Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Joy of Music in our Family

Where would we be without music? Pretty miserable I suspect. Music is such an emotional expression of what lies deep inside each of us.

Some of us are musically inclined;we have an ability to create music that is pleasing to the ear. We can hold a tune while singing, we play a musical instrument. Or maybe we just appreciate listening to those talents instead.

While growing up, there wasn't one person in my family that I knew of that either sang or played a musical instrument, yet one of the biggest desires of my heart at the tender age of six was to create the most beautiful song ever created. I was drawn to musical instruments of every sort and constantly sang.

The closest thing to musical related talent in my family that I knew of was my mom, who danced in Vaudeville. She was a tapper. She loved to dance, loved music and she was constantly humming or singing a song under her breath while working. She gave up tapping on a regular basis after she got married and didn't really pick it up again until after she retired. You could often find her in nursing homes entertaining the residents with her tapping skills. She was older than some of the residents living there, but it didn't stop her.

We must have some musical talent in our gene pool, even if it is a recessive gene because I wound being able to sing quite well when no one else in my family could. I could pick up an instrument of just about any kind and perform a simple song with in a matter of minutes. No one else in my family could really do that until I had kids.

My two youngest kids have musical talent oozing out of their pores. My daughter is an amazing singer and she can play music on the keyboard (without lessons) that never ceases to amaze me.

My son is also a great singer. But he really shines at playing guitar. We let him have our old Fender acoustic guitar to learn with and gave him a months worth of lessons. His musical life exploded from there. He is an amazing guitarist, can pick up just about any style he sees and start playing.

Where did it all come from? A product of a recessive gene? Did we allow that creative talent to shine through in the enviornment in which we raised them?

All I can say is that it must be a God-given talent.

I don't have a current video of my son playing something, but I would love to share with you a video of my daughter singing at a jazz band competition with her high school jazz band. She doesn't think she did all that great. Good enough, according to her, but she says it wasn't her best performance.

No matter. I will share with you her "good enough" video anyway.

Before you click this movie on, please turn off the blog music at the top of the blog, otherwise you will get conflicting songs!

The picture quality is simply awful. I apologize for that, but it shows what a great high school jazz band we have and my daughter's voice. Now, I'm starting to sound like a bragging parent!!!

We are a musical family. One of us starts singing and the other starts harmonzing, and pretty soon we are in our own little musical world. It is just who we are and I'm happy that we have not tried to limit that talent or to squelch it.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Handcrafted Soap with Salt

You have heard about them, read about them, seen advertisements about them.
Just what is a "spa soap" anyway?
Spa soap can be a variety of different items that make it a "spa experience" when you use it.
Most spa soaps contain ingredients that exfoliate the skin, or contain clays that cleanse the pores, or certain types of oils that claim increased benefits to the skin. Usually, it is a soap that contains just a "little extra" to make you feel pampered.

Recently, I've created my own version of the SPA SOAP. One of them is pictured above. Margarita Lime at the top and Summer Fling just above this sentence. It contains a delightful lime citrus fragrance along with sea salt and some bentonite clay. The soap texture is a bit different than other soaps. Because of the amount of salt, it is a hard bar of soap. It also has a grainy texture which may be a bit harsh for your face but wonderful for your body. The clay can firm and tighten the skin but also gives the soap a unique textural quality as well. Clays give the soap a "slip" to it that folks love when they are shaving. The lather tends to be a bit more sudsy/creamy rather than overly bubbly.

And as for the salt on top...well, it is just there for the looks. After all, what's a Margarita without the salt around the rim?

All my spa soaps have been made use a cold process method. The soap barely gets above room temperature during the entire process, which allows for it to cure more slowly and retain better fragrance properties.

(pictured above is Butt Naked Spa Soap)

You will not find this soap available on my website until the end of May, 2010. So, get ready for a real "SPA EXPERIENCE"!