I have an insatiable curiosity that is generally only satisfied with exhaustive research.
When the boys were little and before Kid3 came along, I read about cowboys using ashes from a campfire with bacon grease to clean their dishes. I was curious about mixing fat and lye and creating soap. That directed me toward learning about cold process soap. I spent hours online looking up recipes and videos. I wanted to see pictures of what the trace stage looked like. I made a few batches of cold process soap. It smelled delicious and it was a gift to be able to play with chemistry and create something new. Working with lye is extremely dangerous and I stopped because the fear of my child picking up a cup of lye water was terrifying. Getting the measurements perfect by weight was another issue. My soaps were a little alkaline and unkind to delicate skin. I may pick it up again.
Soap making required dyeing my soaps. I explored mica for pigmentation, and started exploring geology as more than the pretty rocks I’ve always picked up. It was about seeing how ground up rocks could lend bright and bold colors during the trace phase, because any sooner and the batch would seize. I started learning about other dyes, and this was when I first learned about foods using ground up beetle bodies for color. I exhausted that research until I was disgusted.
I was using waxes and carrier oils and found melting and burning points fascinating. What would make beeswax take forever to melt over a low flame, when coconut oil was liquid at room temperature? I could tell which oils were which by how long it took to melt and the color and scent. Cocoa butter smelled like chocolate and shea butter was almost unscented.
Making soap led to making lotion bars and lip balms and bath bombs that fizz with citric acid and baking soda. I used beeswax for all of it because what else do you do when you buy a pound of it? I went through a stage where I wanted beeswax candles and honey in the comb and I wanted to know all there was about beekeeping. I wanted to know about smoking them into calm and how the queen determined the health and life of her colony. I loved that each bee had a job and how organized they are. I was interested in the flavors that certain flowers would impart and how each batch of wildflower honey would taste different depending on the season and what is in bloom.
My Pinterest addiction only feeds my curiosity. Or maybe it’s the other way around. I have boards on rock hounding treasures, leadership, new ways to learn, woodworking, and needle craft, life hacks and homeopathy. I loved learning that brewed and cooled tea could ease my kid’s sunburn.
I signed up for another dating app. This time it lasted a whole hour or so, with a picture uploaded and everything. I haven’t done that before. It took about that long to realize I wasn’t interested in meeting anyone, but I really wanted to know what 40 year old men in the dating arena look like. I was curious about what they are looking for and what they think someone like me is looking for. I’ve already made my profile private again, but it was fun to window surf. I’m sure I’ll revisit this before I go on a first date. And that first date will be with someone I’ve met in person first because that is where my comfort lies.