by Maryclaire Mayes
Have you ever wondered why all of our soaps are made with goat milk instead of water? I have always been a fan of goat milk. I knew it was good to drink and had a lot of qualities that made it more digestible. While allergies and sensitivities to goat milk are possible, they are extremely rare. I also knew it was recommended for treating ulcers and as a mother’s milk replacement for babies and orphan animals.
The first soap I ever made was from goat milk and I was amazed the first time I used. I knew I would never be going back to commercial soaps. I was curious though, if it was so good because it was handmade or did the goat milk really make it better. Over the next few years I did a lot of research and tried other handmade soaps. What I found was that personally, I didn’t find any soaps as moisturizing as Alabu. So what makes goat milk soap so special?
Goat milk has special qualities—some that are still not fully understood. Fresh goat milk is loaded with vitamins (D, B6, C, E), milk sugars, proteins, & butterfat. Goat milk creates a thicker lather than soap made with water. It is a natural source of Alpha-hydroxy acids. Plus we formulate our soaps to be super-fatted to about 10%, which translate into more moisture for your skin. Our goat milk comes from a friend’s farm less than 10 miles from us. We visit the farm regularly and the goats are well cared for and very happy! If you would like to see the process of making our soap you can check out our video here.
by Maryclaire Mayes
I hope you don’t mind another dog story about our dog Chia. A few years back I wrote that she is getting a little more neurotic with each passing year. Chia will be turning 9 this summer. Last night around 1:30 Chia was up and scratching on the door. Sometimes it is just that she heard a cat outside the door and she goes back to sleep.
I knew she had gone out as usual before bed, but after she scratched a few times, I felt compelled to get up and take her out. She is not a big fan of the dark and patiently waited for me to turn on the flashlight so we could walk out to her “spot”. But it was soon apparent nature wasn’t calling her. Chia happily complied when I suggested we go back to the house. Then I heard the reason for her restlessness, thunder. I hadn’t heard it before but now I understood her anxiety. We headed up the stairs to our bedroom but she stopped halfway up and wouldn’t budge, more thunder. I decided to see if she would settle down if we stayed downstairs. But as I tried to get comfortable, I watched her pace as the storm grew closer, getting louder with lightening filling up the room. I decided to go to bed and see what happens. By this time Dean was awake and I could tell Chia “no” when she scratched on the door a few more times. Finally she decided to sleep by the door until 3:30 when the storm finally passed over.
So spring is here and so are thunderstorms. We seem to get a lot of them here. I have learned a few things over the years that distracts her from her fears. During the day I can play fetch with her; but in the middle of the night, not so much. I will have to remember to keep my Rescue Remedy in the bedroom this time of year.
by Maryclaire Mayes
Spring is hard here in the northeast. The start of fall usually is a welcome relief from the hot humid summer. It is exciting with crisp clean air and the beautiful display of colorful leaves; but no so with spring. There are ice storms and snow storms, cold temperatures, wind, rain and mud.
We know eventually it will all give way to warmer temps and spring flowers, but it is so hard to wait. One thing we have started to do while we are waiting for Spring is to have a Summer party. I use Dean’s March birthday as an excuse to turn our house into a tropical paradise. I turn on the heat and use Yankee Candles Sun and Sand candles to help create our summer atmosphere. I decorate the house and if it is not sunny I make a big sun and put it on the window. I plan a summertime menu and make big fruit platters decorated with pineapple tops. If I think of it I have beach boys music playing too. Our little friend Peabody even puts on his summer surfer clothes. The grandkids love it all and the grown ups have a fun spring afternoon too.
We all get a little reprieve from the cold weather, even if we have to make it ourselves inside the house.
by Dean Mayes
Spring may be just around the corner but Winter may still be drying your skin. The climate varies around the country, but the problems our skin experiences are similar. In the winter your skin is exposed to many harsh environments like dry indoor air, cold and wind outside, and a lack of sunshine. All this causes very dry, flaky irritated skin in the winter months. But there is something you can do to be comfortable in your skin. What you need to do is moisturize, exfoliate, and moisturize again. Your skin reacts differently in the winter so you need to adjust accordingly.
Cleansing: In the Winter one of the most important things to keep in mind is hot water dries your skin. As good as it feels to take a steaming hot shower your skin will suffer the consequences. If your skin is very dry try washing with water that is warm but not hot. You want your cleaning routine to be as moisturizing as possible, so you might want to change to one of our more moisturizing soaps such as Baby Me or Olive soap if you are not already using it.
Moisturize: Replenish Moisturizer is great but if you need something more in the winter try the Shea Body Butter, even though it is a heavier moisturizer, the ingredients are all non-comedogenic, so it can be used on your face without fear of clogging pores.
It is a good idea to use a heavier moisturizer in the winter since your skin has more extreme conditions to deal with. Itchy skin often happens because the dry air of winter is causing the moisture in the top layer of your skin to evaporate.
Exfoliate: This is done to remove dead skin cells and allow your skin to absorb the extra moisturizer you are applying. But don’t exfoliate more than twice per week.
Hydrotherapy: This stimulates your circulatory system for better blood flow to your skin. You can do this at home by using your shower. Start out with a warm shower, before you finish switch the water to cold for about fifteen seconds then back to warm. Repeat the process for two minutes. Try it and see if you don’t feel better.
Moisturize: The best time to moisturize is right after a bath or shower. The bath helps to hydrate your skin and the Shea Body Butter helps to keep it from evaporating.
And remember healthy skin starts from the inside, so eat healthy whole foods and drink plenty of water.
by Dean Mayes
Snow and lots of it. Not as bad as some other areas of the northeast, but still it’s plenty. Caddy doesn’t mind it so much, but he doesn’t go all that far from the barn.
The goats really seem to hate it. I watch them from my window and they step outside the barn only if the sun is shining. I finally decided to shovel a path for them to see if they would venture out a little further. I made a loop out to their hutch. The loop was just in case Caddy was following them they would still have an escape route back to the barn.
Well I am happy to report that all the goats approve. Ruth is especially fond of hanging out in the hutch. Now I only wish I had thought of it sooner, but it is hard to think at 10 below!