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reversable apron, crocheting www.anniesgoathill.com

Annie’s is not dead. Sound like a familiar movie title? Well … Annie’s Is Not Dead!

Annie’s Goat Hill currently does not have goats on the apartment patio, nor does it have fresh soap in the (non-existent) spare room…but Annie’s is alive and kicking.

Annie (Mary Humphrey – myself) has authored books (Essential Soapmaking and Advanced Soapmaking: Removing the Mystery), along with stories she contributed to the Selah Press anthology 360 Degrees of Grief: Reflections of Hope, all of these books are available on her blogs, and on her Amazon.com author page. She’s also polishing her first edition, soon to be published, of Annie’s All About Goats. Behind this writing project is the first draft completed of Jackson and Delilah’s Adventures, a fiction youth novel. Devotionals follow suit, which are in the stage of notes written in pen and ink. There may also be books from the kitchen, because this woman can cook. Did you know that? She cooks from scratch and follows the little-bit-of-this-and-that method.

Soap creation and sales may return to the agenda in late 2014. Can you imagine creamy, skin loving goat milk soap once again coming from Annie’s studio? It just might happen.

What you absolutely have not heard about, until today, is Creative Expressions by Annie. You know, she thrives on creativity – writing, DIY personal care products, sewing, crocheting, soap making, aromatherapy and crafts that work all of these things together. The photo above is a sample of things to come – a series of blog posts that she hopes inspires you to new (or renew) your passions. The world is full of beautiful things…and the freedom to use your imagination!

“In this time of ‘information overload’, people do not need more information. They want a story they can relate to.”  – Maarten Schafer

Annie’s Goat Hill – Smell and Feel the Goodness!

 

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comittment www.anniesgoathill.com

The most prominent virtue I gained in 2012 was the ability to be flexible without looking back.

Life and business thrives with an acceptance of change – one that allows us to merely become fluid any time it is necessary.

In 2012, I shut down my soap business and goat farm. It was not an easy shift, but to this day it is providing opportunities that I never imagined could exist.

I started The Creative Entrepreneur blog series in 2012. With the pivoting of business and writing gears, I found I could not devote myself to both my personal and series commitments.

In 2012, I also began writing several books, co-authored with Melissa Middleton of Vintage Body Spa. We published the first book of our series, Essential Soap Making, as an e-Book. We recently re-submitted the book to editing. It is being re-formatted as a book in print. The newly formatted book is within weeks of a publish date.

I have committed (myself) to publishing eight books in 2013. If you are raising your eyebrows at my lofty goal, trust me, so am I. Being flexible, as life continues to take amazing twists and turns, will lead to greater success. But committing to the writing goal, by just tying the knot that won’t come undone, is how it will be accomplished.

I hope you stay and witness my exciting journey ahead!

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Making the decision to stop selling soap and lotion was not easy, but it became easier as I realized it was part of a big picture, much bigger than myself.

Making the decision to sell the goats was not easy at all. I still cannot look at photographs of goats.  And I do not look at my barn, nor the empty fenced in pastures. I even feed the cats at the house now. My heart flip-flops when I walk inside the barn.

I was, and still am, excited about traveling, meeting new people, and writing, but recently something was not making sense. Something felt all wrong. Big chunks were missing.

Today, after many prayers, and after one comment my husband made to me (thank goodness we love each other and can work well together), all of the pieces began to fit.

I am not going to stop writing this blog.

Why would I?

My plan is to make Annie’s blog a DIY (Do It Yourself) type of product blog. I still will make soap occasionally, and I definitely make my own lotions and creams. And there are other products, including natural perfume blends, that I work on from time to time.

Not to mention the goats that I can write about (I have oodles of stories to tell), books to write, aromatherapy projects to do (I practice on myself and my husband only), and a huge interest (still) in country life. I have a lot to offer.  I have a lot to write about.

And, there will be goats again someday, just years down the road. And only two, just two! Someday, when I have kids again, it will not only be up to me, but it will be up to you too, to remind me, “Sell those kids!”

Just today, the last person that bought goats called.  He wanted to know how I was doing. I told him that I cannot walk, I have torn ligaments, a badly sprained ankle. He proceeded to tell me that he was on his way to the doctor, with what he thinks is pneumonia. He asked me, “Aren’t you glad I bought the last of your goats?” Yes, I am. When a person can only shuffle from room to room, they cannot walk down a hill and take care of goats. And then, he is a sweet young man, with a growing family. He needed the goats in his life. My time will come again.

For now, my time is here, and at the new site that I am still building, Pen And Ink Spot.

I told you, I am not going anywhere. Only the platform under my feet has changed.

Mary

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boer and dairy goats www.anniesgoathill.com

Annie’s Goat Hill was not something that I planned out on paper.  The farm and the soap company evolved from a passion for natural things, and from a strong life-long love for animals.

I am excited to share with you the featured article that I wrote for the Orscheln Farm & Home Blog.

Each time I write my story I realize how much I have accomplished, and I find that I am excited to share as much as I can.

Thank you to Orscheln Farm & Home, my hope is that the article helps to promote positive inspiration!

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I have been weighing out the pro’s and con’s of starting a new blog for a very long time.

My longing is to write about anything and everything that I feel passionate about. Most of those thoughts have nothing to do with the soap business.

The Annie’s Goat Hill Handcrafted soap website will be re-designed in the future, with the link to this blog located on the main navigation page of the new site.  It only makes sense to me to ensure a big portion of  the blog content is related to soap, products, the soap business, the farm (milk wouldn’t exist without it), and bits and pieces of me (who I am).

One of the joys that I have come to know as a business owner is the reality that I can be myself.  I love it! I have the capability and power to make my own decisions, to guide my own ship(s).  And writing is a boat that has sat at the dock.

So, the decision was made to start a new blog, www.Mary-Humphrey.com, geared towards writing, and link to it and the posts here (for a while).  For those of you that have expressed your enjoyment of my posts, I would love for you to follow me over!

Marching forward!

Mary

Annie’s Goat Hill Handcrafted Soaps – where you can Smell and Feel the Goodness!

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foggy morning www.anniesgoathill.com

I am approaching the reality, and I may have even passed the first gate, that I am doing the things in life that I have nearly always desired to do.

The posts that I have written recently, one of which was You Are What You Pretend To Be, sent me into deep thought.

Who am I? What do I want to do?

One of my passions in life, as far back as I can remember, has been writing.  Over a countless number of years I wrote the beginnings of books, and scads of journals.  Sadly, I disposed of all of them.

I began writing blogs posts and found myself absorbed by what I was writing.  Time, and everything around me, slid away as I wrote.

Through a lot of self-talk (the little voice of self-talk can be so self-destructive), that said, “You have no right to do that,” “You are not qualified to write about that,” “You are not trained to do that (fill in the gaps),” I realized just the opposite.  Yes, I am justified.  Why? I have something to share.   And I can do it.  And I will do it.  Just be myself.

So, the real journey begins here.

I am in the process of starting an author’s blog.  I have never liked the idea of mixing non-soap related posts into this blog, but, of course, stop my own fingers from doing it.  Not! There is no turning that water tap off.  It is on permanent drip (with a reservoir behind the faucet)! And now, I am hearing (and very graciously), “Your writing is a part of what makes your soap special.”  You have a story to tell.  You put your heart into it.  I do.

So, I will not yank the plug at this blog.  I will still share.  I will also write at the new blog, and will link to it here very soon.

I have formed a lot of relationships through blog writing.  I hope you follow me through the new journey, wherever it leads.

Mary

Annie’s Goat Hill Handcrafted Soaps – where you can Smell and Feel the Goodness!

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Trailing in halfway through my month of seeing life through the eyes of a child blog series, Seeing Life with Imagination,  and The Best Day Ever, I began to think it was impossible to stay on top of this way of thinking.  But, much to my surprise, I am very much aware of it now and am beginning to spot the new attitude.

This is how it happened today.  It is Sunday, the birds are singing, the ground is damp from the rains we had overnight, the sun is finally peeking out – the fog burned off.  There is promise of so much.  Promise of green growing things.  Promise from the sound of live tiny creatures – the songs of birds.  I am reminded once again of being a child.  I am taken back to my grandparent’s expansive yard.  I am walking through the rows of the garden, with plants trellised much taller than myself.  I am walking between the apple and pear trees.  Like a beautiful mansion with no ceiling to stop the view.  I can hear the bees buzzing, the birds singing, and I can see the grasshoppers jumping.   The sun is sheer warmth on my shoulders.

I then find myself at grandmother’s flower garden.  It isn’t so tall, so large, that it allows me to walk through and pretend that I am the master gardener, creating the beauty of nature and green growing things from my own hard work.  There is no maze to wander through.  No, the flower garden becomes my palate.  I can grow those flowers, painting an intricate design in my eyes with the colors, and with beauty that touches my soul through my nose.

Hours upon hours I am the master of the gardens.  I am at peace.  I am in the land of the giants, of nature alone.

Big sigh.

Now, how do we hold onto that child-like thought while sitting at our desks on Monday morning sorting through the pile of paper? Or while checking in with the screen filled with technical challenges?

You become what you want to be.  I am a strong believer in you are what you think.  30, 40, or 50 years ago, would you have imagined having thousands of contacts at your fingertips at one very moment? Seriously, I write a blog post, 150 people read it tonight.  I do not know who many of my readers are, but they obviously enjoy reading.  I keep writing because they are reading.  See? I post a Tweet that could potentially reach 1700 followers, and then when retweeted, 25,000 more (or more).  I am not just affecting my own moment, my own life, I am affecting many, many more.  So, when life becomes overwhelming, boring, intimidating, frustrating, you (I) can (and should) become the owner of what we are doing.  We are the Queen (or King) of our desk, our office, our studio.  We have so much to give, so much we can do with imagination.  We are the master gardeners at whatever we do.  We are writers because we think we are.  We are weavers because we think we are.

It isn’t about what we think we can or cannot do for the world, it is about what we are that is unique (and that includes our imagination, because each one is unique).  Our value is about what we teach.  You are the teacher.  Believe.  And share.

Annie’s Goat Hill Handcrafted Soaps – where you can Smell and Feel the Goodness!

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