Pandemic Isolation Experimenting

Being isolated and working from home during covid got old after awhile. My husband and I “discovered” hiking last August. There was a state park here in Georgia that I had always wanted to go to. For years, my mom had had a lake house about 2 hours from home and we passed the sign for Watkins Mill Bridge State Park every time we went to the lake house.
I mean, with that many names, that park had to be really special, right?

It was a beautiful park, although much smaller than we had anticipated, and it was also very, very hot on the day we were there. But we had a nice time and decided that walking through state parks was a good way to pass time during a pandemic. Plus, we’d get some exercise.

Thus began our journey to visit state parks – where we could safely navigate the outdoors without running into too many people. That first weekend was the catalyst. What if, we asked ourselves, we could get some exercise, get out of the house and spend time in nature? Why had we never thought of this before? On those Saturday afternoons when we watched reruns of old TV shows like Wild, Wild West and Bonanza? What were we thinking?

Of course we now have a favorite. Don Carter State Park in Gainesville, GA is an absolutely beautiful park with 14 miles of trails, including equestrian trails. They have tent sites as well as RV sites, and cottages. I think we’ve gone there most weekends this past year, at least…when we haven’t spent a weekend in an AirBnB visiting other Georgia state parks. I think I’ve taken a photo of the same trail on our favorite hike every time we’ve gone to this park, capturing the different seasons. Not the best photography, but I like it. I think I’ll have to put together a little slideshow to commemorate a year’s worth of the trail view. For myself. My photography will never win any awards.

I also found myself experimenting with my soap. I participated in some soap challenges with other soap nerds, but really, the reason I started soap making was to make a quality product that I liked, which also looked nice. The ingredients in handmade soap are so much better for your skin than the “soap” you buy in the supermarket or drugstore. So I played around. And had some fun.

This is a soap that I made as part of a soap challenge. It was the October challenge, and I made this soap in honor of my mom, who passed away as a result of breast cancer in 2018. I called it October Love and I was pretty happy with the result. And although I did warn you that my photography won’t win any prizes, I think I’ll have to start including more of it in my blogs because…a picture is worth a thousand words.

My experiments have not all been successes, however. I don’t have very many bars left, but my attempt at an architectural soap failed miserably. It smells really good, and it doesn’t look terrible, but this bar is very difficult to handle in the shower. It’s way too big, and the design didn’t come out as planned, so it’s not so nice to look at either. Also, the layers have had a tendency to fall apart in the shower. I’m very inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright, but I’m afraid this one missed the mark in a big way. I use it, but didn’t sell any. Ah well. You can’t win all the time. But I have fun trying.

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