I've always loved concocting things from natural materials, harking back to my "mud pie" days only for me it was stirring "soups" and "potions" in kettles out in our backyard using sweet smelling weeds that I later learned were herbs. I studied old soap making and formula books and came up with my own variations of the most popular scents. That was back in February of 1991 and I've been making soap and other skin care products ever since. It helped that my German born mother knew a thing or two about herbs. My dad was an entrepreneur and I guess I take after him.
I've always loved to garden too. Today I grow herbs, vegetables, fruit and perennials on various gardens scattered over a rocky, tree-filled and rather wet parcel of land in New Hampshire. I visit my local chiropractor 3 times a week, for obvious reasons!
I've had numerous jobs throughout my life including factory, waitress and shop work, and a few years as a veterinary technician which was probably the most interesting job and one in which I wish I could've continued. But our band and the soap business kept me too busy to do all three.
Soapmaking is just one of many interests, one that helped support the growing number of stray cats that "found us" when we moved to N.H. years ago. It was a natural outgrowth of a lifelong interest in the healing properties of plants. In the 1990's I was a contributing editor for the Herb Quarterly magazine and had numerous articles published there and several in the Herb Companion magazine. I gave many talks on herbs to various groups during that time.
Music is a big part of my life. At 14 I started working in bands along with my talented sister. In the late 1960's we performed at the famous Electric Factory in Philadelphia opening for such groups as Santana, Chicago, Iron Butterfly, Steppenwolf, Arthur Brown and many others.
Shortly after moving to New Hampshire in 1979 Phil and I formed the band "Bittersweet" and soon found ourselves working full time as musicians. For about 15 years we performed aboard the MS Mount Washington on Lake Winnipesaukee for the dinner cruises in addition to working in various clubs and at private functions. Today we work a much less grueling schedule, mostly outdoor concerts and special events.
I'm not on Facebook or any other social media site. Why? Many reasons, not the least of which is I don't have time for it and can't understand why anyone would see the need to tell the entire world their every move. I still like communicating the old fashioned way. Today even a phone call has become outdated unless it's on a cell phone or some other geeky gizzmo. We don't own cell phones either!
" Bittersweet" circa 1992
Life Across the Pond...
In a previous life I lived in England, having married an Englishman I'd met on a Windjammer cruise in the West Indies when I was 19. At 21 I moved to the English Lake District. Living in a 400+ year old stone cottage on the outskirts of a rural village seemed an idylic life for a gal who loved to be self sufficient. Though there were no gardens I learned to make wines from fruits found in the hedgerows, bake bread and plaster old stone cottage walls too. I listened to many wonderful artists who came to the Lake District and still to this day love the music of Martin Carthy, Archie Fisher, Barbara Dixon and bands like Steeleye Span. I returned to America in time for the Bicentennial in 1976 with an antique English banjo in tow along with my trusty Fender bass (never played while living in the UK). My years in the Lake District provided a background for what was to come.
Sis came to visit me too.
There we are in front of the stone fireplace and chimney breast I helped to replaster in the old cottage where I lived.
Just like the cottage in England, our old farmhouse is an ecclectic mix of many eras. I cook on 2 vintage stoves, a 1928 gas range and a 1915 woodstove.
I'm a talk radio junkie!
Talk radio is always on in the house and workshop. Favorite talk show hosts include Jeff Kuhner, Michael Savage, Tom Marr, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. I've learned alot from those guys.
I love animals, especially cats! I'm an avid reader and book collector and was greatly influenced by the books I read over and over again as a kid. One favorite was "Rabbit Hill" by Robert Lawson. I dreamed of having an animal sanctuary when I grew up. Well you could say we've had a sanctuary of sorts for the past 35 years.