Stadium to Momento

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In May of this year, the Ganado Stadium was demolished to make way for a brand-new one, complete with metal bleachers and a turf field.

I don’t know how long that old stadium, with it’s wooden bleachers and grassy field that was always a little too dry, was there before, but it was a long time. Throughout those years, hundreds, if not thousands, of people made memories and connections to this field.

Football players of all ages, cheerleaders and mascots, band nerds, runners, jumpers, coaches, sponsors, parents and grandparents, newspaper journalists, maintenance workers and landscapers, volunteers, burger masters, out-of-town spectators, and so many others have ties to this place.

So when it went down, we made sure it wasn’t forgotten.

 

Before and after the demolition that took place May 2018.

A few days after it happened, my dad called me saying he loaded up an entire trailer with the scrap wood from the bleachers. After all, it’s just sitting there. It doesn’t surprise me that the workers just left the wood in a massive pile to rot, but I was a little surprised to hear my dad rattle off all kinds of ideas to turn this wood into treasure.

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This was our chunk of the bleachers, and to think, this is hardly a fraction of what’s still just sitting up there!

We ended up coming up with a little project that was both personal and meaningful, while not being too personal and custom that we were able to make a bunch of people happy in a short amount of time. That project? Picture boards:

 

I cut the long stadium seats into roughly 12″ x 12″ (some pieces are a bit longer, some boards are two inches thick, some are one inch… they’re all different, just like our memories there). Next I sanded the edges to get rid of any jagged edges and to smooth it out a touch, and then I took a wire brush to it to take off a bunch of the dirt and saw dust.

The first ones I made are the ones on the left that keep the natural wood as the background. I used my Cricut to cut the arrows and tee-pees out of white cardstock (my own designs, which you can buy on Etsy. See the Digital Designs tab above.) To get them on smoothly, I used Mod Podge. To complete the front, I glued two small clothes pins, so people can hang two pictures, newspaper clippings, programs, or whatever they want to on the stadium seat. Lastly, I attached a small baggie that contained one sawtooth hanger and some nails so that people can install it portrait or landscape (graphics allowing) and a small tag that reads “Ganado Stadium ~2018~”

The next round was to use up the handful of white ones that I’d made originally that didn’t sell too hot. To make these, I started off the same way of course: cut, sand, brush off. Then I took chalk paint (because of its matte finish) and brushed on an uneven, shabby coat. Then I cut out the maroon arrows and a maroon “G,” as our colors are maroon and white, and Mod Podged them onto the front. Lastly, I attached the clothespins, hangers, and tags.

So far, they’ve been selling like hotcakes, and I’m so super thrilled about it! I know how it feels to have a little piece of your memory like that; I’m an avid NASCAR fan and when Daytona was repaved a few years back, my mom got me a piece of the track with a little certificate of authenticity and everything. I’d never been to Daytona, but I had a huge appreciation and respect for that track. I’m honored to own a piece of history, and I know that everyone who has a stadium seat feels the same way. It’s a part of our history.

 

I have my own memories there, and plenty of them (not all of them good either!)

I was drum major of our marching band for three years. I have spent countless hours conducting in those bleachers, yelling at people who did stupid stuff, and laughing with all my band nerds whom I loved dearly. The best band memory was my sophomore year. The show was tropical themed, so thanks to me, my co-drum major, two band directors, and I wore these towering flamingo hats. Best show ever.

I ran track there for a couple years, too, even though I wasn’t very good. I think I ran my record mile time here, though.

Heck, even if you didn’t run track, every Ganado athlete has died on this track and in these bleachers: sprints, burpees, gassers, Monday Miles, bleachers, and power laps.

The power lap… For those who missed out on those good old days, it’s where you started outside the gate of the track and ran around it, up and down all the sections of the home stands, went back onto the track behind the scoreboard, then up and down all the sections of the visitor stands. Fun stuff.

Seriously though, it wasn’t all that bad. Point is, so many of us have sweat, cried, bled (I literally saw a guy’s foot go through one of the bleacher seats, which explains why we’re getting a new one), laughed, lost, and won in this stadium.

 

So I posted this on Facebook for a reason…

I usually don’t share my blog posts on Facebook, but I did today in the hopes that my Ganado people will read this and share their memories of the stadium in the comments, either on the website or on Facebook.

Since selling these, I’ve already had a couple people share their stories with me, and I love them. I just love them! Especially the ones from back in the day, when it was just a different time.

So please, if you’d like, tell us your story! Mine’s flamingo hats and broken steps. What’s yours?

Coat Racks

How we (okay, Dad) make coat racks with railroad nails.

CANVA Coat Rack with Railroad Spikes

This ain’t no rinky-dink Etsy craft. 

This is a coat rack made with old wood and railroad nails, and one of my favorite things that we sell. It’s so unique, and so much work goes into it, particularly regarding the nails. First of all, we have to get the nails. Dad is an ace at picking them up. He goes to the railroad tracks (usually in La Ward), and just picks the loose nails up off the tracks. That right there is what makes these racks so darn special.

Trains will always be a part of m, as annoying as they are. Several times a day for years, I’d hear that whistle blow. I never thought anything of it until I moved away. Now, whenever and wherever I hear a train whistle, I feel a little pang of homesickness. I’m sure the same could be said of many other people.

 

First, we have to get the nails ready. They’re almost always rusty, and for once, the rust won’t fly. There are a couple of ways to get rid of rust. The easiest way is by soaking them in vinegar. The harder way is by grinding it off, which is what I did when my dad and I made these. I picked up the nail with some pliers and held it against the grinder till the most of the rust was off.

coat rack how to- the grinder

This is where things get hard. I don’t do this part!

We have to bend the nails. The only way to do this, obviously, is by heating them up. Lucky for us, my dad has a forge (he makes badass knives) and so many other toys that he has no problem heating up the nail and bending it. Then he plunges it in water to hasten the cooling process.

Once the nails are shaped to our liking and cool enough to work with, we paint them. The first time we made these, we used black and red spray paint.

While the paint dries, we make the boards.

We cut the boards to be 28 inches long. It sounds specific, but there’s a reason. In pretty much any house, the boards in the walls (the frame of the house) are 16 inches apart. That’s where you have to put on the back teeth or hooks that hang the rack on the wall, since you can’t just put it in the sheetrock, especially something this heavy. That said, you want to center the front of the rack relative to those measurements, so you figure one nail in the center, then on either side of that one, you place a nail about 8 inches from that center one.  That leaves 6 inches on either side of those two nails to the edges.

It’s important to keep this in mind when making anything heavy like this. Like I said, if you want to hang it on the wall, make sure you put the hangers on the back of it 16 inches apart, like this:

Also, if the wood is untreated, make sure you treat it by brushing it with oil on all sides, including edges. It protects the wood and covering it on all sides prevents cracking. If it’s treated wood, like this barn wood we went and got from a torn down barn out at my uncle’s, you don’t need to treat it, but spraying it down with clear spray paint or decoupage will help set any chipping paint.

 

Moving on from our carpentry lesson.

 

The boards are prepared, and the paint is dry. Now it’s time to assemble. Once again, I don’t really do this part!

If you know how to drill, you’ll know what to do, but I’ll go over it anyway. First, drill a hole into the nail first with the power drill. Then, once everything is measured out, screw it in.

Teachable moment: when nailing or screwing anything in, be sure to cut the ends off in the back. It’s dangerous to leave them poking out.

 

That’s it! From big ass rusty nails to a beautiful rustic coat racks with materials you can’t find anywhere else.

 

As always, thank y’all for reading and learning, and may God bless y’all!

 

~Hannah ❤

 

Beaches

This is “Making With Texas,” so I am going to talk more about Texas. Think of this as a travel piece, if you will, because by the end, you’ll want to hit the beach.

 

 

 

I grew up on the Gulf Coast, but not literally on the coast, with beaches in my backyard, which is essentially what this post is about. Take a minute, though, and pray for these places. In 2017, they were hit very, very hard by Hurricane Harvey. I was lucky enough to have been further inland, but these beautiful places were not so lucky. But hey, they’re in Texas, so of course they will bounce back!

Texas Beaches

Port Aransas

Port Aransas is my favorite beach. Not because it’s breathtakingly picturesque or the ultimate paradise, but it’s where we’d go when I was a kid when we went to the beach for real.

Port A is just north of Corpus Christi- right across the water, actually. It’s accessible by ferry-which I think is always fun- and is such a lovely beach. The sand isn’t full of shells or seaweed (though they are present). It’s clean and, well, sandy. Not like clay. The water is fresh and salty, not too murky or dirty. They even have an ice cream truck (or they did the last time I was there). An ice cream truck!

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Corpus Christi

Let’s keep it in the area and talk about Corpus Christi. Not just the beaches, but the city as well. The beach is nice, but the last time I was there I was swimming with a bull shark. I suppose that can happen anywhere, though! I like Corpus for more than its beach, frankly. I love the U.S.S. Lexington. It’s a carrier docked in the bay that you can go tour. If you’re into history like me, especially World War II (I am obsessed with learning about WWII), then the Lexington is where you need to visit. The Texas State Aquarium is in Corpus, too, which is fun every single time. Everything from sharks to itty bitty seahorses are there to see. You can even pet the stingrays! Not to be forgotten among all of this is Harbor Bridge- it’s gorgeous at night, with its lights reflecting in the water. For food, head to Snoopy’s Pier. It survived Harvey!

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Rockport

Memories. My dad used to work in Rockport, so in the summer, we would sometimes drive down to see him and hang out on the beach. It’s my second-favorite beach, I’d say. Like Port A, in my opinion, it’s clean and pretty. Also, head down to Copano Bay for some fishing! Note, by the way, that Rockport, as well as these others, were hit hard by Harvey. We are Texas Strong for sure, but the love and prayers are always welcome.

 

Galveston

I haven’t been to Galveston, but I hear great things! I want to go. Not just to the beach either. There’s Kemah Boardwalk, for one. Galveston also is known for having some haunted locales, mostly because of the hurricane of 1900 that killed 8,000 people. So if you’re into fun in the sun, carnival rides, and ghosts, Galveston is the place to be.

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Those above are some of the bigger beaches. Those are the ones that a tourism pamphlet would point you to, but I’m going to take a minute to look at the beaches I frequent more often, even if they aren’t the prettiest.

 

Magnolia & Indianola

Magnolia Beach is not too far from Port Lavaca, if you know where that is. It isn’t great, but it’s free, not very crowded, and still fun. The sand has a lot of shells, but it’s not too bad. I’d go there before Rockport or something, if I just want to get out for the day.

About a minute down the road is Indianola, which has such a fascinating history. It was founded not long after Texas became a state, but in 1886, a major hurricane completely wiped out the city, killing nearly 100 people and levelling buildings. All that’s there now are a few bay houses and the towering monument of La Salle, who landed at Matagorda Bay in the 1600s.

Indianola has been good to me as far as crabbing and fishing are concerned! Might not be the best place to sunbathe, but certainly a nice spot for outdoorsy folks and history buffs.

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This is one crab (out of about a dozen) I caught one year during spring break.

 

Matagorda Beach

On the complete other side of this bay is Matagorda beach. It’s not a bad beach either, though sometimes it can be a little dirty, since the young folks like to party there sometimes. It isn’t free, but it isn’t much and worth it if you want to just get to the water!

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These last few places are like home to me. Places like Magnolia, Indianola, Matagorda, Port Alto, Olivia… it’s home. So you decide: go local or go tourist, or hell, do both!

 

Hope to see y’all there!

 

~Hannah ❤

 

 

 

***Images/logos are not mine. I don’t own them or have any part in them whatsoever, nor did I in anyway edit or change them. I just wanted some visuals for readers , visuals that I myself could not just “get.” I found them from the following sites via Google Image search:

PORT ARANSAS:
http://www.portaransas-texas.com/vacation-rentals/port-aransas-beachfront-condos

U.S.S. LEXINGTON:
https://usslexington.com/about-the-uss-lexington/12/

ROCKPORT:
http://www.texasescapes.com/Museums/Rockport-Texas-Maritime-Museum.htm

http://www.rockport-fulton.org/51-Things-To-Do

 

GALVESTON:
https://www.hotels.com/de1436079-st4/four-star-hotels-galveston-texas/

 

LA SALLE:
http://www.texasescapes.com/TexasGhostTowns/IndianolaTexas/IndianolaTx.htm

 

MATAGORDA:
https://www.tripadvisor.com/LocationPhotoDirectLink-g56243-d4302648-i178830830-Matagorda_Bay_Nature_Park-Matagorda_Texas.html

 

HEADER:
http://matagordabaytexas.com/

Crafty, Nifty Content for Discontented Crafters

For when you need to get your gears turning…

 

For the crafty folks out there…

  • Country Living Magazine

I don’t read it often, but when I do, I get so many ideas. It’s great. It has craft ideas, decoration ideas, food, stories- everything I love. If I weren’t a student on a budget I would totally subscribe. If you aren’t subscribed already, or just want to browse every now and then, click here.

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  • Pinterest (duh?)

Pinterest is an Internet safe haven. For me, it is nothing but crafts, nice quotes, pretty pictures, decorating ideas, and recipes. It’s where I go for inspiration, thoughtless entertainment, and help around the house. When it doubt, don’t Google- Pinterest.

That reminds me… if you don’t already, follow us on Pinterest at Making With Texas!

 

  • I Love Texas on Facebook

They aren’t as crafty, but they have lots of stuff on their page. Several of my friends on Facebook follow it, including myself , obviously. They have history, tourist destinations, jokes, pretty pictures, and more. It’s a fun page to scroll through to plan vacations, have a laugh, or whatever. It’s just fun!

i love tx

 

 

For my friends who do markets and have other personal business ventures like that, this is for you. Not much to do with crafting, but with how to sell your crafts!

  • Being Boss Podcast

EMILY AND KATHLEEN

This is a podcast for creative entrepreneurs (in fact, those are the exact words they use when introducing the show every episode) hosted by Emily Thompson, web developer and owner of Indie Shopography, and Kathleen Shannon, branding expert and co-owner of Braid Creative. I love it so much! Every episode addresses some sort of business- or self-care-related topic, from broad topics like fear to very specific ones like SEO-optimization. As a bonus, the hosts are hilarious.

Find them on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts and at beingboss.club

 

 

  • Girlboss Media

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I have listened to the podcast GIrlboss Radio for a year now, but the new version just came out at the end of summer 2017. The podcast is hosted by Sophia Amoruso, the CEO of Girlboss Media and former CEO of Nasty Gal. Her podcast began as a more business-centered podcast and has evolved into more of a female-empowerment podcast, which is cool. Her media company, Girlboss Media, has grown into a site full of articles about women, business, beauty, self-care, and so much more. She and her team usually have some pretty solid content, however, I don’t necessarily agree with all of it. But, in Girlboss’s defense, that’s the exact sort of content they should be publishing, based on their audience. I know that going in, so if I read an article that advocates for something against my beliefs, I get over it and read something else that I will enjoy.

 

Where do y’all go for entertainment, news, and more?

 

Best,

~Hannah ❤

 

***Images/logos are not mine. I don’t own them or have any part in them whatsoever, nor did I in anyway edit or change them. I just wanted some visuals for readers , visuals that I myself could not just “get.” I found them from the following sites via Google Image search:

COUNTRY LIVING: http://www.countryliving.com/life/a5634/editors-letter-rachel-hardage-barrett/

I LOVE TEXAS: https://www.facebook.com/ilovethegreatstateoftexas/

BEING BOSS: https://beingboss.club/

GIRLBOSS MEDIA: https://www.girlboss.com/

Top 5 Texas Hill Country State Parks & Natural Areas

My favorite  outdoors-y spots in the Hill Country, just in time for summer.

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The family and I love being outside, whether it be fishing at the river, sitting by the fire in our backyard, or hiking in New Mexico.

Since I go to school in Austin, I take advantage of the nearby Hill Country to go hiking and sightseeing at the numerous state parks and natural areas. I never get bored looking at the limestone, little critters running around, and clear waters. I think Texas is beautiful, and I’m glad we have so many preserved natural areas.

I like to think I’ve been to enough parks now that I am somewhat credible when it comes to recommendations, so just in time for summer, I made a short list of my favorite places. I ranked them based on how unique their attractions are, the abundance of activities in the park, and things to do outside the park in surrounding cities.

5. Jacob’s Well

Wimberly, Texas

Fees: free to look, $9 to swim

jacob's well

Jacob’s Well is a fully submerged cave in Cypress Creek, which flows through the quaint town of Wimberly, just west of San Marcos, and feeds into the Blanco River. It serves as a spring, pumping out thousands of gallons of water every day at 68 degrees. As far as we’re concerned, it serves as a swimming hole!

It’s a truly fascinating place. It’s crazy to imagine that this pit (an over 1,000 foot cavern!) just formed naturally and so beautifully.

Besides swimming and sunbathing, there isn’t anything else to do at Jacob’s Well, which is why I put it at number five, but as I said, it is in Wimberly. In the little town is the cutest, most bustling town square with shops, restaurants, activities, and not far from downtown, a replica pioneer town. If Wimberly ins’t your thing, not far is San Marcos, with the San Marcos River, a huge outlet mall, and more. Up the interstate from San Marcos is Austin, which is a world of fun in its own right.

Also not far from Jacob’s Well is Hamilton Pool. It’s also another natural swimming hole- quite breathtaking. I kept it off the list for a couple reasons. One, it’s almost twice as much per person than Jacob’s Well. It’s also farther away from towns; Bee Cave (a town incorporated as a part of way, way west Austin) is about twenty minutes, Austin itself is another twenty or thirty, Dripping Springs is twenty or thirty, and the next closest town is probably Johnson City, unless you want to count Round Mountain, which is more of a community than a city. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go to Hamilton Pool though!!!

 

4. Hill Country State Natural Area

Bandera, Texas

Fees: $6/person, children 12 and under- free

This is my favorite, despite it being at number four. It’s my favorite because it’s so big, so free and rugged, and is in Bandera, which is one of my favorite towns in the world. It has forty miles of trails for hiking, biking, and even equestrian use. The trails are of various difficulties, from easy walks to challenging climbs. Camping is also available.

These are the pretty much the only activities, but for me, that’s enough. Forty miles of hiking and sightseeing. That’s enough to make me happy. Throw in how open it is and how relatively few people (in my experience) are there, it’s the perfect getaway.

As mentioned, it’s located near Bandera. Bandera is a very western town, embracing the cowboy culture. I love it. There are so many shops, events, and restaurants (my favorite is O.S.T.) to keep you busy. Also not far (okay, it’s a little bit of a drive but not really) is the Frio River. It is a Texas favorite. I go float it every year!

 

3. Enchanted Rock

Fredericksburg, Texas

Fees: $7/person, children 12 and under- free

My pictures don’t do it justice. Enchanted Rock is a massive limestone rock north of Fredericksburg and south of Llano. It’s a truly majestic sight. Majestic. Seeing such a huge, natural structure is astounding and even humbling.

Warning- it’s a climb. I’m pretty in shape and workout frequently, and I even had to take a second to catch my breath. Once you get to the top though, it makes it all worth it. Seeing Texas unfold before you for miles and miles is awe-inspiring.

Nearby is Fredericksburg with its unlimited entertainment and experiences. The shops downtown offer a wide variety of goods, from jellies to clothes to quilts to jewelry to bath bombs to books. There’s of course the prominent German culture there, so you have your choice of German cuisine. If you’re there at the right time, you could head out on 290 to the Market Days- three days of antiquing, junking, and shopping. Even if there is no market, head out on 290 anyway and hang a right to spend time in Luckenbach. No matter which direction you head in, you’ll for sure stumble across a winery.

If you go the other way towards Llano, you’ll be pleased. The drive is lovely and Llano has something to offer as well. They have a cute downtown, with a multitude of shops, and it is home to one of my favorite restaurants- Cooper’s Barbecue.

 

2. Colorado Bend State Park

Bend, Texas

Fees: $5/person, children 12 and under- free

Colorado Bend State Park is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. Located south of Lampasas and San Saba, west of Cherokee, and north of Llano, this over-5,000 acre park is home to Gorman Falls. It’s a sixty-foot, natural, “living” waterfall. It took centuries to form. The groundwater underground is dissolving the limestone. The dissolved limestone comes up to the surface where the calcite gets deposited. This is called Travertine. Because it’s so rich in nutrients and good stuff, that green cascading vegetation is able to grow.

Gorman Falls transported me to a fairy land. It’s gorgeous! It’s so hard to believe such a thing is even real. It’s pretty treacherous to get to, too.

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You’ve got to scale down these rocks to get to the falls. It’s worth it, but also quite intimidating!

Besides Gorman Falls, Colorado Bend State Park has plenty to do, including camping, fishing, paddling, cave exploration, swimming, biking, and hiking. The park has 35 miles of hike and bike trails. I only managed to hike 6 when I was there.

In terms of things to do beyond the park, there isn’t a great deal. At least nothing in close proximity. Llano is nearby. Cherokee is a small community close by as well, with a tempting barbecue joint in a barn. You could also drive up to Lampasas or San Saba, both twenty-thirty miles from Bend. If you’re feeling adventurous, Austin is about two hours. In my opinion, however, I think the park offers plenty to do that you could spend at least a weekend seeing new things and doing numerous activities.

 

  1. Pedernales Falls State Park

Johnson City, Texas

Fees: $6/person, children 12 and under- free

pedernales (2)

I love this park so much. It was one of the first parks I visited up here. It’s only about 30 miles west of Austin, and a hop, skip, and a jump from Dripping Springs and Johnson City.

The park is centered around the Pedernales River and displays the breath-taking Pedernales Falls. No, it’s not a sixty-foot waterfall, but it’s a vast landscape of limestone pits and crevices, where the cold clear water rushes, flows, and makes its way downstream. It’s one of the most unique things I’ve ever seen, natural or otherwise. I’ve been to Europe, so that’s saying something.

The park has so much to do. They have around 20 miles of hike, bike, and equestrian trails. There’s even a trail where you have to cross the river, without a bridge. You’ve actually got to take off your shoes (or not, I guess) and wade across. It was fun! They also have places for swimming, paddling, and camping.

pedernales (1)

 

Get out there! Happy hiking, biking, riding, swimming, kayaking, or camping. May you revel in the beauty of the Texas Hill Country!

Be safe and have a great summer!

 

~Hannah ❤

 

Sources:

http://www.co.hays.tx.us/jwna.aspx

https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/hill-country

https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/enchanted-rock

https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/colorado-bend

https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/pedernales-falls

 

All photos in this post are mine. If used, I and/or this site must be given credit.

It’s Small Business Week!

It's Small Business Week.png

This week is all about celebrating and supporting local small businesses, as well as giving entrepreneurs a kick in the butt and a pat on the back. Whether you’re a shopper or a dreamer, we have a couple of ideas to help you get in the spirit of Small Business Week.

As for us, we’re going to be celebrating Small Business Week by talking about Small Business Week. I know I’d be nowhere without the support of others. Yes, they buy my stuff, but they help me build this thing. Just this weekend, three ladies just gave me stuff to help grow my business. Others go out of their way to buy something, driving miles to come pick up something. All the while, folks are texting me ideas, making loving comments on Facebook pictures, or liking my page.

Not just that, but I’ve been employed by two small businesses. Their existence has helped me, well, exist happily and prosperously.

Supporting your small businesses with your wallet and your heart sends out a huge communal ripple effect: they hit their bottom line, you get something unique, you make friends, you employ more friends, and you improve your community as a whole.

So what can you do?

For the shoppers:

Small Business Week is April 30-May 4

 

For the dreamers, who have a creative drive, a desire to take control, who march to the beat of their own drum:

Small Business Week is April 30-May 4 (1)

 

For stats and information on just how big a deal small businesses are, go to the Small Business Association site.

 

Thanks to all who are supporting small businesses and best of luck to those wanting to start one!

Bless!

~H