As long as I can think back, I have had the desire to just create amazing food. The love of great food is all about people. I love when I cook for my family because it is an extension of my love for them. I feel that the love of food & family has helped in my walk with Christ because I have grown in faith of who I am as well as how God is using me in my life.
I have had a real struggle with writing of this blog for several months over my personal life. If you have followed me in the past you have seen me open Marketplace & Company that houses our granola company Granola Box, a coffee house Marketplace Coffee Company and now it also has in house bakery Butter Bakery, a Vintage shop Clove Sage Antiques & Gifts, Pesto our Italian Restaraunt as well as Hello Cookie Company
Why so many shops? Because we are located in a community that has lost its downtown! We are part of a downtown block that holds a plumbling store, the Marketplace & Company, and a hair salon. Across the street there is a clock shop that does not see customers at its location. A American Legion who just celebrated their 100th year with no fan fare and a bar & restaraunt named Reds
Rest of the buildings are since closed with no economic hope of renewal. Yet this is where we decided to lease space for our granola company. the building is nearly 100 years old with amazing orignal tin ceilings and a vibe back to the 60 with painted wood panenling. the bathrooms were probably put in at that times as well. Its orignal life was that of a state of the art pharmacy 100 years ago and would have had a soda fountain.
With a population of 1,300 people the community has not seen growth. Highway 26 goes straight thru this community with not a lot of people getting off the highway to do business downtown. Our orignal thoughts was to produce just granola there. but being new we are stilling finding our Audiance. We wholesale our product. However the goal was to locate Marketplace owners for each section of the market.
As I struggled this first year I tried different things. When we did our grand opening it was apparent that we needed to be vested, I believe that you should be vested in the youth of any community. So we selected the a group of kids that we donated a portion of our proceeds to raising 390.00 for over this past school year. This did not grow a customer base. I was in hopes that we would see students come in after school to do homework and hang our in the coffee house. I feel that seperate shop owners should be my focus. My goal is to lease each section of Marketplace to people who will promote and there skill. So that is what we are doing now. Seeking
I have found my food love with PESTO our Italian Restaraunt. I have been cooking Italian for 35 plus years using heritage recipes that we create at Pesto. The food is real with a growing following. We operate only in the evening at this time making it a speacial place to come for a group. If you do something great people will come. This Audiance is growing. with Wine and beer being added this summer I hope to see this take our average transaction up! Business has changed so much and if I was not able to over come my original plan I would be gone by now.
Are we making my investment back? At this time NO! The business investment was my retirement plus half of my wage that I make. In the past you could just go to a bank and they would set you up with line of credit and loan. I choose to go the seed to ground aproach where we do the work and reap the harvest. Not an easy approach! However it is a worth the journey-
Our daughters are gifts to us! Children are sent from God. Not everyone nor do I always remember that they were sent into my life to be life companions and to bring joy along with heart ache. As I write this, I think of mothers & fathers who don’t get to have their children in their lives. Just a year ago a little girl had a seizure while driving. Her car drove off into some sheet grass where it the exhaust started the car on fire. The young driver never awoke from the smoke that then started the car on fire. What a tragic loss.
As I write this I think of young girls who are abducted and murdered. My heart breaks for the Tibbitts family as they deal with the fact that their precious child was murdered.
My heart goes to a scene along side a rushing river as we waited to hear they found my little cousin of 17 years old. She was found 7 miles away tangled in debris of the river. Oh how this little girl was so beautiful. Each of these amazing young women had dreams and so many who loved them. Each situation different but the loss real!
We struggle to understand why these horrible things happen. In my home I have a plaque that states the following “Enjoy life because it has an expiration date!” What a terrible thought and yet it is so true. We need to grab life and not get caught up on not living. unfortunately it is easy to put off life based off of goals.
As I think of the young ladies it hurts to think they did not get to marry, they did not get to have children, they did not get to say good-bye to their families and they left way too soon.
One was taken from a fluke issue, one at the hands of another and one to nature of the water. All still impact and will continue to impact all of us.
our Brittany was beautiful. A petite little girl with the most amazing spirit who had gone to France with her mother and French Club that summer. She would have been a senior.
Molly I can only imagine was excited about her education to be a physiologist as she would have been a junior in College.
Liliana was an athlete who spent her last summer as a guard at the local swimming pool. The little kids loved her. She would have been a senior in high school.
Taken to soon. A tribute to each of these amazing young women who are sorely missed today and always
” I gave up and gained so much back not in income but in life. The income will get rebuilt!” On better terms!
When I was a small child I loved when our school would bring in Magicians to amaze and astound us! Oh how to be able to pull a rabbit out of a hat! Or make things disappear.
As I grew and realized a lot of the magic I dreamed of as a small child was not magic at all. It was just a trick. Now that is not to say that there is not magical moments in my life! This past 12 months of recreating my life and the magic all around me has been a true journey. So much change. a year ago I was living on the road and living on Mini Butterfinger Candy Bar’s and Mc Donalds coffee! I was tired all the time! I was traveling about 150 miles a day running myself ragged.
As I look at where I am today, honestly I am still recovering from 2017. The key word is recovery. The Magic I have in my life is from being able to hold my husband’s hand at the end of the day. Drive to work in the morning knowing the road back is 25 miles. Now that is comfort. To shop with my 16-year-old for dresses for her Spring Concert! This is magic! To see her face light up over being able to get all three dresses! Magic!
What I have learned is that you must have balance! Balance is the key to having a good life for half the pain! Money cannot make my family happy. It cannot give me back lost time with my children nor my husband.
In the past year the financial loss has been over whelming. I went from making three figure to a two figure income. Result is living the good life for half. I am here to tell you it has not been easy. Nice meals in restaurants gone! Wine membership gone! New car traded off for older car! Sold off things to make ends meet! Started a small batch granola company really not easy! Watched family members look at me like I lost my mind! Why Granola? Answer God! All I know is that it made sense and as we grow I trust God!
Faith & grace of God is always present. I am so thankful for his love and never-ending love! The Magic of life is the joy we get when we allow to let God be all the magic we need!
Three things I am doing now for balance
1. Bible & prayer time! I allow this to be removed due to time constraints. I am scheduling into my day. Afternoon time as I go home listening to Christian Radio
2. Health changes cutting a lot of processed food out and eating a better natural diet
3. Taking back my home from my daughter’s family! I love my children but our middle daughters family had to be asked to go! They have been here for three years. I want the balance of coming into my home and feeling like I live here and that this is my refuge. It was a tough decision because I love having our grandson right here. Our faith and our morals do not match with a young couple and middle-aged parents who see the world completely different. It has caused huge bouts of stress for all of us.
What is important to you will not always be important to others. But being thankful to change is the only way I got thru the past 12 months. My faith in God to give me a new perspective paved the path to a better life. I gave up and gained so much back not in income but in life. The income will get rebuilt. I am thankful for what we do have.
My brother Scotty loves corn dogs! When we go to town we always end up at Scotty’s Drive Inn and buy 2 corn dogs and always asked for Mustard & Ketchup. When Scotty gets that bag it is on. He has a plan! He has the mustard packet ripped then he goes for the ketchup! Let me just say here that this is not car food! Scotty does not talk! He just eats!
Just like Scotty I know what I like too! As we all do! When I was pregnant with both girls I craved french fries and chicken gravy from a specific restaurant. I was reminded today of the french fries in a conversation with my husband. We at times in life accept things that become part of our habits. I was raised in tough times and Dad could not afford to take us to the doctors. So I am not good at taking care of myself. In the past years I have become more lethargic and wiped out a lot. I ignore it and keep pushing myself.
I have been home since Friday night sick with what I thought at first was a cold. Each day I have gotten worse. I went to see the doctor today and she read through some lab work that I had done 14 months earlier. I was not fully aware of what those numbers meant. I am now awaiting new lab results and a phone consultation tomorrow after the tests come back. God has granted me more time here to know the true love of my husband, to be a mother, to be a daughter to parents who I really never did really know.
The people who I could have never imagined that would be part of my story! Blessings abound me! I have no idea what is ahead of me. I only know that God has been here through it all.
I am hoping I am headed toward recovery. To see each of our children grow up and be the women I hope they will be. I think my underlying health issues have a lot to do with my emotional state. I want to get well and actually not be exhausted all the time.
It is easy for me to put others ahead of me. This is good. Even when I am being e-rational about taking care of me I have tried to be the best person I could be in service of others.
Awareness of what is given leaves me thankful what God has given me. He knows my person! He knows my behavior and he knows my hour. I worry not about where I will go. I know that even though I am not perfect. Jesus is my savior. He comforts me and he is with me.
“I know that my own stubbornness God has seen and I am truly ashamed.”
Some of the toughest times in my life have come out of my own poor decisions. I am a sinner trying to be more like Jesus in how he lived is not always easy! I loose my way. We naturally look back and remember hurt moments in our lives. We even become bitter over things. I have got to admit I know all about bitterness.
I try hard not to think of these moments where those whom we love the most have hurt us. It is in our nature to find fault as well. In James 1:20 we are reminded “Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.” Hurt emotions always manifest into anger. We feel rejected, shocked, hurt and become angry.
I have taught on this very subjec and yet when I am consumed with own my personal hurt, I too forget. So many moments lost! That is what has happened! We stop calling one another. We do not go to families homes anymore. No one says they are sorry. We become right and everyone else is wrong.
I know that my own stubbornness God has seen and I truly am ashamed. I do not know why families do the things that families do. However, it is not worth arguing about. Sometimes you have to choose peace! God can make me whole. if I hurt he is there to comfort me. If I have a need, he provides. So even when I am hurt by life I can go ask God to comfort me. No matter the issue he will give me guidance.
Trying cost nothing but the gain could be service to someone in need!
If you build it they will come! Will they really come? This is the question! I am working hard building a legacy for the future that will not just serve myself but will feed our children and provide for others as well. Starting a new company is hard! Dragging your children along for the ride! Well sometimes I think it’s a bit like herding kittens! What I think versus what they think is important can be a stressful go of it!
Just like that Field of Dreams comes the fear of what if this does not work? What if I did this and no one wants what we are selling? like the brother who is arguing with his sister and brother-in-law about how stupid it was to have bull dozed the corn out to build a baseball field! He could not understand! Yet Mighty Joe kept saying they will pay to see us play! The naysayers cannot see what we are doing!
Building a business is risky. Doing nothing gets you no where either! So if I can going to live today I might as well try! Trying cost nothing but the gain could be service to someone in need! God has a way of giving us things in life that at times we might not fully see! But he does! Our granola company started just this way. When my sister asked “why granola?” I told her that it was from God. God had directed me to this.
In just three months, we have taken the company in a new direction that will allow us to not only sell to our customers but will now allow us to be wholesales into stores staring in Nebraska. Our website is now taking orders with product shipping starting this week.
The commitment to building this has been over whelming with getting located into Nutter’s Bulk & Natural Foods in Scottsbluff, Nebraska as we start producing. Last year we produced 1200 pounds and sold just through Farmers Markets. We have three store locations now that will be selling our product. So it is all about the hard work! Out goal is to promote each store with us doing to foot work, advertising and promotion to share the Granola Box story.
I am learning to trust God! “Depend on God & keep at it because in the Lord God you have a sure thing,” Isiah 26:4 No matter what have faith in where directs you as well.
Last week as I last shared our family had a fire in our pellet stove that caused the house to fill with smoke last Sunday evening. So I spent last Monday cleaning all the walls laundering all the drapes taking all the furnishing out to air out and cleaning all the walls. I had a company come in to clean to the carpets on Thursday. The house smelled even worse with the smoke damage in the carpets.
I finally broke down and called the Insurance company. They are coming out this morning to assess because I am concerned about the smoke damage in the furniture.
Of course I it is week later and I can still smell the smoke. However my family cannot. It could be just that I am over whelmed by the whole incident. You pay for Insurance and then you are fearful of using it. Our Adjuster said that there is ionizing equipment that can remove all the smoke from our furniture. My biggest consootcern is our grandson being in our home and being sick from the in the furniture.
When things happen that cause suffering it is hard to understand. God has a purpose for what he has planned out for our family. Personal ownership for bad decisions, Bryan’s ongoing cancer issues and debt all have been our struggles for since 2014.
God has not forsaken us. At times I have to remind myself that I am not my own. God redeems us and protects us. The fire and smoke could have come in the night with the loss of our family as we slept. Yet God protected us. Bryan’s cancer has grown us as a family to see the value of each day. Career changes has brought me back home and has helped me spend more time with God and family. Our debt will be resolved.
God has opened doors and closed doors in my life. He has taken me places I would have never known! I am so thankful for this. I have never taken the easy road in life. It is not my life plan! I challenge myself! Even thru all of what has happened God’s grace is sufficient.
Personally we all have dark days. Do not be deceived or manipulated to stay in the dark. PSALM 23:4 reminds us ” Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil for you are with me. PSALM 23:4
I own my hardships. God knows my heart and he knows my failings. He knows my nature. In tough times I have had to lean on him and not on me. I really stink at this. As I look back on things I decided without God! I have suffered!
As I close this blog today I am inspired to be excited for this day! Truly blessed.
Recently I have had to realize that shame is God’s way of humbling our hearts. We bring shame upon ourselves. It becomes apparent that in life it becomes hurt that can keep us from our goals of being closer to God.
As I grow in my life toward the woman God wants me to be, I have realized that my mistakes become shame. I read a note card that gave good life advice. it said do not go to bed angry, show up and stay late and think before you speak! Really good advise. We sometimes need to remind ourselves that sometimes what we start is not going to turn out just like we expected. However it might turn out better!
I have set some huge goals this year for my life. I look to the small victories that God will send me as I work toward these goals. However my goals mean nothing if they do not grow me toward God. Recently I have been humbled by new people who God has placed in my life. He sets our feet toward new directions! He asures me that I will be doing his work. It might be a co-worker, A family member, or a stranger that is placed in my life for his glory. I have learned to be thankful for all.
Being humble is when you realize what you have to say is not necessary! You become quiet and more willing to let others speak. Being humbled by what happens to me instead of torn down by circumstances. Learning to let go of strife and being ok with a new road. These are the things of growth!
All though life changes our outer being the inner being still feels young without boundaries. It is only when I am playing with my children I realize that the shell is getting older.
Change is inevitable with every year our lives change. This year we saw our daughter marry and have her first-born. I remember being deeply in love with my husband and the night he proposed and yet this was 34 years ago. Oh how I have changed! When I look in the mirror I can still see that girl who said yes! All though life changes our outer being the inner being still feels young without boundaries. It is only when I am playing with my children I realize that the shell is getting older.
Age is not always a welcome visitor. Vanity of what and who we perceive who we are changes with each passing year. I guess that is why we need to focus on who we are today. Today I am a better person because I have accepted I cannot do this life without Christ. This was the best change I made. I will forever be thankful for accepting Jesus as my savior and my sister-in-law and best friend Lorie who was there who prayed with me as I accepted Jesus. Embracing this change has been a lot like to evolution of me going from a young woman to the older woman I am today.
When we decide to accept and be thankful for what God has done in our lives it becomes really fun to see where that change will take me. I am set apart in the body of Christ. But being set aside does not mean that the challenges and changes I will embrace will always be fully understood at the time of these changes. We have to open our hearts up to what God has in store. So Embrace change today
A few things my readers my not know about me as I love food! When I travel I always research out the best places to try. I live in the State of Nebraska where we are proud of corn fed beef!
I awoke to the cell going of this morning. Haylie our middle daughter was letting me know that she was going to stay in town a bit and catch up with an old friend who is visiting and that she would need me to watch our grandson Jayson. I am not admitting it to her, but I never mind the time I have with our little man. The plan was to get out of bed and clean the house and spend time in fellowship. I still have been doing this, I feel like I took a trip the UK this morning, I was researching the category of FOOD on WordPress.com
A few things my readers my not know about me as I love food! When I travel I always research out the best places to try. I live in the State of Nebraska where we are proud of corn-fed beef! However being a survivor of a heart attack I have worked hard to cut back on this and eat more fish and poultry.
I actually love the challenges of trying new foods. I am a cook book fanatic and a Pinterest freak! I adore both the book in my hand and the online beauty of the recipes. I am very interested in how to eat for health. However giving up all goodies is a tough thing too. If you have been reading my blog I set four goals for 2018 in my post 2018 FOUR SET- GO! One of the 4 set goals was to cut refined sugars out of my diet and to get healthier in 2018. 2015-2017 was not good years for us personally. We lost family members and my husband was diagnosed with cancer. SO I thru myself into work!
As well as trying to control life instead of relying on God. My life has not been that of tranquility. But I am not looking back now! Enough! 2018 is all about going forward and seeing positive things happening!
the four goals I set are huge goals. I am not the type of person who sets goals and thinks I have arrived. It is about gaining success in an areas I am focusing. I think 4 areas is enough. What makes me happy is writing this blog. I am a twin and I must say y sister is the bomb. Cindy is a brilliant woman who is truly my rock! I can always rely on her to tell me just what she thinks! No holding back! Another bit about me. I am short! 64 inches tall is not tall! So being fat does not look good at a short woman! Another reason to go to the gym. Another reason to walk a lot in my job. Another reason to eat fish!
As I write this blog the smell of last nights cabbage burgers are still in the air. These are a treat for my family. Home made bread filled with cabbage, onions and good Nebraska corn-fed beef burger blended together to make pockets of pure yum! I am that woman who can taste something and without a recipe recreate it. I love to adapt my favorite cakes into granola’s that we then sell thru our granola company.
Today I am working on German Chocolate Cake Granola. the goal is to make it taste great with no refined sugars. We use a lot of coconut sugars and natural stevia in our blends I do not like fake sugars. We use real honey and maple as well along with natural sweetness of fruit. I will post later how this one turns out.
Best selling right now is our Carrot Cake granola. We ship a ton of this!
Well enough for now! I will be posting later on the success of this new granola.