After an hour I realized it never would liquefy, and it just looked like a mashed potato disaster! , so I decided to go ahead and add the peppermint oil to one, and the lavender oil to the other pot, and stirred it all in. Then I scooped the mashed potato mess into the molds... it was not a pretty picture. I left it to sit at room temp, then after an hour put it in the freezer for an hour, all just like the book said, it came out very wet and ugly. I still am going to try and dry this soap if it dries, and will grate it to use in my homemade laundry detergent recipe. So hopefully it won't be a total waste.
Well I had to admit defeat after an hour and a half. This is what it looked like... the hardball stage :) I just left it to deal with the next day, took a long hot shower and crawled in bed and realized I may never make soap at this rate. I am not one to give up easily. My kids had all been home from school Monday for a school improvement day. They watched this whole fiasco until it ended at 10:30 at night with the final batch of botched soap, that I couldn't even pour. We will all remember my first day of trying to make soap.
The next morning I went online to find other soap makers who I could learn from. One great site had comments from first time soap makers who were trying to make soap from the directions in the same book I had, and had exactly the same thing happen. Apparently this is a great book, but not the best book for beginners to start with. There were some interesting suggestions I will be trying.