I was now staying with one of my sisters at my Dad’s old home place on a farm. Small, 2 bedrooms, screened in porch, on a lake with farmland that we rented to another neighbor… I found utter peace during those months I lived in that old farmhouse with my sister.
I was attending therapy; physical and mental. I decided I would take on a new hobby or two. Making soaps and candles seemed like proper hobbies for a young lady on a farm. The sister I lived with could sew, craft, cook, garden… some of these skills must’ve rubbed off on me? The other sister, (the youngest of us three girls) was a computer wiz and a talented graphic designer! My 3 brothers all had creative skills, too. I MUST craft… something.
What’s a double boiler? Yes, you need one to make candles. What is Lye? I thought it was a poison to kill rats? No, well it can, but it can also decompose dead bodies! Lye, otherwise known as sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide, can be added to your soap to make it harder, or softer. Anyway, this is not a chemistry post, just know it is important…
Off to JoAnn’s Fabrics with my sister to get supplies! How-to books, molds, scent, wicks… oh it was glorious! Visions of selling my soaps and candles at the farmers market were dancing in my head. Should I try growing dreadlocks?!?! I could wear tye-dye and bandanas in my hair! I would reinvent myself!!!
Everyone got a jar candle from me that Christmas that did or did not burn. It absolutely did not smell like apple cinnamon! And just to make it really special, each member of my family also got a bar of homemade oatmeal soap from me. I didn’t grind the oatmeal up. Taking a shower with one of those bad boys could lead to severe cuts on the body.
I had to be stopped!
During this ‘hobby’ time, I received word from my lawyer. A settlement had been reached in the car accident case that I had against the other driver. I won. (I didn’t feel like I was a winner in this at all.) He also informed me that my long term disability through my ex-employer was ending, I would be required to go into the closest social security office and apply for Social Security Disability. He already sent my records to the office.
What… forget it! What…??? Required? No, I don’t think so!
He calmed me down, used some pretty ‘realistic words’ to explain my current circumstances to me, and I agreed to meet (but only meet) with a social security disability office worker…