Jul 15

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

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.


Jul 14

View From My Window – August 2014

Fasci - view from my windowMy view from my window has changed significantly.  While part of me is saddened, there is a part that is very happy.  For lots of different reasons, we have been considering finding a new home for my mare Fascination (Fasci) for some time. I was using her less and less, especially since our neighbors moved away and I no longer had my helpers come every morning to help me with chores. But I refused to part with her unless I could find her a good home and I did. A young girl contacted me and came to visit and she just fell in love with Fasci. She sends me pictures and tells me tales of their adventures together ( I never knew Fasci liked to swim!). It seems like they have both found their best friend and I think Fasci is happier with all the attention and spoiling, that only a young girl knows how to do. Her new owner is better than I had hoped and this story definitely has a happy ending.

Jul 14

View From My Window – July 2014

a2a27ec0-eb1c-43d6-ba95-ffd2d689958cWhat is The Fourth of July? Is it just another day off from work for a party and the first holiday of summer? 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 2014, Independence Day, have a party, celebrate, have fun, just remember what you should be celebrating for. I am celebrating the fact that I have the ability to 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?

Aug 13

The County Fair

Hal-&-Nell-webLate summer is County Fair time; do you go?  I don’t mean the kind of fair that is more of a carnival than the historical county fairs where farmers took a day off and brought their families to the fair to see what was the latest in agriculture. It was a time of fun and competitions, celebrating another harvest with their friends and neighbors.

I grew up a mere 5 miles from the NJ state fair and our family always attended. Being a 4-H family we spent almost everyday at the fair. We looked forward to the fair like most kids anticipated Christmas. We thought for months to come up with original ideas for our 4-H club’s booth; we spent hours booth sitting, (they were never left unattended) and showed our animals at the fair.

Funny thing, if you participated like this in the fair, it was a yearlong process of preparation and fulfilling 4-H requirements! The county fair wasn’t just late summer for us! Keeping record books, doing demonstrations and showing was all year with 4-H. It was very hard work and a privilege to be able to show at the fair. No matter how we did at the show, we had a feeling of accomplishment that we had done all the work required to get to there. Sure the fair had a midway with rides and games and things we enjoyed, but the 4-H and agricultural side of the fair is what was most important to us and where we spent most of our time.


Now we live near the convergence of four counties that have pretty nice fairs.  Some are better than others. It is sad to see so many fairs shrink the agricultural area of their fairs. So many people today have no idea where their food comes from before it gets to the grocery store.

Because we have a farm, people ask us questions like, “where can I take my kids to see a cow, they have never seen one before.” These types of questions always surprise and sadden me. I am heartened that in our area there is resurgence in interest in where food comes from and people wanting to have their own garden.

So if you haven’t been in a while or have never been, get your kids and go to a county fair with real live animals and kids working hard to have the privilege to be there. Tell them you appreciate all the work they have done to be there. Yeah, go to a fair!