Jul 15
by Maryclaire Mayes

View From My Window: Soap Boxer


clara boxing Oat and HoneyNumber Two was feeling sad because Number One is at summer camp all day having lots of fun without her. So I asked Number Two ( I can’t call her that in person because she gets mad as says I’m 4) if she would come work at Alabu and she was excited to come and help. Well I knew she would brighten up my day, but I had no idea she would be such a good soap boxer.

At first she was a little disappointed that I had already stamped the boxes, but it turns out Number Two is a first rate soap boxer. If you buy our Oat and Honey soap chances are it was boxed by Number Two.  Learn how from an expert Soap Boxer.  Watch Number Two in action below.   She is a great helper and we are both having fun.

Jun 15
by Maryclaire Mayes

Independence Day

a2a27ec0-eb1c-43d6-ba95-ffd2d689958cWhat is The Fourth of July? Is it just the first holiday of summer or another day off from work for a party? In the past it was always called Independence Day and there is a reason for that. Independence Day celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by delegates from the 13 colonies in 1776. The Declaration of Independence changed the course of history. It celebrates the experiment of a new kind of government. For the first time in history, the people, not kings or conquerors, would rule a nation. Elected delegates would vote; representing the will of the people, because they declared it is a natural right for man to be free.

After the vote, John Adams writes to his wife, Abigail: “Yesterday the greatest Question was decided, which never was debated in America, and a greater, perhaps, never was or will be decided among Men. A Resolution was passed without one dissenting Colony ‘that these united Colonies, are, and of right ought to be free and independent States, and as such, they have, and of Right ought to have full Power to make War, conclude Peace, establish Commerce, and to do all the other Acts and Things, which other States might rightfully do…’ This . . . Day . . . will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. . . . It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”

So on this day, July 4th 2015, Independence Day, have a party, celebrate, have fun, just remember what you should be celebrating. I am celebrating the fact that I have the ability to worship God, live my dream, be independent and own my own business making our healthy skincare products! What about you? What are you remembering and honoring about the fourth of July?

Jun 15
by Maryclaire Mayes

View From My Window: Startling Creatures


Snapple TurtleIt seems as if all creatures great and small have come to life around here lately. We are always happy to see the hummingbirds come back, but there are a few creatures I’d rather not see. Although it is better to see them so I can avoid them I suppose.

So far we have seen lots of deer (hope they are not checking out the menu in my garden), turkeys, fox and pileated woodpeckers. I almost ran over 3 woodcock chicks when I was wheeling mulch to the garden; it startled me when I saw the mom fly away and I stopped in my tracks until I figured out where all the babies were hiding in the grass. Then while I was mulching, I was startled again by a large toad, also not a big deal once I realized what it was.

Dean inadvertently picked up a small northern brown snake in the mulch he was bringing me; he was deposited in a bucket and brought back home on Dean’s next run to the mulch pile. These are all creatures that can startle but I’m not really afraid of them. Then Dean pointed out that there was a large snapping turtle out near the garden. It was a really big snapping turtle. Ok, that is one I am afraid of. It made me shudder to think my little grand babies ( I know they are not quite babies anymore) were out playing just an hour before we found the snapper there. Fortunately Dean is not afraid of much and he asked Mr. Snapper to get in a bucket and he was able to move him to a swampy area away from where my precious grandbabies play.


Jun 15
by Maryclaire Mayes

Alabu In The News


 Alabu is in the news again.  Out of the blue we got a call from a reporter; Vince Gallagher. He asked to do an interview about our company for the local newspaper “The Express Newspaper“. So we set a date and he came to visit and check us out.

Vince was surprised to hear that we have been doing this since 2000 and he had never heard of us before. But In this day and age of technology it is very easy for a small internet company like us to go unnoticed by the local community. Vince is really easy to talk to, we had an informative chat and he wrote a really nice article about us. Thank you Vince for the great story.

May 15
by Maryclaire Mayes

View From My Window-Ticked Off

4.Black legged tickI’m getting ticked off! But I’m not mad, I’m trying to tick proof or at least reduce our exposure to them. With Spring everything is waking up; including ticks. I grew up in an area with dog ticks and it didn’t bother me. But now there are tiny black legged ticks ( also know as deer ticks) that can transmit diseases like Lyme disease and anaplasmosis. Black legged ticks are prolific here is the northeast, especially the Hudson Valley region where we live. Researchers says about 40% of the ticks in our area carry the bacteria that causes lyme disease and it takes at least 24 hours to be transmitted. So every time you get bit does not mean you will be infected.

Ticks live in shady, moist areas at ground level and are more active in the Spring and Fall. Their first blood meal comes curtesy of field mice where they can pick up the bacteria that causes lyme disease. They drop off and will cling to tall grass, brush and shrubs, usually no more than 18-24 inches off the ground. Waiting for their next host to pass by.

Fighting the urge to hide inside I try to wear light-colored clothing and check my clothes for ticks periodically. If I’m going into the woods I may use an insect repellant, like OFF!. I have also had some success with Tea Tree oil, Lemon eucalyptus oil and Neem( Chia is not a big fan of them though) diluted on my clothes or skin.

If I know ticks are active where I have been I’ll take a shower and check for ticks as soon as I get in. But since our home is on the edge of the woods, I pretty much try to check for ticks every night. When we do find a tick, we try to evaluate how long it has been attached. If we think it is longer than 24 hours we might go to the Doctor. One thing I have started doing is saving the tick and using clear tape, attaching it to a card with the name of the person it was found on,  where it was found and the date. If we have questionable symptoms within the next 30 days we can have the saved tick tested.

Another thing I have been working on is reducing mice since they are the source of lyme disease.

If you haven’t already read more than you wanted on ticks and lyme disease here is a great resource. Tick Encounter Resource Center