Lucy Moment #245 – Making Soap

Last night, I decided to make soap. I like to think that I’m a bit Martha Stewart-ish. Okay, the truth is, I like to think of myself as being even more innovative and crafty than Martha. (We’re all allowed to dream a little, right? No self-image issues here!) You would think that previous mistakes (such as the diaper cream incident) would’ve shaken my confidence a little, but apparently some people are a little slower on the uptake than others.

I found an “easy” recipe for making oatmeal soap from existing bars of Ivory soap. Not to push a specific brand, but Ivory and Dove are the mildest of all soaps. (Good thing only three people read my blog or I’d be asking for some serious advertising commission here!) Anyway, you microwave a bar of Ivory soap for two minutes, let it cool, break it into small pieces, put it in a pan with some water, oatmeal, and a few drops of essential oils. Melt it all together and then form balls or bars or whatever shapes you want. Sounds like something that any dummy could do.

I’m not just any dummy.

The first problem occurred when I microwaved the Ivory soap. The recipe said to put the soap on top of a paper towel on a plate. So, since a bar of soap is a small thing, I wisely chose my smallest plate and happily threw the lot in the microwave. Two minutes later, the microwave beeped. I eagerly ran to see what had happened to my soap.

Apparently soap expands … a lot. A white cloud of soap had poured off the little plate and filled every corner of the microwave. There was soap everywhere. It was stuck to the sides. It was stuck to the door. It was stuck underneath the microwave tray. And it was stuck in those little vents.

Not knowing what else to do, I called my husband. He was less than thrilled and sternly admonished me – several times – to “make sure you clean that microwave!!!!” (As an aside, if you’ve ever watched the Pink Panther movies, my husband reminds me a little of Chief Inspector Dreyfus. He’s starting to develop an eye twitch and I have a feeling that if my Lucy shenanigans continue, he might lose his marbles completely.)

Hubby decided that the best thing to do for his wavering sanity would be to leave the room and let me continue with my soap-making endeavours on my own.

You are only supposed to make one bar of soap at a time. However, in the interests of my characteristic lack of patience, I decided to make six bars at once. Due to the soaps’ expansion, I had to use my gigantic stock pot. This thing is HUGE! I filled it with the soap, oatmeal, and essential oils, and turned on the stove.

Within seconds, the nice pepperminty soapy smell in my kitchen had turned to the usual burning smell that accompanies, well, anything that I do in the kitchen.

My husband must have disconnected the smoke alarms as soon as he saw me heading for that part of the house, because we were spared the annoying beeping that seems to be the  soundtrack to my life.

I quickly rescued the pot from the stove and decided that, although the mixture was far from melted or mixed, I’d try to make soap balls anyway.

Suffice it to say that big globs of gooey oatmeal studded with burnt flecks and chunks of white soap isn’t the prettiest thing you’ve ever seen. The end result looked downright putrid.

Time for hubby to step in. I dumped the soap balls into a heaver pot, yelled for my husband, then handed him the mixing spoon.

Within minutes, we had perfectly melted and mixed soap.

I’ll never understand how he does it.

My Mom commented that she thinks that my husband needs prayer. I would have to say that perhaps marriage to me is probably one of those situations that requires both prayer and fasting.

No wonder his eye is twitching and he’s losing weight.


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