February 17, 2011


That is NOT the question. Instead, there is a better and more mature approach in dealing with this natural paradox that was created by “low prices” alongside “cheap labor”.  Put simply, like the wonderful caveman that I love but don't always like living with… I’ve learned how to take the good with the bad and accept that one side could not exist without the other. (For example, the time he grilled a bloody steak inside my but-I-just-cleaned-it-out-fireplace… which filled my house with smoke that night but also happened to be an absolutely delicious dinner!)

Bringing me to my point. This morning, I got a call from our local Wal-Mart community coordinator, Mrs. Howard, in response to my recent email asking if they would donate a few items towards my neighborhood clean-up project (see EVERYONE HAS SOMETHING TO OFFER blog). She was both delighted by the idea and eager to assist. She even offered to pass out my flyers to all of their employees (around 600 total) for those who might be off that Saturday or interested in pitching in. Isn’t that marvelous!? Plus, every week I get--- at the very least!--- 50 dollars worth of FREE food just by using their Match Other Store Prices. Like I said, gotta take the good with the bad.

In further updates, after contacting the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) to get more information about the Dos and Don’ts of trash disposal, they provided an excellent link regarding grassroots volunteering: http://epa.gov/epawaste/wycd/incommunity.htm for those of you who love a challenge.

February 5, 2011


I am definitely no saint but, interestingly, once upon a time as a sweet and innocent young girl I wanted nothing more than to become a Catholic nun when I grew up. That never happened but luckily, my parents did manage to instill in all of us (there were six altogether) a sense of higher purpose. And, that particular philosophical viewpoint has served me well. Additionally, we had a small family seafood business which also helped shape my character and provide me with many concrete values that I have learned to count on and appreciate over the years: like working hard, completing a task, keeping your promise, cherishing life, being honest, respecting our elderly, never stealing, practicing patience and self-discipline, and a host of other techniques that are used to enrich our lives.

Yet, I still have my regrets... my mistakes... my "what in the world was I thinking" moments that allowed me to either self indulge or behave inappropriately or otherwise, be foolish. And at age 38, I can't promise that I won't make any more mistakes, but that is the point!, I seem to have finally recognized amid my meager collection of gained wisdom and experience.

Everyday is a new opportunity to do something better. And, even better than that, every second that passes is one more chance to change our future. This is my current philosophy. We all have something to offer because we are all equally and justifiably the independent gatekeepers of our own deeds and efforts. So, how will I spend the next minute, hour, day? What should I be doing differently? And, why does it matter?

In one, very basic attempt, I will experiment with the above idea with regards to my Keep Your Neighborhood Clean Day idea (see THE MORE THE MERRIER blog). Aside from a handful of willing volunteers and an actual start date, all's else that is needed are some trash bags and gloves and maybe even a truck or two for hauling off any larger items that perhaps certain older residents might be requesting assistance.

Here is what I am going to do now. Contact our local Wal-mart store and maybe a few other business leaders to see if they would be interested in donating these minor materials in my initial efforts to beautiful our planet. I promise that I will report back to my readers with the results very soon!


Giving Back. Oh, let me count the ways!

1.  A Community Garden that will help feed those families in need of fresh fruits and vegetables and give our local public school students a chance to learn the importance and wonders of composting, gardening, and sharing.

2. In the name of our state slogan, "Alabama the Beautiful", we will hold organized Keep Your Neighborhood Clean Days each month to promote and encourage volunteering and recycling and exercise.

3. Sponsor Adobe Home Building Workshops and other Green Living classes, including book signing opportunities throughout the year to recognize those who have and who want to make a difference.

4. Offer a variety of Enterprise High School Scholarships for outstanding students who are aiming for a better and brighter future with an emphasis on Green Energy, Science, and Engineering.

5. For your terrible two has turned into a terrible teen, we offer I Want To Lead weekend internships on and around our premises, teaching responsibility and self importance through accomplishment while also gaining valuable leadership and business skills in the daily operations that take place at the Giving Back Ranch and Alexandria's Bed & Breakfast which is applicable to college resumes.  

6. Free weekly visits to the Petting Zoo and A Day On The Farm to acquaint both the young and old with friendly animals, their feeding habits and cleaning and egg laying retrieval times. Bring your boots!

7. Monthly Family Fishing Days to allow area residents a chance to catch brim, bass, and catfish from several overstocked freshwater ponds on the property, or have a picnic under a tree, take a walk along the nature trails, and simply enjoy the beautiful surroundings and bounties of a fun-filled afternoon being together.

8. Monthly Let's Talk! afternoon tea parties, especially designed for Moms and daughters which includes sharing secret recipes, messy cooking classes, and other fun-at-the-kitchen-table activities.

9. A half-mile Spooky Halloween Trail for children and adults, with all proceeds going to the local Food Bank for the upcoming holidays.

10. Share our favorite holiday with those families less fortunate by cooking up a delicious, full-course Thanksgiving Dinner so that we may all, as One Family, sit down together and count our blessings.

11. Annual Christmas Tree Lighting tradition with joyful music and singing, hot apple cider and homemade treats, open free to the public while also giving visitors a chance to celebrate the spirit of giving by donating towards Toys for Tots or other local charitable programs.

12. Annual Easter Egg Hunt with plenty of outdoor games, prizes and other exciting surprises, including a BBQ cook off. Warning: Steve is a master at the grill!

13. Food and fireworks and festivities at the Proud To Be An American 4th of July celebration where local food and craft vendors can display and offer their special talents.

14. Sponsor free CPR, Safe Boating, and Swimming Classes during the summer for various age groups.

15. And anything else that comes to mind as we progress... in "the city of Progress"... here in Enterprise, Alabama. My one and only goal is to bring people together and with every additional helping hand, we can act as a single unit, a close-knit community, and as a Family of diverse people not just wanting but also doing what's best for everyone.


February 3, 2011


There was an idea and that idea soon turned into a yearning... a passion... a challenge... a real chance to change my future and my surroundings. To make a long story short, I simply LOVE to see people working together and I want to promote this kind of cooperative living through my up and coming business venture.

My vision is grand! I want to inspire the locals and encourage any newcomers to fully enjoy our small Alabama town known as the City of Enterprise. As husband and wife (and best friends) with two sons, three daughters, and a baby on the way--- our family wishes to open our doors to friends and strangers, alike, in a fun and exciting and alternative way to making new friends while also networking and moving towards something greater than just turning a profit. There are three major components to my plan.

The first is to design and build an adobe home that can accommodate our guests through a number of relaxing venues: a Bed & Breakfast, a Restaurant and Music Lounge, an outdoor Weddings and other special events facility, and a Community Garden specifically created for those in need by the students of our local public schools.

The second part involves a more humanitarian spirit and lots of hard work, individual experience, uncommon knowledge and a variety of skills, unyielding commitment and a true desire to be among others who want to share their time and energy and sense of "making a difference". From the ground up, we will dig out, shape, and mold my adobe home--- one brick at a time until successful and artful completion.

The third aspect is the easiest: GIVING BACK. Not only monetarily but also by staying intimately connected with our unique community of longtime residents, transit military Soldiers, tourists and  passerbys, farmers and business owners, and all the many respectable Army Veterans who have made Enterprise their home.