed???  And we’re not sure if the site keeps track of how many items are still available – it’s set with the inventory of each item, but I don’t know if it keeps track and won’t let someone buy something if it’s all been ordered by someone else, or if I need to do the counting and remove it from the list.  I guess we’ll find out.

We’ve discovered that even the “for dummies” book on how to do this stuff isn’t dumbed down quite enough for those of us who haven’t a clue how building a website works.  It assumes basic knowledge we just don’t have.  Yet.  We’re learning!  All that to say, please be patient with us as we embark on this journey.  It might be a little bumpy.  But you can always send an email or message through our facebook page if you haven any questions :)


Christmas Time!

Announcing our 2012 Clearance Sale

Yesterday was a great day with family.  Talking, laughing, eating.  The leftovers are in the fridge and ready for lunch time.  And now most of us are preparing for Christmas.  Some have already started and are, as I write this, scouring the malls and stores looking for great deals.  Some, like me, would rather find my deals online where I can sit down and not wait in line :)  So, for those who would prefer that, we announce our annual clearance sale :)

All items are 10% – 20% off, except the herbal salve which is still available at the same very reasonably price.  I’ve seen similar products for $20 or more. Quantities of all items are limited.  I won’t be making more soap until spring.  I have a pretty good supply of lotion ready to go and some unscented lotion left that can be custom mixed, but not in all sizes because I don’t have a good variety of bottles.  I have a few sugar scrubs ready and eleven 8-oz jars available for custom mixing.  Ready-made lip balm is only available in root beer and black cherry, but I can make a small batch or two of another flavor, if there is enough demand for it.  A small batch makes about 23 tubes.  For the details, go to the Bath and Body Products page.  If you want anything not listed, email me and ask.
Unfortunately, we still haven’t gotten an online store up and running.  To place an order, you can email us at or “like” us on Facebook and send a private message.  You can pay through Paypal or send a personal check or USPS money order.  When sending a check, we’ll send your order after the check clears our bank, so if you want it quickly, send a USPS money or use paypal.  Then it will be shipped within 2 days of receipt of payment.  Our goal for 2013 is to get that store going for your convenience.

Have a great time shopping!

First Annual Farm Crawl Wrap-up

Wow!!! What a day!! Saturday, August 18, 2012, was the very first North Central Illinois Farm Crawl.  We had a GREAT time meeting so many people from near and far and showing off our little place!  We had more people than I expected and it was wonderful fun.  Keith did most of the tour-guiding.  I spent most of the day under the shelter selling our bath and body products – sometimes with Bethany, sometimes without.  Now and then I got to wander away towards the animals when Bethany was able to handle the job herself.  The weather was perfect – sunny, not too hot, not too cold, just a little breeze.  We couldn’t have ordered a better day.

The four of us who participated this year definitely plan to do another crawl next year – and we have another participant waiting in the wings.  So, next year there will be 5 farms for you all to visit!  The winner of the drawing has been chosen and her gifts has been delivered.

We still have to all meet together to discuss any improvements that need to be made for the next one.  Suggestions are welcome.  For us, the one thing we want to be different is for our gardens to actually be in good condition, though the weather will need to cooperate a little better.

I’m sorry we don’t have more pictures to share.  We took a few of the tables before people started arriving and after that we were so busy, we didn’t think about it.  Next year I’ll have to have one of our children snapping pictures throughout the day.

We’re glad so many came and we look forward to a great Crawl in 2013!

Homemade Lip Balm

I finally did it!  I made some lip balm.  Twenty-one tubes of it, to be exact.  Thankfully I cut the recipe in half or I’d have been in real trouble!  I had only 21 tubes to use.  I actually had to scoop the last little bit out of the pot into a little baggie, which I’ll be using to see how I like it.  I’ve never made it before and am waiting, rather impatiently, for it to completely cool and harden so I can try it.

It contains shea butter, sweet almond oil, beeswax, lemon and lime essential oils and vitamin E oil.  It smells WONDERFUL!

Some of you will be getting some soon in response to our soap clearance sale.  I just have to wait for them to cool, create some sort of label, and wait till Tuesday when the post office is open again after the President’s Day weekend.  And for those who haven’t ordered yet, there is still some soap to be had for only $1 a bar.  (See the Bath and Body page for a current list of available soap.) And if you order 10 or more bars, you can have one of these tubes of lip balm to try out.  For free :)  If you order less than 10 bars, you can buy a tube for the introductory price of $1.00, and of course, you can just order the lip balm for the same introductory price, plus shipping.  Regular price will be $2.00 each.  Remember – supplies are pretty limited.  Only about 15 are available for sale.  I need to buy more tubes…

Have a nice weekend!