Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Come By And See Me

Thursday, April 1 (no fools day either) at Three Rooms Gallery-Felix Pottery for a Meet The Artist Reception. I am the featured artist and I will be making some wheat weavings. Starts at 4 PM ends at 6 PM, come join us for a snack and glass of wine. Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

They Comes In Threes

I just realized my life contains a lot of 3's.

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
3 in my family
3 pets
3 brothers
3 sisters (well it feels like the 1 I have does enough to be 3 people)
3 really close friends
3 cars
3 motorcycles, until I had to sell mine :(
3 rooms in our home
3 drawers in every dresser
3 books by my bed that I read at the same time
3 days a week my daughter goes to practice 45 minutes away from our home
3 soaps in my pictures
3 Dave's in my life

my daughters birth date has a 3 in it and the year is divisible by 3 and that was the luckiest day of my life

So I think I will continue on with the 3 theme and try to post every 3 days.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

What Is Your Favorite Scent?

We have the oils or fats and our strong alkaline solution (sodium hydroxide or lye) ready to mix. Now the comes the question "Do you want a scented or unscented soap"? I have made several unscented soaps. The first was a beautiful hunter green swirled soap. It was unscented because I forgot to put the Green Apple scent in and it was so pretty I did not want to mess it up to scent it. There are several ways to scent a batch of soap.

Infuse Herbs or Flowers
I like to use several herbs and flowers for use in soap. I am not a patient person so I like to use the crockpot for infusing. Most people use their crockpot for slow cooking, not me. I take 1 cup of clean dried plant material and put it in the bottom of the crock pot. I cover it with olive oil and gently stir. I let it cook on low, stirring once in awhile for 2 hours, let it cool and strain. I then repeat the method several times using the same oil with fresh herbs or flowers. This gives me some of the benefits of the herb or flower and any color that the material can give.

Herbs I use in soap are

Calendula Ca-len-du-la, also called pot marigold (in the Asteraceae daisy family, not the Tagetes family), means first day of the month. They bloom in under 2 months during the summer and into fall in bright oranges, yellows and reds. Plant studies have suggested Calendula has some of the anti properties (viral, toxic, and inflammatory) and are often used to soothe acne and inflammed skin. The fresh petals have a spicy aroma, not sweet. I like using them for any benefit they may give to the soap and the pretty bright yellow color.

Chamomile Cham-o-mile is the common name for a daisy like plant meaning "earth apple" for its apple like scent and is often said to be soothing. The U.S. National Library of Medicine, working with National Institutes of Health, lists over 100 ailments and conditions which Chamomile has traditionally been used for. But....they list only 15 as having undergone scientific study on animals and/or humans. "Topical chamomile preparations have traditionally been used to soothe skin inflammation. The existing human evidence shows that chamomile may be of little, if any, benefit while animal studies support its anti-inflammatory action. Additional human research is needed in this area." So it works on animals and more human research is needed so I guess I will continue to do research on my human self. I'll let them know what I find.

Lavender Lavandula angustifolia or English Lavenderis the most common grown and yields an essential oil with sweet overtones. It is one of many of the 39 species in the mint Family, Lamiaceae. It means "to wash". Lavender has many traditional uses. Lavender is said to repel insects, soothe and heal insect bites, soothe headaches if applied to temples, aid sleep, help heal acne, and treats skin burns and inflammed skin. Scientific evidence supports the effectiveness of some of these remedies, especially anti-inflammatory effects, but they should be used with caution since lavender oil can also be a powerful allergen. Care must be used as Lavender is cytotoxic (the quality of being toxic to cells) and increases photosensitivity (sensitivity of the skin to the sun).

Patchouli or Pogostemon cablin (Blanco) Benth, is a bushy herb of the mint family. it has been used for centuries in perfumes due to the heavy and strong scent. Chinese medicine uses the herb to treat headaches, colds, nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and is used to induce relaxation. It has an earthy, sensual fragrance and is used as a balancing oil. I did not like the scent the first time I smelled it and dreaded making soap, of which I sell a lot. I participated in a co-op to buy Patchouli to get a better price right before it went up to $109 a pound. I bought 4 pounds and as the essential oil has aged it has almost taken on a sweet smell and I can see where people fall in love with it. I like to use it in essential oil blends as it is a base note, one that anchors the blend.

There are a few other plants I use for soap but mainly just for color. I use many more for balms and salves.

Next soap post I will discuss Essential Oil and Fragrance Oils.

Pictures are from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia on the web.

Friday, March 26, 2010

March Present And Past

They say March "comes in like a lion, and goes out like a lamb" but the beginning of our March was motorcycle riding weather.

This was me and my dear daughter 13 years ago. My hair is a little shorter, it is red again, and I am a few (I'm not saying how many) pounds heavier, and the motorcycle has long been sold due to economic conditions. I did love riding my motorcycle! Wind and bugs in your face, nothing like it!

My younger brother has a motorcycle, my youngest brother has a motorcycle, my other younger brother had a motorcycle, my husband has 2 motorcycles, and my younger sister's husband wants a motorcycle.

It is almost as bad as my brother David, my husband David, my brother-in-law David.

I think I know where we get this motorcycle gene. It is my mom. No, her name is not David. I remember being 18 years old and just going into the workforce while attending the junior college at night. I had made a bunch of friends at the speaker factory where I worked and when my dad opened up his own business I got mom a job at the same place so she would have something to do, well OK, so she could help pay the mortgage while the new business got off the ground. It is funny how we can change history in our story telling, isn't it?

I had the early shift and was at mom and dad's house when I hear my friend's motorcycle come roaring around the curve and pull in front of the house. I look out the window and here is MY MOM getting off the back and handing Alistair his spare helment. Now my mom was not old by any means (I now consider 50 young and she was not even close to that), but all I can remember thinking is "Oh great, what are the neighbors going to think!" For my dad's 75th birthday she bought him an ATV. Then for his other gift she bought herself one, too. They ride them all over in the desert in Arizona.

My mom was and always will be a rebel. She married my dad, moved to Germany, then moved 3000 miles from her home out to California, and many miles from her family. She raised 5 kids as a SAHM (stay at home mom), and while we may not be the rebel she is, we turned out pretty darn good. We may not have had the most money in the world, but we had a beautiful home, a wonderful school and church, a swimming pool, dogs and cats, bikes, friends galore, and a mom who loved life to the max. Growing up we knew better than to eat our lunch on April 1. Pity the poor fool who traded with us. Soap covered in chocolate, love notes between the ham and cheese were standard for the tricky mom. My dad got even worse, he had no one to trade with for his tricks. Lets see, one year she ironed a hole in his hanky and when he went to blow his nose there was nothing in the middle. I still like the year she sewed his fly shut on his dress pants, with the sewing machine.

My mom is still full of it, life I mean. She is a little older now (I now consider 80 middle age) but you would not know it. She volunteers at the thrift store, makes cards for the Chemo Angels ( She is a Chemo Angel for this organization ), serves up holiday dinners for the homeless, and any other thing she can do to help someone out. For her 80th birthday the kids are going in on her gift. We are going to get her a tattoo! Yup, my mom the rebel.

Now they tell me we will be getting snow next week! So much for "going out like a lamb". Well, at least we still have April 1st to look forward to. I wonder who my mom is making lunch for?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What Do You Know About Liquid Oils?

By definition liquid is one of 3 states of matter. The other 2 are solid and gas. We talked about solids and in soap making I don't use gas, well maybe natural gas for the stove. A liquid is a fluid where the the molecules are bound temporarily allowing it to flow. A liquid assumes the shape of but does not always fill every space in a container, forms it own surface, does not compress, and does not always mix with another liquid. Liquid particles are able to move around one another freely because they are bound firmly but not rigidly. Upon boiling the bond breaks and the liquid turns to gas. Decrease the temperature and the molecules lock into a specific order, the bonds become more rigid, and the liquid crystallizes.

An oil is any substance that is liquid at room temperatures, has a high carbon and hydrogen content, is non polar, and does not mix with water. All oils can be traced back to organic sources and include vegetable, essential, and petrochemical oils.

I use vegetable oils in soap. Vegetable oils are lipid materials composed of triglycerides and come from plants. This is the general structure of a triglyceride.

Factoring the properties of oils determines which ones a soap maker will use in their formula. You find most of the oils lend a conditioning property to bars of soap and condition the skin.

I use some or all of the following oils to make a bar of soap. The percentages used by different soap makers are personal, they come upon them by research and by trail and error until they make the "perfect" bar, and that is what makes that bar of soap your favorite.

Castor Oil A colorless to very pale yellow liquid with mild or no odor or taste, Castor Oil is obtained from the bean of the Castor Plant, Ricinus Communis. It is a triglyceride in which approximately ninety percent of fatty acid chains are Ricinoleic Acid, the fatty acid that gives soap its conditioning and fluffy, stable lather. Due to its low molecular weight it penetrates deep into the outer layer of the skin. It also acts as a humectant, a hygroscopy substance, meaning it has the ability to attract water molecules from the surrounding environment.

Olive Oil Olive oil is obtained from the Olive (Olea europaea; family Oleaceae) Tree. It is composed mainly of the mixed triglyceride esters of oleic acid and palmitic acid. It is produced by grinding olives and extracting the oil by mechanical or chemical means. It is an excellent moisturizer as it attracts external moisture to the skin while still allowing the skin to perform normal functions.

Rice Bran Oil Rice bran oil is the oil extracted from the germ and inner husk of rice. It contains a range of fats with 42% Oleic and 39% Linoleic, which give it it's conditioning properties. It has a long and successful history in Japan as a base for soaps and skin creams and is purported to reverse the effect of aging by slowing the formation of facial wrinkles thanks to rice bran oil's rich concentration of Vitamin E and gamma-oryzanol, a mixture of plant chemicals called sterols and ferulic acid esters.

The oils pictured above are some I use in lotions and lotion sticks, butters and balms. They are 1 gallon size and some have a short shelf live so I either use them up quickly or keep in the fridge. The oils I use in soap making I buy in 5 gallon pails. You know you have made it in the soap making world when you buy these oils in 55 gallon drums. That is my goal.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Life Is Full Of Small Journeys

As I woke up this morning to a dark, silent house I remember why I am not a big fan of daylight savings time. I am an early riser thanks to working the graveyard shift for the last 14 years. I still finding myself waking up at 2 AM ready to start the day. Of course now there is no job to go to. I was laid off Oct. 12, 2009 from my job of 6 years. Before that I worked at the same casino for 26 years. I don't like to change places of employment. I guess I like the security. Now I am unemployed and jobs are hard to come by in this economy. I guess that is not a big surprise to anyone.

But.....being home in the morning has it rewards. I have a 16 year old daughter. I have never been home in the mornings to get her ready for school. Her dad and I thought we were doing the best thing for her by working different shifts so she would always be with us and not at a daycare for 10 hours a day. I never woke her up, made her breakfast, fixed her lunch, combed her hair, walked her to the bus stop. I missed a lot the last 14 years. She would get herself up, dressed and ready to go, make her own breakfast and lunch, and walk to the bus stop by herself. I am making up for it now. I set my alarm 5 minutes before her alarm is set to go off and turn on the heater. I make her breakfast and bring it to her in bed. I make her lunch, start her car, scrape her windshield, and turn on her headlights. I kiss her goodbye and wish her a wonderful day. And I LOVE it. I believe a kid's job when they are young is to get good grades in school (as good as their ability allows), do the chores that make them a part of the family, and have fun. I think my daughter does that.

Here is her lunch today.

A turkey sandwich with mustard and avocado on a french roll, nacho tortilla chips, lemon bar, kiwi fruit, juice box.

That leads us to another journey. When first starting my soap making 9 years or so ago, I built a web site. It was not a very good one so I looked for ways to improve it. I found a free SEO (search engine optimization) class on Yahoo given by Cricket Walker. It was incredible. Cricket is also a fantastic blogger with some of the best pictures I have ever seen. I did learn a lot from her and she has since moved on to v7n forum It is full of "what to do" info about working on and with the world wide web.

Cricket has another group called "the coffee shop" that was related to the SEO group but it was only to get to know each other, not work shop. It was here that I learned about "The Pioneer Woman", Ree. She is a blogger that when I first started reading her had 200 to 2000 comments on her funny tales of ranch life in Oklahoma. The last time she had a contest there were almost 40,000 comments. She has some great contests. Her story "Black Heels to Tractor Wheels" has just been picked up by Columbia Pictures and rumor has it they want Reese Witherspoon to play Ree. It is quite a story and has been so fun to follow Ree all these years. It's like having your little sister make it big.

So.....from there I traveled to The Tasty Kitchen It is the offspring of Confessions of A Pioneer Woman. It is a community of cooks of all sizes and talents that share everything you wanted to know about food. It was here that I found BareFootBelle and her blog with this tasty little dish Now if there is one thing my daughter and I love more than anything, it is lemons. So I had to make this last night. AND it is so YUMMY I am having it for breakfast too.

In fact there isn't much left, but I did put some in dear daughter's lunch.

Life is full of small journeys. What are some of yours?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Solid at Room Temperature

Oils and Butters that is. There are several favorites among soap makers. They are tried and true and consistent.

Palm Oil comes from the the oil palm family and is extracted from both the pulp of the fruit (palm oil) and the kernel (palm kernel oil).

It is one of the few highly saturated vegetable fats and a natural source of palmitic fatty acids. This makes it ideal for soap making as it adds conditioning properties as well as making a hard bar with stable lather. It a solid oil at room temperature except in warmer climate where it appears as a liquid.

Palm Oil cultivation is a controversial topic. It is a valuable economic crop which allows small landholders to share in the profits, but it is also causes damage to the natural environment. To make way for the palm oil plantations forests may be cut down, loss of endangered species may occur, and there can be an increase in gas emissions. In Indonesia and Malaysia forests are cut down and bogs are drained. The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil is trying to address the problem. This international organization consists of the palm oil producers and distributors who promote environmental friendly farming of sustainable Palm Oil. All the suppliers most soap makers use are responsible about using sustainable palm oil and are members of the RSPO.
Palm Oil is also used for bio fuel. The pictures are from the RSPO site.

Palm Kernel Oil oil is found in the kernel or the seed of the fruit of the palm tree, as opposed to Palm Oil which is from the flesh. The fatty acid composition of Palm Kernel Oil resembles coconut oil and is often used instead of, or addition to coconut oil.

Coconut Oil is a pure white solid oil. It is extracted from the kernel or meat of matured coconut harvested from the coconut palm.

It has a high amount of saturated fatty acids with a high melting point. It is very heat stable, slow to oxidize and resistant to rancidity. It gives soap a cleansing fluffy lather and used at a lower percentage is excellent as a skin moisturizer and softener. A bar of 100% Coconut Oil will even give a great lather in salt water.

Shea Butter is a light yellowish or ivory colored natural fat extracted from the seed of the African shea tree by crushing and boiling.

The tree starts bearing fruit when it is 10–15 years old and will continue to produce nuts for up to 200 years after reaching maturity. It is a complex fat containing many non-saponifiable components (substances that cannot be fully converted into soap by treatment with alkali). It melts at body temperature and is rapidly absorbed into the skin.

1. The outer pulp of the fruit is removed, then when dry the nut is separated from the outer shell. A social activity, this is done by Women Elders and young girls by break the shells with a small rock.
2. Shea nuts must be crushed. This is done with a mortar and pestle. It is very hard work with hours of lifting heavy pestles and slamming them down into the nuts so they can be roasted.
3. The crushed nuts are then roasted in huge pots over an open wood fire. Stirred constantly with a wooden paddle so they don't burn, it is hot, smoky work, done under the sun. This is where shea butter gets the slight smoky smell.
4. The roasted shea nuts are ground into a paste.
5. The paste is then kneaded by hand in large basin where water is gradually added to separate out the butter oils. The butter oils are curd like and float. They are taken and the excess water is squeezed out.
5. The butter oil curds are then melted in large open pots over a slow fire. A period of slow boiling will remove any remaining water, which boils off as steam.
6. The shea butter, which is creamy or golden yellow at this point, is ladled off the top of the pot and put in a cool place to harden.

The process for making shea butter is long. It can take 20 to 30 hours of labor to produce one kilogram of handcrafted shea butter. A woman working 30 hours a week may not even make $1.00 for her efforts. Buying from a supplier of Fair Trade Handcrafted Shea Butter insures the women who process the shea butter receive a fair price for their labor.

Our supplier is

Thursday, March 18, 2010

What Comes After The Lye?

Remember when we talked about "Saponification"? Saponification means "soap making". The root word, "sapo", is Latin for soap. It is the chemical reaction that occurs when a vegetable oil or animal fat is mixed with a strong alkali, in this case Sodium Hydroxide. The final products of the reaction are soap and glycerin.

From the Chemistry web page this is the chemical structure.

They also comment that in the industrial manufacture of soap once the saponification reaction is done the glycerol is removed.
They remove all the naturally-occurring glycerin so it can be sold separately. Why? Greater profit. An important difference between most commercial soap and my hand made soap is that I leave the glycerin in and it retains its natural moisturizing property.

I use all vegetable oils in my soap. I tried many different formulas over the years until I found one that is mild yet cleansing. I like a soap with a lot of lather, so that is what I make. I do not have to use any lotion when using my soap, and that is saying a lot here in Nevada, dry skin capital of the world.
Vegetable fats and oils are lipid materials derived from plants, extracted primarily from seeds. They are composed of triglycerides. For making soap you want a variety of oils and choose them for the properties they bring to the finished product.

Lauric Acid is also called Dodecanoic Acid.

It is solid at room temperature, has a long shelf live, and is believed to have antimicrobial properties. It is found in human, cows, and goats milk. It is also found in coconut and palm kernel oil and helps to create a hard, cleansing bar of soap with fluffy lather.

Myristic Acid is also called Tetradecanoic Acid CH3(CH2)12COOH and is a common saturated fatty acid.

It is found in nutmeg butter, palm oil, coconut oil, and butter fat. It helps make a hard and cleansing bar of soap also.

Palmitic Acid or Hexadecanoic Acid CH3(CH2)14COOH is one of the most common saturated fats found in plants.

It is found in Palm and Palm Kernel Oil. It helps to create a hard bar of soap with a stable lather.

Steric Acid or Octadecanoic Acid C18H36O2, or CH3(CH2)16COOH is a saturated fatty acid that is found more in animal fat than vegetable fat, except for Shea Butter, which I use, whose fatty acids consist of up to 45% steric acid.

Stearic makes a hard bar of soap with stable lather.

Ricinoleic Acid (12-hydroxy-9-cis-octadecenoic acid)is an unsaturated omega-9 fatty acid that naturally occurs in mature Castor Plant Seeds.

It creates a conditioning, fluffy, and stable lather.

Oleic acid or elaidic acid CH3(CH2)7CH=CH(CH2)7COOH is a mono-unsaturated omega-9 fatty acid found in various animal and vegetable sources.

Oleic means related to oil or olive. It is Olive Oil and makes a very conditioning soap.

Linoleic Acid is a polyunsaturated fatty acid. It is abundant in many vegetable oils found in the lipids of cell membranes, especially in Rice Bran Oil.

Linoleic Acid makes a conditioning bar of soap. Research points to linoleic acid's anti-inflammatory, acne reductive, and moisture retentive properties when applied topically on the skin and has become very popular in the skin care industry.

So that is my soap formula. Easy as pie. I make a soap that is high in conditioning and had soft, creamy bubbles. Oh yes, it also cleanses. Try it, you'll love it and never go back to store bought cleansers again.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Something Else I Do In My Spare Time

Many years ago I used to go to the Candy Dance in Genoa, Nevada.
That was before I became a vendor. One of the first years my daughter and I went I stopped by a booth and could not believe my eyes. There were row after row of "corn dollies" hanging on hooks. They were all made from wheat. As I walked through the booth I was fascinated by the wheat dolls, wall hangings, and baskets. I found one wall hanging, a house blessing, that I could not live without. I asked my dear daughter if she would like one for her room. After looking around she told me "no." So I bought my wheat weaving and brought it home and hung it on the wall. After a week or so it disappeared and I found it hanging in my daughter's room, "to bless it" she said. It hung there for years. The next year while at the Candy Dance I spent a whole day looking for the vendor, they never came back. Was I the only one that loved this ancient art form of honoring Mother Earth and all the goodness she brings?

Fast forward a few years to my pottery days. While in the library reading pottery books I stumbled on a........yup you guessed it, a Wheat Weaving book. I brought the book home, followed some of the links to online sites and enjoyed my journey into the wheat world. I ordered a kit from one of the sites, made my house blessing and being the craft addicted personality type, I ordered 50 pounds of wheat from North Dakota.

I still have a little wheat. I have made many weavings, large and small. There is something about working with your hands that I just love. The repetition of the stitches, the cat batting the wheat pod as I work. I love it.

This is my latest creation. I have her for sale at Three Rooms Gallery-Felix Pottery. I am going to list her on Etsy and Artfire, too.

She is Earth Mother. Many ancient wheat woven designs were born from a belief in an Earth Mother and in this design the elements of primitive African and Indo-European Earth Mother figures are combined.

For more information on Wheat Weaving see these sites.

and of course the book I found.

Friday, March 12, 2010

This Is A Cool Thing To Do With Your Pictures

A blogger that I read, Cathy, takes incredible pictures. A friend painted a picture from one of her photos. Take a look, it is breathtaking.

She wrote about a Japanese site that ages your photos 100-150 years. It is very fun, and it is free!

This is the view from my front room.

This year my daughter decorated the Christmas Tree. I think she did a great job!

Three Rooms Gallery-Felix Pottery store Downtown Gardnerville

Our kitty, Killer. We miss him so.

It is a lot of fun. Try it.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

What Do You Do If You Are An Athlete Without Legs?

Why you play Sitting Volleyball, of course.

Sitting Volleyball was first played in the Netherlands in 1956. It is now played in more than 60 countries. By eliminating jumping and putting all players on an even playing field Club Sitting Volleyball can be played by anyone, both disabled and able-bodied. It was demonstrated during the 1976 Paralympic Games in Canada, was included in competition at the 1980 Paralympic Games in the Netherlands, and has been in every Paralympic Games since. The USA entered its first team in the Games in 1984. In 2004 the USA Men's team finished 6th and the Women's Team finished 3rd.

To be a member of the USA National Sitting Volleyball Team or to qualify for the Paralympics athletes must have a physical disability. This includes athletes who have major muscle loss, knee tears, knee or hip replacements, polio, or loss of an arm or leg.

I was at the Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver this past week at the Colorado Crossroads Volleyball Tournament where I had the pleasure to watch the Men's USA Sitting Volleyball Team play against Canada and Brazil. It was quite exciting to watch these skilled athletes play. Even the warm ups were incredible to watch. Pushing with their arms, rolling all over the court to reach the balls, stretching higher than some people can jump, these men are an inspiration. Never give up on your dreams, just make them happen.

The USA and Brazil team before the final game.

Stretching, warm ups, and signing autographs.



The Kill!

The USA Men's Team came in second in this tournament, losing to Brazil. I was so impressed with the way the team played the game and the crowd. Talking to the spectators, signing autographs, having their pictures taken, the whole team showed their spirit and pride in their accomplishments. They don't let a little thing like losing an arm or a leg stop them from reaching their goals. I want to be just like them.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Times Are Tough, But What If

Everyone followed the 3/50 Project whenever possible?

The 3/50 Project is one that starts with you.

Think of a store here in Gardnerville that you have shopped in and found the perfect gift, pair of pants, candle, or bar of SOAP :). Remember walking into that store and being greeted with a smile, asked how you are, can I help you find anything question, I am here if you need any help. Now can you think of 3 of them? I sure can. Would you miss them if they disappeared?

Now $50 isn't a drop in the bucket these days. With the economy still trying to make a rebound times are still a little (or a lot) tough. But.....what if 1/2 of the employed people in the United States spent $50 each a month in a locally owned business? It would generate over 40 billion dollars in revenue. What if only 1/4 of the people did it? Or if everyone spent $25 a month. I spend that on candy every month. Yes I buy it at a local store, but what if I spent that $25 at a small local business to show my support and let them know that I appreciate them.

For every $100 spent in locally owned business $68 returns to the community. Spending the same amount at a chain store returns $43 dollars, and shopping online returns NOTHING.

Main Street Gardnerville, NV has 10 reasons to shop local.

1. Local taxes from spending your money helps fund local police and fire departments.

2. Local merchants contribute to local organizations. I know I give to many non-profit organizations every time they ask. I run the raffle for the Douglas High School Volleyball Team Fundraiser, The Mud Fest Volleyball Tournament and I asked over 50 local business for donations. Do you know how many I got. Over 40. Now that is community involvement!

3. Shopping keeps more cars off the road, less pollution.

4. Taxes from businesses pay for road improvements.

5. By supporting local merchants your keep them employed and help increase their income. Then they can come to your restaurant to eat, or buy your house, or have you landscape their yard. In short, they can shop local too.

6. Shopping local is a chance to see your friends! Keep in touch and see and meet others that live in Gardnerville.

7. When you buy from a local business you are talking to the owner most of the time. What a great way to get good customer service.

8. The tax dollars paid to the town from the local businesses pay for the up keep of our beautiful parks right here in town.

9. Money spent local keeps our economy strong and creates jobs. Wouldn't it be nice if every kid who wanted one could get a part time job local and pay for their own gas and insurance? Wouldn't it be nice not to have to drive the HWY 395 corridor to Carson City just to make a few bucks? Just the time saved would give them time to get a lot more homework done!

10. By shopping local you take ownership in your community.

Invest in your future and make this community yours! Shop Local!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Thank You Carson Valley

Monday night's Block D Memorial Scholarship Dinner was a great success. I just love this community. The people that live in this area remind me of my parent's neighborhood, a place where everyone knew your name. They cared about you and your family. If one of yours was hurt, they hurt too. They would do anything in their power to lend a helping hand.

This community showed last night how much they cared by giving their support to the High School Athletes of Douglas High School. This dinner was for them in honor of the many athletes we have lost over the past 10-15 years.

Mr Ernie Monfiletto, Block D Advisor, informed us that over 400 tickets were sold for the dinner.

A raffle with fantastic prizes was also held. Tickets to a Giants Game, tickets to a 49ers game, a year boosters pass, golfing at Edgewood Golf Course, and a Senior Portrait Package by Stebel Photography were just a few of the prizes. Over $9000 was raised last year by this event and Block D's other fund raisers. It could not happen without you. Because of you a child that wants to play high school sports can, even if they can not afford the new shoes or equipment needed. Because of you a young adult can continue on to higher education because they were given a helping hand. It turns this community into a village that helps raise our children by giving them opportunities they might not have had otherwise. Give yourselves a big pat on the back. I am so proud of you all!

A big thank you to Mrs. Kerry Stack and her Culinary Arts Classes for the spaghetti dinner. The food was delicious and I didn't have to cook!

The Floriculture class, guided by teacher Allyson Lammiman, provided the beautiful table centerpieces.

The Booster Club manned the Beverage Table.

The PTSO was in charge of taking and selling tickets at the door. This is me working my fingers to the bone.

And last but for sure NOT LEAST the Block D members.

They pre-sold tickets, decorated the hall, set up tables and chairs, manned the buffet line, bussed the tables, sold the raffle tickets, cleaned the tables, tore down and put away the tables and chairs, mopped the floors, AND cleaned the restrooms. Then they went out and played a game of basketball. Not bad for a nights work.