September 24, 2022

 

Fall the season of being thankful

The first day of fall was September 22, but down south we are still swarming in the 90-temperature zone around afternoon. We pretty much wait for that 70-degree weather to hit before we “welcome fall and surround our day with pumpkins, spice and lattes.

As someone who grew up where the temperatures can be much cooler this time of year, I sort of pretend like it’s 50 or 60 degrees.  I simply crank up the AC while wearing my flannel shirt and sit quietly in the morning enjoying my latte with honey.

It looks like next week might be when our temperatures will regress and I’m looking forward to it.

I mentioned in the past few weeks that I’ve been working at a local business. It’s been fun and while I've been busy creating displays and helping customers shop on Friday afternoon our concrete was poured at our property. 

Which means I’ve decided to step away from the 9 to 5 public eye and help my husband finish our home. My last day will be October 1st, in conjunction with a new season and it feels right. 

I’m ready to welcome back fall with open arms.

A time to get back to what's important

This will be a time to also nestle down and get centered on what the future holds. Perhaps uncover where I should be putting my effort and figure out, what is it that I really want to be doing.

I’ve been active for years and I've done a lot for other people over the course of my lifetime and for once, I’m taking a step back and looking at what would be pleasing for me. 

Writing is definitely going to be present because I find that my insight compared to the rest of the world is very different.  It's perhaps a little vintage and heavily rooted in nature.

I'm seeking what is good for my soul and most of all where does God want me to focus. I sort of already know but as I've watched doors open and close it's very clear that things happen in a certain order for a reason.

So, as I welcome back fall with warm colored pumpkins a little spice and warm lattes it’s my hope you do the same.  

Feed your soul with good and perhaps just before we enter winter, we will find ourselves on a path that is filled with the encouragement to shine bright.

-Carole

September 17, 2022

Flowers For Sale book review

Reading floral books is something that I’ve always enjoyed, and boy do I have my favorites. Flowers For Sale by Lee Sturdivant is my prize for anyone considering growing and marketing cut flowers.

I was given this book from a dear friend and in one of our moves, it got misplaced.  I never forgot about this book because it helped me when I decided to grow flowers for a season on our small farm.

Then a couple of years ago, I wanted to revisit flower farming for later. I thought it was a good time to gather information and this was the first book that came to mind but again, I couldn’t find it.

All that stuck in my head were these precious illustrations and the book title. After playing with words in the search bar there it was, and I quickly made my purchase.

When my new copy arrived, I read it again and remembered why I loved this book so much.  It was almost written in a story format making it less technical. 

Lee also lives on an island, just a ferry boat ride from where I grew up and many of her stories reminded me of the good things and they were relatable. It was like I was reading from a friend I’ve never met.

Flower farming and a wealth of information

A Wealth of Information

This book was written in 1992, the year my husband and I were married.  This was before the internet had its boom fest and way before smartphones.  This means so much of the marketing information is based on face-to-face interaction.

Old school marketing is my absolute favorite because it still applies and works best for long-term results. All other aspects of marketing also work well but they don’t have the same ability to connect like in person marketing.

The majority of her flower business was produced right from her backyard with a specialty in creating handtied bouquets.  With the importance of a business plan, she was able to make a good second income by selling her bouquets to an island grocery store.  All of which is covered in the book.

Then she also made the effort to interview additional flower farmers with successful businesses by sharing the avenues they traveled to succeed.

Flower farming has many aspects to it and how you choose to pursue a career in this field will depend on your level of interest.

Like I said, this book is a wealth of practical information.

From Florist to Farmer

I feel very fortunate in that I already have a background in the floral industry.  Which means my understanding towards the good, the bad and the ugly is crystal clear. 

The one thing I know for sure is that owning a flower shop is not a path I would ever entertain. Don’t get me wrong, I loved designing and I was good at it but all the nonsense that followed was uneventful.

But there is something inside of me that is drawn to flowers.  

So, when we lived on our family farm I dove right in and grew flowers for market one season.  It was the year 2011 when we had a horrible drought, and my dreams were shattered. I realized with the kids still at home the timing just wasn’t right.

So, will I revisit this idea of flower farming again?   I’m still pondering things because we definitely have enough land to do whatever we choose.

For now, I’m going to enjoy diving back into Flowers For Sale, it’s an enjoyable read and I’m pretty sure it will help me decide if I want to go down this avenue again.

If you have the desire to grow flowers where you live for profit, then get this book. It will guide your path and show you what’s possible. It’s a wealth of information and a very enjoyable read. 

-Carole

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September 16, 2022

Helping Others and what that can look like

For generations there has always been a level of comfort that comes from helping others. I have no doubt that my own family tree could share a mixture of stories on how their experiences made them feel.  

But where does the ability of “helping” really come from and why is it important?  I believe it comes straight from the heart and that is why “helping others” looks diverse among generations.

For just a moment I want you to imagine replacing the words “helping others" with doing good.

We are Called to Help

As individuals we are called to help; the example was set for us long before we took our first breathe.   

The giver gives, this is what they do and who they are, some might say it’s even genetic. But I believe it comes from within; you can be the example of good and live an honest existence, but it takes effort.

This brings us to the giver who gives but expects something in return. Then the most disturbing personality is the one who takes without giving back.  

Both of these examples are earthly, and this is the world we have always lived in; that’s why it’s important to have discernment.

But even with all these characteristics we are called to help and there are several positive outcomes that transpire when we reach out. 

They are all important because they encourage growth. I’m going to focus on three “positives” because they come to mind at the snap of my fingertips.

    • Connection – Important because people are hurting.
    • Happiness – This comes from within not by helping.
    • Purpose – So many people are seeking a life purpose.

Connection Happiness and Purpose is part of the positive results of helping others.

Connecting with Others

When I was younger and even today, I have always had a difficult time connecting with people.  I’m a quiet gal yet detailed to the core and simply don’t require an abundance of interaction to exist.

Yet, I have always recognized that we live in a world of hurting people. This is probably because I was one for a long time.

True connection with others comes from being honest. So, when you are trying to help someone, be truthful from the beginning. Even if things go wrong at least you were not the one misleading. 

In time you will cultivate true connections where others will be willing to receive and be grateful.

As my husband says, just keep sifting…

Happiness Through Helping

Sometimes it seems like there is a belief system saying, “If we are helping, it will lead us to happiness.” That is completely untrue and if someone has told you this they are lying.

Happiness comes from within, and our heavenly father knows if our effort is centered around his purpose or our own.

As I get older, I’m very selective where I offer my time because people will take without hesitation.  Learn this as you travel with each step and help where you will be appreciated.

Practice discernment and you will find peace and happiness at the same time.

Purpose of Doing Good

Deep down don’t we all want a purpose? For many a purpose is what drives us each and every day and for some, it’s the reason to get out of bed in the morning.

That purpose could be anything and it doesn't need to be earth shacking either because helping others is completely imperfect. 

But smile bright and know that when we choose to do good, positive connections will lead us to happiness and purpose will follow if you are doing it for the right reasons.

In the beginning I mentioned to stay focused towards doing good and allow the spirit to live inside your heart. Look for direction through Christ and don't be led to lean on your own understanding.

Always seek to grow and let me leave you with this, you don’t always need to be the giver…  Sometimes it’s good to let others help you. 

- Carole 

This post is a 7-part series I'm hoping to finish before the end of this year. Enjoy; This Day is Your Masterpiece and How to be True to Yourself

September 07, 2022

Rowe Casa Elderberry for Immune Support and additional healing properties.

We’ve had a lot going and with all the weather changes I started feeling a little sluggish.  This normally means my immune system needs attention because a scratchy throat was also at play.

This was my opportunity to see how effective Rowe Casa Elderberry works for immune support.

I’ve tried elderberry products in the past but never cared for the flavor; I’m thinking it might have had something to do with the sugar content.

The other night, before bed, I took two tablespoons thinking I could offset that sluggish feeling; for my headache I used relief.  I really love that product!

When morning came, I wasn’t 100% better but I was wasn't worse off which means I was headed in the right direction. So, right away instead of focusing on my morning coffee I repeated that same routine and went on with my day.

Types of Elderberries

I refer to elderberry as a vintage natural remedy because until recently it sat in the shadows of so many other options. 

Meaning nobody really talked about it.

I should probably refer to it as a B.C. remedy because it dates way back. 

Needless to say, it’s been around for a long time and it's native to Europe, Asia and North America. It even grows in parts of Texas. 

There are four types (aka species) of elderberries and within those are many varieties.  These four include, American, European, Red and Blue. 

I’m not going to pluck through the weeds on each variety because I want to focus on the healing properties. What you should know is that the most common used in products would be the American and European.


Rowe Casa Elderberry and Relief review and how they work to heal.

Rowe Casa Elderberry Healing Properties 

I mentioned trying Rowe Casa Elderberry and I really am impressed with this product. After three applications I did feel better, but then I did crash a day later with a fever.

Three applications equal 2 tablespoons per serving and it’s tasty. Instructions are on the bottle and will be less for children.

This product is like a multi-functional tonic with healing properties to fight seasonal allergies and illness. 

Some key things to keep in mind is that elderberry serves to boost immunity because it’s an antioxidant fruit.  It also empowers the offset of inflammation encouraging the body to fight off sickness.

My favorite side perks are that it also helps lower blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol.

Even though we ended up crashing with fever, I found there wasn't enough time to fight off the little flu that swept through our home for a few days.

It would have worked better in our situation if I would have started taking elderberry a week prior when the rain came.  Over the years I've noticed that most weather transitions seem to also jerk with our immune systems. 

Encouraging Others to Try Elderberry

I want to encourage you to try elderberry for its natural healing properties. Obviously, it's not a cure, elderberry is a preventative remedy. 

It did help my husband and I heal quickly because we did continue taking applications and we were just down for a couple days.

This product has become a staple in our natural cabinet. This means I like to have a second one on hand because it does require fridge storage after opening.

You can stock up online here or shop local at the Foodie in Marshall Texas for Rowe Casa. This is just another good idea that works just in time for fall.

-Carole


As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

September 02, 2022

How living in a travel trailer offered freedom after the next emptied.

When we were in the process of selling our family farm the goal was to move into a tiny house.  Back then, we owned another piece of land, and we also had a 23 ft. travel trailer that Robert used for contracting.

I was gravitating towards tiny living after the nest emptied because we spent most of our time outdoors. For us, it just made sense to live simply.

Then shortly after the farm closed it was like a chapter of our life had also closed. We quickly purchased a brand-new tiny home and another tiny building for that property.

I will never forget Robert asking me, “which one do you want to move into?”

At the time I really didn’t know what I wanted so I quickly said, “for now, let’s move into the travel trailer.”

Shortly after we settled into this new lifestyle everyone asked over and over, “when were we moving into our tiny house?” I just smiled and said, “when the time is right.”

The "time" turned into years that offered me many things to think about. 

I wondered often, “why do others care how we live?” I mean Robert and I are the most boring people you will ever meet.

It’s when I took a step back and realized that as people, we place too much emphasis on our earthly home when we should be more focused on our heavenly home.

Sticking with the 23 ft. Trailer

With no regrets I decided to stick with living in our 23ft trailer for five years.  You heard me right, no regrets at all.

But what is it like to live in a 23 ft. travel trailer without pullouts?

At first it was fun and convenient, like every day was an adventure. 

If you have met my Robert, then you know he is filled with joy and brings a sense of hope to all situations. Needless to say, we were very content.

Then a few years ago I decided to go contracting with him.  Yes, I went on the road and that’s when things started to change.

Living in the travel trailer became less convenient because I had nowhere to go. Everything I loved to do outdoors was no longer at my fingertips and I became restless.

This is when I started rethinking living in a travel trailer long term.

When Texas froze in February 2021 Robert, and I snuggled up. We went for walks to pass the time and we were blessed to never lose power.  We also learned that candles put out a lot of heat.

After that experience we thought maybe getting a bigger trailer would be a good idea. We looked at many new and used trailers, but nothing felt right.

For Robert, he didn’t care how we lived.  I remember he said one time, “I could live in a cardboard box” and be perfectly content.

That wasn’t true for me but what I took from that statement is that I needed to learn how to be content with what I have. 

Sometimes our wants can confuse what is actually good for us. When I look at the last five years, I’m just incredibly thankful for that time and even more thankful for what’s to come.

Pros and Cons for tiny living in a travel trailer

The Good & Bad Things

The good that came from tiny living in a travel trailer includes a long list. So, I’m going to bullet point several thoughts because I believe people from all ages can benefit from this lifestyle.

Do I think it's a good idea to live in small quarters long term?  There is no right or wrong answer for that question because it really depends on the person.

For both Robert and I the answer for long term living would be "no" because we have a lot of hobbies and things, we want to accomplish in the time we have left.  

Space is required to accomplish those plans and we are excited about this next chapter.  So, let's look at both lists to see what you think. 

Good Things List:

    •  Less space to clean, 15 – 30 minutes once a week.
    • Living in close quarters makes for a stronger marriage.
    • Smaller fridge and freezer taught me to not waste food.
    • Money saved on housing expenses like insurance is wonderful.
    • Money saved on living expenses like utilities is amazing.
    •  Money saved in general is fantastic because storage is limited.
    • If there was an emergency our house went with us.
    • RV park people are nice, but preferred parking on my own land.

Bad Things List:

    • Setting up and breaking down to move is a pain and can strain relationships lol.
    • Can be stressful to “tow” if not familiar with backing up and transporting.
    • Very few entertaining options, especially if you have hobbies.
    • Hiring for repairs can be pricy if you don’t have the skillset to fix things.
    • RV park pricing is all over the place, expect to spend 350 – 700 a month.

For us the good outweighed the bad and when I look back, I smile and say, we did it and in a few months, we'll be done with it. 

This experience proved to me that what others think means nothing. The sacrifices that we were both willing to make made us better people. 

More importantly, for me I grew on the inside and I have embraced a bit more grit that will carry me forward in this next chapter.

I know what is most important in this life and it sure isn’t my earthly home. Y’all what’s most important thing is our heavenly home.


-Carole

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