The Daily Post – Pungent Smoked Ham

We received an unexpected gift this morning – a smoked ham.

The smoke smell is quite pungent.

Smoked Ham

I think I’ve gotten smoked ham up my nose – it’s all I can smell.  The flavor is yuuuum-oh, though. Totally delish!

 

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Shop Small Business Saturday

Another Black Friday is in the books and now it’s time to shop your local small businesses.

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Whether it is retail, service oriented, an exercise facility or an eating establishment – consider helping families support themselves and their employees by supporting their business.

If you do support small businesses, than thank you!  If it’s not something you’ve given much thought to then I’ll ask….before making your next purchase – whatever it may be  – will you stop, and take a moment to consider the services and goods your local small business can offer?

You see, I belong to one of those families. My husband and his brother own a retail store in our town; appliances, floor covering, mattresses, countertops and coming soon – cabinet re-facing. Pretty much anything you need or want to remodel a kitchen or  bathroom. However, in this day and age, with the fierce competition of larger national retailers the success of our entrepreneurship is in danger of faltering.

Do you need some convincing?  Well, lets look at some reasons for keeping it local and shopping small:

1. Any extras you find with a large retailer we will also offer. We are quite capable of competing with the big boys on their prices and financing options.

2. Our sales team is going to offer you a higher level of customer service.

Simply put – they do extensive training and have a better knowledge of the products available.  They are genuinely interested in helping you find the best solution for your situation. Our associates understand that by making you happy, keeping you satisfied and becoming a repeat customer they are helping our small business succeed and this translates into job security for them.

After all – if they succeed then we succeed. And, by the same token – if we succeed, they succeed.

3. If you do have a problem or an issue that has left you dissatisfied then the associate helping you is going to have a direct line to the owner. And, I promise you,  owners will return your calls and work to resolve any issues that may occur.

4. Okay, here’s a downside… the hours a small business is open may not always be as extensive as a larger retailer. But, depending on the type of establishment it is the owner may be willing to work around that. It never hurts to ask.

5. For retail establishments, repeat customers can often find out when each of their items was purchased. Whatever information you may need on whatever items you bought – all of that history is usually available with the click of a button.

At your local favorite restaurant or café – eat there enough and they will probably greet you by name and know what you want to order before you even say a word.

6. Small businesses are committed to giving back to the community. We love supporting causes that directly benefit our neighbors and our town.

7. We are also committed to supporting other small businesses in our city. We want them to succeed, too!

So I’m asking you – wherever you live – please look for and shop at the small companies that make up the fabric of your community. Give us a chance to help you and give you a better experience then you’ll get with a large company. Seriously, it doesn’t cost anything to check us out and see what you’ve been missing. And, if we can’t find what you need or get what you want than those big chain stores are just down the road.

Come see us. We need YOUR business to stay in business.

Oh – and tell your friends too.IMG_0139

 

The Heard on Black Friday

 

It’s not this time of year without the madness of the Black Friday frenzy.  And, while I have, in past years, jumped on the bandwagon in search of savings, this year I had no desire to join the crowds.

However, I did feel the need to get outside and make the most of the sunshine and mild temperatures.  With such good weather my daughter and I made  a plan to visit dinosaurs and explore trails at   The Heard Museum in McKinney, Texas.

Arriving earlier than the rest of the family I was able to get in two miles before we met up.  I enjoyed the solitude in nature as I encountered fewer and fewer people the farther out I went.

The water, the turtles and our version of autumn

When they arrived I met them on the dinosaur trail, and as I came up behind the kids I was met with the wonderfully familiar sound of “NAAANNAA” as they caught sight of me.

Dinosaurs – oh my! Let’s take a a selfie.

As we wandered along we came across a trail that none of us had been on in a while and decided to follow it.  Five year old Kolbe was convinced that this was the trail with the giant white sycamore and really wanted to find the tree.  Despite the rain a few days ago everything had been relatively dry so we thought, “okay!”

11-nov-25-black-friday-at-the-heard-16It may have been a little muddy in a few spots.

We were thoroughly enjoying our hike when we came across areas that had obviously been flooded.  Seeing a bridge which had been washed away from who-knows-where along with all of the piled up branches, trees and debris we commented on the damage.

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See the bridge?

Walking a bit further we suddenly found the spot where the bridge had been.  And, it was where we needed to cross. 11-nov-25-black-friday-at-the-heard-1We wondered, “Should we turn around and retrace our steps or see if we can get across?”

Now let me set this scene for you.  We were a party of seven.  One Nana – that’s me, one daddy, one pregnant mommy, two school-age kids and two young-un’s.

11-nov-25-black-friday-at-the-heard-11

The littlest ones

What the heck – it was time to be adventurous.  If we fell in the water or slipped in the mud it wouldn’t be too bad.  After all, it was 62 degrees with sunshine and no wind!

It’s an adventure payoff!  We all got across and no one fell in!

Time for another selfie.  Or two!

11-nov-25-black-friday-at-the-heard-7AND – we found the giant sycamore!  More than 160 years old!

As we came to the end of the trail we realized we had been hiking a closed trail.  Due to damage from flooding. Oops.

11-nov-25-black-friday-at-the-heard-17I don’t know what happened to the sign at the start of the trail, but our ‘adventures’ made a good day truly memorable.