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Weekend Making

We spent all last weekend making, and ended up making ourselves a little sick Monday morning with a hangover because of Sunday night’s festivities. I’m honestly just getting back into the swing of things today.

What did we make? Well, first Girlfriend and I were disappointed to discover that while we had planned to finish painting the kitchen in the Avocado House remodel project, we would have to wait another week for the electricians to finish their work. They had cut some holes out of the walls (I didn’t realize they were going to do this, and we were honestly a little upset to see where they cut out holes in the wood paneling) and we didn’t know which ones were still in use, and didn’t want to waste time patching them up if they would just be opened again.

holes the electricians cut in our wood paneling

So, we contented ourselves with painting the window trim and finishing painting the wood paneling on all walls except the one with the holes.

the finished wall the window trim all painted and nice

Some days you just don’t finish everything you were expecting to. And when it comes to remodeling projects, we’re beginning to see that “some days” are actually pretty much every day.

Spirits are high, though, as the paneling looks great and so do the windows. Anna also went with my mother to pick out some schoolhouse style light fixtures and they are going to look excellent once they’re installed.

Sunday marked the peak of a rough heat wave here in Southern California, so I spent the day indoors making things with my Dad for Father’s Day. First, we made some Indian Mango Pickle following this recipe, because he loves pickled spicy things. That was my planned activity.

slicing mango for pickle mixing in the spices with the mango slices

When I went to mix the pickle with my bare hands, I actually ended up burning my skin a bit. There are 2 CUPS of chili powder in there.

mixing mango pickle mixing the mango pickle with our hands canning mango pickle close up of oil on top of the mango pickle our 5 jars of mango pickle (achaar) ready to wait

Then we decided to make soap because I had been curious about it and we had all the supplies and time to do it. We ended up making it out of coconut and olive oils and then adding a bit of shea butter at the end. We created a makeshift double boiler of sorts with a large glass bowl over a pot of boiling water, and I stirred the lye and water mixture into the oils until it had fully reacted.

measured out olive oil and coconut oil for homemade soap measuring out the lye for homemade soap making homemade soap mixing olive oil coconut oil and lye waiting for the reaction

My dad said it might take “as long as 20 minutes” for the full reaction to occur, but in fact we actually had to take a lunch break before it was done. It took more like an hour and a half or two hours. From experience, he believes that olive oil causes the reaction to take longer.

We mixed a bit of boric acid into it at the end, to make sure to neutralize any remaining lye as well as to add better sudsing quality to the soap.

finally the reaction finished and the soap is ready

Then I took it upon myself to come up with essential oil blends for the soap. I couldn’t decide on one, so I made several different scents. They’re waiting to be cut into bars when we go over there this weekend to to work on the Avocado House.

essential oils for homemade soap scents our homemade soaps out to dry with scents labeled homemade soap drying

We were tuckered out after all that making, so of course we wound down with some wine in the backyard. A little too much wine.

candles and chocolates, happiness relaxing on a summer evening too much wine on a summer evening mom having some wine


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