Friday, November 22, 2013

Transforming Friday, with Hannah

Hannah has presented us with some beautiful photos for her Transforming Friday prompt at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads.
I looked at the pictures, read what Hannah had to say about an amazing plant in China which is green most of the year, and which then turns such a bright red it can be seen for miles.
I've been to China, and I like amazing plants as well as the next guy, but what did my recently-dormant brain pick up on? Potash. Apparently the plant is rich in potassium, which, when burnt, becomes potash.
It doesn't even sound pretty: "pot ash"...
And then, thinking about the usefulness of potash in soap production made me think of a blog post I'd read recently about Teresa making delicate and beautiful soaps with the milk from her beloved, beautiful herd of goats.
From there, it was an easy leap of my old brain to Grandma's Lye Soap, which was a song from a 1950s record called It's in the Book by Johnny Standley. If the link works, and takes you to youtube, the song starts at about 3:15 on the video. If you're not in a hurry, by all means listen to the first part, too. It's ridiculous, and hardly even funny now, but in the 1950s, before we had television, my brother and I thought it was the funniest thing in the world.

Images via Google search
potash soap
and potash lye
a well-equipped
soap-making business
have I...
not for me
the pretty things
in eden’s garden
so bright they sing,

the goat-milk soaps
in many hues
which pretty girls
inhale and use
on skin so fresh
and dewey-eyed,
their pink and purple
soaps their pride...

no, I’d rather
scrub my clothes
on washboards old
in water cold
and rinse them at the pump,
then I
hang them up
and let them dry


Susan said...

I have a memory of this soap and the board and washbasin from Grandmother's, from way back in the day. A small memory, but enough to make me love this poem and its attitude. And thanks for sharing your link of associations from prompt to poem. It's quite rich!

Grace said...

In the older days, I wonder how women coped with the washing & ironing chores ~ My mom had maids when we were young but I was fascinated with the ironing not with the burden of washing ~ That smell of soap takes me back ~ Happy Friday Kay ~

edenhills said...

Love it! It's funny how the human brain goes in circles and lands on one thing that springs us into creativity! I'm honored to have been a part of that. :-)

georgeplaceblog said...

My Grandmother had a washboard but used it only rarely. She used a wringer washer then boiled her clothes and hung them to dry. I hadn't thought about that for a while. Thanks for the jog.

Hannah said...

I'm so thrilled that you went in this direction, Kay!! I was secretly hoping that someone would as I find soap making intriguing!

You paint the picture of the dewey- eyed girls intoxicated with pretty scents!

Nicely explored and expressed...thank you so much for joining!

Outlawyer said...

Ha! I also tend to be pragmatic so much enjoyed the humor of this and clever touches. K . Manicddaily

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Oh I had forgotten that huge yellow bar of strong laundry soap Way Back When. And those old washboards........if we had been smart we would have hung onto some of that Stuff till it became antiques and retired wealthy!

Sumana Roy said...

love this old world nostalgia.....

Susie Clevenger said...

I remember my mom making soap...and I also did some washing using a washboard.

kaykuala said...

Soaps have come long way. From mere items to assist washings to expensive body wash supporting big bucks in the cosmetics industry. One never sees the scrubbing washboard though, anymore! Nicely Kay!


Jennifer A. Jilks said...