All Natural Glycerin Soap!
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I haven’t written for awhile and this time what I am going to write about has nothing to do with Full Cycle Soap. It is about something that touched my heart and encouraged me to spend some time counting my blessings, something I could do a lot more often.
A couple of weeks ago I received a small envelope in the mail. It was the size of one of those envelopes that invitations are mailed in. I immediately did a thought check for upcoming weddings or babies. Nothing. Then a sweet surprise. I pulled out a cute, little pink & black card. Inside were a gift card and the words “A Random Act of Kindness”. The gift card was to Michaels. Someone knew just what I would like and went to the trouble to go a ways to get it. I was touched. I was pleased. I was amazed because immediately a number of sweet, special people who might do this came to my mind. The more I thought the more I realized that my life is full of incredible, loving women who pour nourishment into my life. Some are quite young. Some are not quite so young. Some are not young at all. But, all are special and for some reason, they all seem to love me. I am blessed beyond words.
So why am I writing all this? Because if the day ever comes that you think a small act of kindness really can’t lift someone up or brighten their day or maybe even change their life……..please, think again.
I have a thing about products made in the USA. Actually, if I was truthful, which I try to be, I have a bigger thing against so much being made in China. It was reinforced recently when I saw a news story on July 4th. A woman had noticed a tag on the small American flag her children were waving. You guessed it! Made in China. The story continued with a visit to the USA company where flags are made. Not the little toy flags. The real flags displayed in prominent places around this country. Thank God, at least for that.
Now, I am not out to destroy the economy of China. Each country has quality items they could and should sell to other parts of the world. However,I do try hard to purchase as little from China as is possible. Sometimes I can get what I want or need and sometimes I can’t. Of course this means that I severely limit my spending dollars in certain big box stores. That part doesn’t bother me a bit because in my opinion, they are a part of the problem.
I think we have brought much of this on ourselves. Many would rather have twelve of a cheap foreign made item than three of a quality USA item even though three would be plenty. I grieve the loss of American industry. The USA, in various ways, gave our industry away. It’s time to get it back
I am not alone in my desire for USA made products. You can computer search on Made in USA and a list of shops and online products come up. More and more there are walk in shops that feature American made items opening up. To go one step further, I like to think local products. We discovered a small shop in our quest to market our Full Cycle Soap. It is called “Locally Made Shop” and it is located on Main Street in Leroy. Check out the web site. HYPERLINK "http://www.locallymadeshop.com/index.html" http://www.locallymadeshop.com/index.html I was surprised by the array of items in this shop. The pottery and woodcraft was particularly beautiful. Might just be worth the trip on a nice day, maybe on the way to one of the many festivals that also feature local crafts, foods and products.
Bob & I both like the idea of shopping at what we call “home grown” businesses. They are the businesses started and run by local folks. We are targeting some of these businesses as we begin our quest to market Full Cycle Soap. Our favorites are those that carry unique or made in America products.
We found one of the gems of the home grown businesses just a few weeks ago. It started with a Groupon. You know, one of those on line coupons. I love these things and, as I am a gardener, I couldn’t pass up the chance to get a deal on a new plant. The result was a trip to Salmon Creek Nursery in Brockport. http://www.salmoncreeknursery.com. We stopped on a warm Sunday afternoon and were greeted by the very friendly employee, Anita, and the very knowledgeable owner, Dave. We found out that they have been in business for over 40 years. Their plants are beautiful and reasonable and I acquired a new Hibiscus. We went inside to pay and found a wonderful old building full of antique farm equipment and interesting local products. This is our kind of place. Most impressive was the friendliness. We received all the help we needed, all the questions were answered, and there was no hurry or pressure to buy. Just real nice people.
At checkout, we were told about and invited to a wine tasting being held the next Sunday. We were more than willing to take advantage of a chance to spend another afternoon in such a pretty and peaceful place. That Sunday afternoon was one of those hot ones a couple of Sundays back. We arrived to find the back porch all set up with a tasting bar, wines from a local store, an abundance of tasty snacks and a very good acoustical guitar player. There were tables scattered about, some of them made of wood or stone by local artisans. Dave and his wife Grace were greeting guests, giving expert advice about trees, shrubs, plants and such. It appears that they have events such as this as treats for their customers. This is a place we will definitely visit again.
We are doing our first “event” next week end. We’re going to set up a display at a flea market being held at the Carriage Place Antique Co-op in Brockport. The co-op is owned by Betty and Gil Glidden and has been in business for many years. It has grown to be a big, busy shop. The booths there are always full of various venders and wares making it a fun and interesting place to visit. Gil & Betty have been friends of ours for a long time. We go back to the 80s when both families were involved in kart racing at the track in East Avon. Gil & Betty’s son Gil raced as an adult at the time our son was racing in the junior class. It made for fun times and long friendships. Check out their excellent web site and especially check out the upcoming flea market. http://www.thecarriageplaceco-op.com The market is on June 16th and is for the benefit of the local Boy Scout troop.
It’s been a long time since we have set up anything for a sale. About 15 years ago we spent some time going to auctions and buying fun and interesting stuff which we then attempted to sell at a couple of antique co-ops including the Carriage Place. During that time, we would take the flea market type items that came along with the better stuff and go either to the East Avon Flea Market or hold a sale in my parents’ yard during the Nunda Fun Days. We had some fun days with good sales and interesting customers and we had some rain and wind days that were not fun at all. Eventually we tired of the hassle and moved on to other things.
Those sales were easy to set up for. We’d gather some tables, tablecloths, shelves, etc, and just go set up. Old farm stuff, glassware, kitchen collectables, and misc. interesting items don’t take a lot of explaining. Now that we are marketing Full Cycle Soap, things have changed. We are presenting a new product, in a hopefully professional manner. Since Bob & I often look at things from very different directions, this is being a challenge. I expect that there will be fair amount of refining to be done. We would like it if any of you could drop by our booth and look us over. Tell us how you found out about us and we will be more than willing to listen to feed back on how we could best improve our presentation. Hopefully, the weather will be grand and it will be a beautiful day for ya’ll to come out.
Bob is making a trip to the manure lagoon this Saturday. He likes to call it the Golden Pond. I call it the Poop Pond. The town we live in has many more cows than people. Therefore, there is an abundance of these lagoons. Why, might you ask, would a sound minded person do such a thing on a Saturday morning? It’s all about the glycerin.
Glycerin is an interesting compound. It is also called glycerol, a colorless sweet viscous liquid derived from vegetable fats. It is a by-product of the soap-making process, which separates the glycerin from the fatty acids in the oil. The naturally-occurring glycerin stays in handmade soaps, but is usually removed from commercial soaps. Glycerin is a humectant that absorbs moisture from the air to keep hair and skin moist. It is also used as an emollient (skin softener), lubricant (skin lubricator that helps prevents moisture loss), emulsifier (thickener) and diluting agent in cosmetics. Glycerin is what makes natural liquid soap a strong degreaser.
Glycerin is also a byproduct of the production of biofuel from waste vegetable oil. Bob makes fuel for all three of our vehicles so there is a lot of glycerin byproduct. He makes Full Cycle Soap from some of the byproduct. It is a fine, rich dark brown, liquid soap which is an excellent all purpose cleaner. In this case, the soap making process starts out with the glycerin byproduct (a combination of glycerin, free fatty acids and residual soap) instead of the oils. The soap production proceeds by adding an alkali (lye), water and heat. However, unless someone orders a tanker truck of soap, there will always be a large quantity of glycerin to be dealt with. Hence the manure lagoon, the perfect place to dispose of this excess.
It turns out that another aspect of glycerin is that, when diluted, even with liquid manure, it can be used to enrich the soil. So, it’s not a matter of doing no harm. The glycerin is actually beneficial when applied to the soil along with the liquid manure. A local farmer friend is happy to have the glycerin and it gives Bob a close handy place for disposal. Of course, manure lagoons come with their own set of challenges. There is the smell and if anyone knows Pastor Mike, ask him about his boot sometime.
As for me, I don’t go near the Poop Pond. My job is to have lunch for Bob when he gets back and to clean his work clothes (using Full Cycle Soap), which is enough.