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When was the last time you looked at things in life as through a child’s eyes?

I read a great post today, Once Upon A Child, by Danny Brown.  I love what Danny said, “Our minds are so free as kids. We imagine anything and everything. Our creativity knows no limits and our imagination is boundless.”

Danny made me think.  In fact, I decided to give Annie’s Goat Hill (myself) an assignment.  This month I will be blogging about the things I look at with fresh eyes, allowing myself to look at things with no (fewer?) limits, with imagination.

When I was a child I loved to draw.  I drew a lot of animals (horses, cows, cats and dogs).  Then I started drawing interiors of houses.  Seriously! I drew floor plans, along with furniture and appliances, drawn to-scale.  I even hoarded the family Sears and JC Penny catalogs to see what the latest carpet, paint, and drapery colors were.  I still recognize my love for animals.  But interior design? Not so much.  I was absolutely fascinated by it, with ruler and pencil in hand, hours and hours of imagination.

So…today I forced myself to not touch a computer  ALL DAY LONG.  Instead I raked (most) of the goat barn.  I hand washed my truck.  I did a lot of healthy things, outdoorsy things, things that got me up and active.  We all need that! But, guess what else I did? I sat in the barn with the goats.  One by one the dairy girls came in and nibbled on my chin.  Even Annie, the farm namesake, a boer goat with an attitude, came in to visit.  I recently read a story about a photographer who got down on the ground, and in the water, at eye level, with the alligators.  I wouldn’t want to take that risk, but he did.  He found himself understanding the creatures at a level he didn’t expect to know, and he took photographs that were extremely unique.  He used his imagination, and he set his fear aside.  He learned a lot.  We can learn a lot by getting down to eye level, as I did today.  We don’t just feed the hay and the grain, we see the magic of the animals that we tend to.  We see the magic of the world that surrounds us.

Tomorrow I will continue this challenge (both business and personal).  It should be enjoyable and I look forward to sharing the adventure with you.  If you want to join me in this trek, leave your comments.  I would love to hear what you discover!

Annie’s Goat Hill Handcrafted Soaps – Feel and Smell the goodness!

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We are changing our website, switching to a storefront.  Sreamlining for 2012.  Our thinking is why have both a blog and a website? There’s a lot of writing and reading going on, with current product information here, at our blog.

Over the next several weeks I am going to copy photos from our current website over to our blog, to ensure what people enjoy now on the website, will still be available (via the blog).

At the same time, I am going to throw in some of Annie’s Goat Hill original photos.  I hope you enjoy looking back and seeing some “faces” and stories you haven’t seen in a while.

In this photo, to the left is a doe that we currently own that is wild, but one great mother.  The middle doe is Sarah, one of our favorite grown up gals.  She is vocal.  Always “maaa’s” up to us at the house when she sees us outdoors.

Love you all! Enjoy!

Annie’s Goat Hill Handcrafted Soaps – Smell and Feed the Goodness!

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.         Romans 12:2

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Creativity, like life itself, seems to have its cycles. I find it interesting.

Blog writing has been difficult for me recently.  What has worked from time to time is to tote my laptop when I am away from the shop and the farm.  I will then hear or see something that totally inspires writing.

Soaping follows the same type of path.  Creativity does not always happen in the shop.  Fresh ideas pop up after I smell, read, hear, away from the soap studio itself.  Nature often does it.

A person cannot force creative thoughts.

What inspires you to write or try something new (or perhaps crafty)?

When are you most creative?

Do you find creativity to be an important need in  your life?

Before I hit the publish button, I’ll throw in one more thought.  Sound sleep.  Do your creative juices wane or flow when snoozing has been plentiful? What about the idea of sleeping with a pad of paper and pencil nearby, so those 2 AM brainstorms can be penned?

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I have been MIA (missing in action) from this blog, soap-making, and social media in general.  This afternoon I felt like I emerged from a deep tunnel.  The sun is shining and I am ready to move forward with whatever life brings next!

My husband and I finished the MSF (Motorcyle Safety Foundation) course today.  We attended 16 hours, 4 of which were conducted in a class-room.   The 50 question test was difficult, but somehow I aced it.  Wow, did that feel great! I am grateful for my husband, my best friend.  He has been a huge support.  We both earned our motorcycle endorsements today.

I am not here to talk about motorcycles and licenses, though.  I am chatting about learning. 

Can learning new things can be addictive? Perhaps learning is a self-confidence booster.   Has anyone been told they cannot do something, or perhaps you have told yourself that you cannot do something, then you prove them (or yourself) wrong? Yes! On the other hand, quite simply, perhaps learning is simply something that benefits us and others, which is learning for all of the right reasons. 

I am considering additional courses, such as, HTML, herbal, or a second aromatherapy course.  All three would be beneficial to my small business.   I keep thinking the more we work the brain the less chance we have of it going bad.  The same goes for our bodies, and I am on that route next!

Until the decision is made, which course I will take, I must knock out the completion of the new website (my goal is 9/1/2010), and I am going to return to making soap like mad! I have several new scents for the fall and winter season that I am excited to add to the Annie’s Goat Hill collection. 

I am elated to be back on the bandwagon, here!

If you have any book, course, or related study suggestions, I would love to hear about them! There is nothing better than word-of-mouth recommendations from friends.

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The Missing Blog Roll

 

From My Desk To Yours

A few months back I accidentally removed my blog roll.

I fretted for a moment, felt a bit of discomfort, knowing that I had deleted some pretty special links.

As time went on I relaxed. 

Now I have decided to leave it as it is.

Why?

As a human being, and as a business person, I simply cannot pick and choose bloggers.  If I listed all of the blogs that I read you would find pages upon pages listed.

As Kathy B., of Spot On Cedar Pond also said, I also have eclectic tastes.  I may be reading a wonderful blog written about Texas folks one day, reading about goats tomorrow, reading about a country cottage the next day, or even about natural perfuming or soaping the next.

It is easier for me, as busy as I already am, to leave the blog roll alone.  If your blog goes dormant, I do not have to remove your link.  And I do not step on any toes by omitting one of your fantastic blog links.  A blog is a lot of hard work, and I honor each and every person that takes the time to keep one up to date.  

The joy of blogging is, when we find the time to read, we read.  When we comment, we comment (as long as Blogger allows the comments to post, ahem…clearing the throat).

Have a beautiful day, as always!

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Color From The Flower Garden

Color From The Flower Garden

 

Today I am talking about a blog that inspires me, The Lylah Blog – Simple Home Living

I could not tweak my own words to suit the purpose, so here are Lylah’s own words, “The Lylah Blog is about encouraging women to apply the Simple Home Principles to become great wives, loving mothers and on purpose home makers who learn the value of creating sanctuary.”

In my own words, there are a lot of blessings in life, and Lylah is one of them!

In her post, Being an On Purpose Home Keeper, Lylah wrote:  See, I am in no way perfect. I have not arrived. I am in process. And, when I write what I know is true, what I know is Biblical, what I know works and what I know honors God – I get reminded. I get to be challenged all over again. I don’t know about you, but I need that. I need the kick in the pants – as I run this race . . . as God develops character (His) in me – for the sake of the Kingdom and That Day (2 Corinthians 5:7-11).

Inspiring!

In her post, A Farm on Every Floor, an article embracing vertical farming and gardening, Lylah captioned a photo with:  And, what would happen if we raised our kids on a farm? Think things might change?

Lylah surprised me in that post as well with a link to my own Annie’s Goat Hill blog. 

Thank you to her post, My Friend LaRue.  I finally have an idea how to display my grand-mothers colorful aprons! You need to go see!

Lylah authors more than one blog, her French inspired blog is:  La Maison Et La Jardin . I drool over that one!

I lived in France for a couple of years as a young child.  Now I have a few French-related blog posts in my drafts! My memory has been incredibly sparked! Life is good!

I think I met Lylah on Twitter.  At this point, I do not remember, and it does not matter. 

Blessings!

  

 

 

 

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Blog Writing Rules

typewriterBlogs…are there really any rules?

First of all, I feel there are way too “experts” stumbling upon each other,  publishing general rules about writing blogs.

In my own estimation, a blog should be an enjoyment to the writer.  Why write if the content is something the author is not passionate about? I agree that the blog creator is not writing for themselves, they are truly writing for their readers, but there has to be a level of interest for the writer to even turn out good copy.

Does it really matter if the print is left or right aligned.  One blog that I visit is normally center aligned.  I love what the writer does! I find her blog refreshing. 

If a person is writing a business blog, does content always have to be business related? Absolutely not! We are living in a period where marketing and business is returning to an “olden times way of thinking.”  Meaning, trust is so very important.  It is like going back to the era when mom and pop stores were popular.  It is important for the customer to know who they are buying from, know the integrity of the business, and to know what the business is all about.  All of this means so much more to a potential customer than putting out 100 ads a day that say, “Buy my spectacular product!” Blah, blah, blah…we get enough of that nonsense!

I agree, blogs should hold a certain level of professionalism and quality, even if the blog is simply written for family enjoyment. 

A blog should also contain valid information.  If statements are copied, credit must be given to the writer, and credit must be given to the original article.  Validity in an article is crucial!

I want to tell you a funny story.  A story about a piece of my writing.  I use a milking machine when I milk my goats.  For years I have called the cups that fit on the goat’s teats an inflator.  At one point, if you did a Google search for goat inflators you would have found blog posts, and a few articles, written my moi, yes me (tee hee).  Why just me? Because I assumed the cups were called inflators…oops…they are inflations.  Now do a search for goat inflations.  There are more articles out there than those written by Ms. Mary!!!!

Are there solid blog writing rules? Not per se’, but I do think we need to be responsible.  I love the variety in our blogs.  I love it that I have the opportunity, for example, to write as freely as I want.  This is MY opportunity to write, something that I always dreamed of doing.  I do not have to submit my work to my boss, nor do I have to submit to a publisher, but I am responsible for editing, and I am responsible for making sure my work is accurate.

Happy blogging…and please, do not get so hung up on the “rules.”  Who in the world wrote the rules on blogging anyhow? To my knowledge there weren’t/aren’t any! So, as Cheryl Phillips (The Daily Blonde, a writer that many of us associate with) said, “Just be yourself!”

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