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Dude. Seriously.

My mother was out for a visit. We had planned this visit even before I left my old job, which also means before the chickens were ordered. She arrived the day after they did.

The purpose of her visit was both to hit Chinatown for some early Xmas shopping and to make soap. She had brought some scented oils with her to show me how to make the soap, but that plan got a little sidetracked by the newly-important need to get the chicken coop built in a hurry.

Mom and I ended up hitting Chinatown Friday night instead of spending all Saturday on the trip. It was good because Chinatown for us isn't really a full day. We each found some stuff we liked, we had a good dinner, we had a lot of quality time on the trip there and back to talk and catch up. That was the best.

Saturday, the Pirate and I did the sides of the chicken coop. Only two trips to the hardware store Saturday, so that was okay. We ended the day watching really cheesy movies (Westworld and 20 Million Miles to Earth) and playing Munchkin. Sunday, up early and more building. Then, while the Pirate ran to San Leandro for the Baby Goddess, Mom and I made soap. Making soap is like magic. Lye and oil go together to make something that looks like pudding. And then you add a nice smell and let the whole thing harden and cure, and it's wonderful. We added a pear and apple scent to ours. The pan of soap has to be kept warm for 24 hours, and then has to cure for another 2-3 weeks before it can be used, which means that the chick pen is doing double duty - it's keeping the chicks AND the soap warm.

I ended up the weekend feeling really good about the self-sufficiency thing. I can build a building. I can grow meat and eggs. I can make soap. Come the apocalypse, these things are going to be useful.


Oct. 24th, 2005 06:09 pm (UTC)
Westworld!! I haven't seen that in ages.

Just wait till you learn to kill and butcher the meat! And make your own lye! You'll be really popular after the apocolypse then!

The only cool thing I saw at Dollyworld were the areas dedicated to preserving the traditional crafts. Woodworking, leather tooling, weaving, soap making. All very handy talents.
Oct. 24th, 2005 06:15 pm (UTC)
The only difficulty I see in the killing thing is this: there's a complex bunch of steps that are, right now, a little unclear to me.

  1. Killing

  2. Bleeding out

  3. Plucking

  4. Chilling

  5. Aging

The whole butchering thing is much less complicated. The birds are dead. Right now, I can take a store-bought whole fryer and reduce it to pieces in under two minutes, and the steps to take off the head, neck and feet and to take out the entrails are just another small set of steps that would take maybe another five minutes altogether.

I'm telling you, come the first of the year, it'll be a party...