05.14.16

Talk about an exciting past few weeks! It seems like pretty much every day gone by we had something exciting and big happen … guests, travels, a friend’s graduation party, golf tournament, oral surgery consultation, neighborhood break-ins, movie night with a friend, social gathering at church {food, fun and fellowship},  a new puppy, spring planting, new business connections {with big opportunities ahead!} …

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For starters, I participated in the Pop-up Market Small Business Competition one Friday evening. Had a blast talking with the people who came by, and also connecting with other small business owners there. One woman in particular stands out – she and I both sell our products at a local store in town and have known each other for a little while. But then I learn that her family lives in the Bahamas {where she grew up} and her sisters run the family’s coconut plantation and aloe farm! Wow! Shortly after, we re-connected to chat about wholesale {selling each other’s products} and also expanding/growing her business. I hope to get fresh coconut oil from her when she brings it back in bulk from the Bahamas this Summer. 🙂

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There were 4 judges at the competition, and they had a list of categories to review and judge us on {there were about 16 businesses represented}. These categories included:

(1 originality of business – scored 14/20

(2 presentation of business – scored 19/20

(3 marketing creativity  – scored 18/20

(4 meeting needs presently not flooding the market in town – scored 14/20

(5 preparation for success – scored 18/20

(6 town market would be very interested in this {in judge’s opinion} – scored 15/20

(7 passion of owner – scored 20/20

 

I learned a lot through this! I can improve on category #3 by creating myself a google page and doing more advertising through Facebook. I would do well to focus on categories #1, #4 and #6 when I talk with the judges next time – perhaps I need to more clearly/effectively communicate the uniqueness of my products; my value proposition; what makes me different than all the other skin care and wellness products in our town. Because through my message, I communicate to people WHY I am unique, and why I stand out.

I was happy for the 3 small businesses that placed – because they were *very unique* with their products and focus. And … as they have opted to hold these events every 6 months, I plan on going back! 🙂

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Loving this beautiful Spring weather … some days are warm and humid, but often we have a cool breeze in the mornings and evenings. Add to that a good week of ferocious rain, thunder, lighting and hail. I’d say the Plantain patch is doing VERY WELL. I currently have bags of dried plantain accumulating on the shelf, and there is always another harvest spread out all over a table somewhere. 🙂

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Can’t wait to taste these delicious blackberries! Last year we were picking them the first week of June, with dear friends who came to visit {from KS!}.

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We put in quite the abundance of seeds and seedlings a few weeks back. This is an older pictures, but things are coming along nicely!

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Meet Bella – our adorable new puppy! She is such a blast – currently chewing on everything she can get her teeth on … and learning how to get a drink without spilling her water all over the place. We love to take her out in the yard to run and play – then back to the pen or porch for a nap. She will fall asleep when you sing to her, and scratch her chin. ❤

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Back in March, the majority of our family started going through the Citizen’s Police Training in town. This has been such a blessing to us – giving us a greater awareness of how our police operate, what steps of action they will take in specific scenarios, and the reasoning behind a lot to what they do. We have learned SO MUCH! We have come to appreciate them for the brave, sacrificial people that they are. And along with that, they have taught us so much about being attentive to our surroundings, quick to identify things as they are happening {or just prior}, and what to do in response.

I love that in our town we all work together. The purpose of the citizen’s police training is to encourage the towns people to work along-side the police {within boundaries of course as we are not police} and to watch out for one another. Next week we will finish up 10 weeks!

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Hands-on self defense training. It’s amazing how simple some of the tactics are for stopping someone who is coming at you – and “helping” them onto the ground into a position that they quickly become vulnerable. We learned some of the basics of how to take charge in a dangerous situation – thinking not only defensively, but offensively.

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Simulator shooting – here we were given the opportunity to watch several crime scenes, pre-recorded on a huge screen. We were the cop – armed, trained, etc. What would you do in this situation? How would you approach the scene after receiving the call … what would you say to the people … how would you handle their actions … when would you use your gun … how quickly can you respond to save someone’s life, before it’s too late?

Do it right, cause the professional guys are watching – and lives are at stake! 😉 Yikes!

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Andreas {an intern} takes down Detective Womack {the self defense instructor}, before handcuffing him.

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Detective Womack  explains one of the simplest {yet most effective} tactics for defending yourself against an attacker. Hey, these methods worked! I know because I was instructed to put Detective Womack against the wall in a choke hold … and when he gently poked me in the eye I backed off pretty fast. 😀 {as my little brother like to say, “the tears are streaming down”  – although I was laughing a whole lot harder than I was crying!}

Just for the record, everyone had a partner and we all had to participate in practicing whatever was demonstrated. We were careful though – instructor’s orders.

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While we’ve had a lot of fun, intense, hands- on stuff {searching cars for drugs, driving cop cars and chasing down speeders, searching people – including resistant people, and checking the speed on actual cars driving by the main road} most of our training has been classroom time. Slides, videos, displays of objects to look over, specific case studies, etc. It’s been an incredible experience so far!

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On Mother’s Day we all went adventuring off to the mountains for a day trip. Driving the mountainous roads, eating ice cream, picnicking, playing at the park, and shopping at the outlets. Oh, and always a stop at the 1800s Original Mast General Store {Plus the Annex just down the street with over 500 kinds of candy and LOTS of outdoor stuff!} which is loads of fun!

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Kilwin’s is one of our FAVORITE ice cream shops ever! We sometimes usually eat ice cream for dinner when we are up in that area. 😀

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Another fun adventure of last week was going in pairs to the Golf Tournament uptown. David worked most of that week {free tickets!} so we were able to visit him while he served the Golf Players and their families a delicious banquet in the back room.

Okay, so I admit … Golf is really not my thing at all … but it was fun to walk the grounds, see where David was working, step into the private club house {which we didn’t have passes for but David did!} and even watch a few group of players golfing. Bethy and I went one day and dodged rain drops the whole time. We ended up walking in from the main road {quite a nice long walk!} vs. parking 20 minutes away and taking the shuttle buses. It was a pretty exciting day!

Earlier this week I had the privilege of visiting a dear friend who lives just a state away. 🙂 Hannah is a sweet wife of almost 1 year and just had her first baby. Since her family is no longer local, I took a day and went to visit and help out. It was fun to prepare some meals, hold the baby, and chat with her + her husband and sister-in-law. Miss this girl so much!

Always ❤ getting mail! Yesterday I got packages of packaging! Jars, tins, and bottles. What a blast! 😉
This is Josiah, one of my favorite running buddies. Yesterday we went running, intended to cover about 1 1/2 miles to the main road and back. 5.2 miles later we arrived back at the house completely “in need of a new engine”. LOL! Next time I think we will eat something a little while before we head out. 🙂 It was such fun though, and we even kept up with Daddy for about 1/4 of the way, and made it all the way into town and back!

Is it Saturday already? I’m so grateful for today – Saturdays are a bit more relaxing in our house. We do some family projects, go out and about with a family member, or perhaps read a good book. And quite possibly the most important part of the day could be pizza, ice cream and a family movie in the evening!

Have yourself a lovely day! 😀

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