Aunt Norie’s Sewing Room
Back to those “living history” days I mentioned last week: I was often asked if I had made my family's own soap. I had not. However, many people did. They called it lye-soap. I had an opportunity, though, as my sister-in-law, after I married, always made their soap, and of course I watched.
It seemed so repulsive, almost more then I could watch. She always saved up old grease, from cooking and butchering when they butchered hogs (or pork). That was what soap was made of. Probably, a lot of it still is. They used lye in the process, and that in itself scared and worried me. She had a huge old iron kettle that stood up on its own short legs over a very hot fire. After the cooking process was finished the liquid was strained and poured into large flat pans to cool, then later cut into squares. It really made beautiful soap. People loved it. It can still be found and is great for poison ivy, etc.
I married the youngest of a family of nine, so my husband’s mother and my mother came from two different generations. She had been on a covered wagon as a baby. She couldn’t remember it, but her sister could. I learned so very much from my mother-in-law, especially about preserving and drying food. She was a fascinating person to listen to.
My mother used to slice shavings off a bar of Fels-Naptha laundry soap into the very hot wash water when doing the laundry. I know many of you remember that soap.
I stumbled onto a neat hint quite by accident recently, which I might pass along. Those lead weights used on your fishing line, the ones with the little flange on each end that curls back over the line — well, I could not make my shower curtain behave, stay in place, so I just clipped a row of them onto the lower edge of the curtain. Working very well. I’ve also used lead weights (fishing, of course) in draperies and such, also.
Just take it one day at a time now. Chuck those worries. Enjoy each day to its fullest. Keep in mind yesterday is finished and tomorrow is far away. Pray for our hurting world. God bless you all.
— Aunt Norie, P.O. Box 265, Tonganoxie, KS 66086; email@example.com.
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