Helping People Learn

I am a teacher at heart… I really enjoy helping people learn new things.

Actually, I enjoy helping people learn how to DO things. For themselves.

I believe this approach was something I learned from my dad. He never told us what to do. He always asked us “what do you think you should do?” and “what is the worst thing that could happen if you decide to do ‘that thing’?”

This approach fostered a curiosity and a level of confidence that has helped me accomplish many things. I was taught to think critically and formulate a number of scenarios that would help me figure out what to do in any given situation.

Have I made mistakes? Absolutely! Have I learned from my experiences? NO DOUBT!

When I am interested in a topic, I learn everything I can about it. Once I have a background knowledge in place, I work to apply that knowledge, usually through trial and error, so that I have a practical application and actual experience “doing” whatever it is I am trying to do.

I spent over 20 years in the healthcare industry. I had so many initials after my name with my various degrees, licensure and certifications that I needed two business cards to hold them all. My resume was 12 pages long and listed many accomplishments and awards… Yet I felt hollow. In the beginning it was exciting, I felt like I had a purpose. But, the industry changed and it came down to tasks and numbers and objectives that I could no longer buy into. I could literally feel the life being sucked out of me.

That knowledge and experience helped me start a new career as a college professor. Teaching all aspects of business administration. It was awesome seeing students develop their skills and to see them apply what they were learning. I did not see myself as the “all-knowing” professor imparting knowledge upon my students. I viewed myself as a partner and guide on their journey.

The main lesson I learned from those experiences is that I am not suited to the corporate life. It was depressing and oppressive. All of those things that were once important and critical for career advancement no longer matter to me.

I am creative and fluid and perform at a higher level when I am able to define my work and work space.

Now I am taking all of that experience and applying it to my new life, in horticulture. I am a sponge. Fortunately, everything that I am learning, I am able to apply every day in my position in the retail nursery and also with our business.

Going from management to worker bee has been the easiest transition I have ever made. Yes, I manage things in my own business, but I do not manage people…

People have asked why I still work for someone else when I have my own business. Quite frankly, I enjoy the connection to people whom I have been privileged to meet by working for someone else. It keeps me up to date with the industry and trends. I have other professionals to bounce ideas off of and none of us are threatened by each others skills and dreams.

We have been very busy with our business, Every Bit Handcrafted. So much so that we are actually booked up a few weeks to a month in advance. We are now getting referrals and repeat customers.

I am certain that if I devoted myself full-time to our business that it would grow enough to support us completely… I just don’t want to lose the connections and interactions that I have right now.

My next goal is to create and offer monthly “gardening tips” and to expand out the blog to answer landscaping and gardening questions via blog posts on specific topics. Those will be featured on the “In The Garden” section of the blog.

My hope is to engage our readers and to help you learn about horticulture and creating your outdoor space. Of course I will continue with my own lessons that I am learning with regard to permaculture and cooking, DIY, crafting and any other things that I find interesting.

The Blog continues to evolve and hopefully the new menu on the page will help you find what you are looking for.

Welcome! We hope you enjoy what we are working on… If you haven’t subscribed already, it would be great to have you do so…

Please visit our FaceBook page and follow us there too… Sharing with your friends would be awesome.

Thank you in advance for your time.

~Molly & Fred

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It’s no secret…

We are very open about the fact that we are moving back to Alaska. The original plan was to leave by May of 2016. Not gonna happen. 😕

Things happen. Sometimes they happen and aren’t what you were planning. In my case, I lost my high paying job (which was a blessing) and took a detour to get a degree that will help me reach our long term goals.

My new career pays a whole lot less than my old career but it is much more satisfying.  It also tends to be seasonal in nature… So, me being me, I ramped up a business I started in 2014 and took a huge leap into being “official”. This is no longer a “craft/hobby” business, we are now a full blown, serious, professional services provider.

We are licensed, bonded and insured as general contractors. Good golly Miss Molly! What have I gotten myself into now?!

When I was meeting with the insurance broker he made the comment “you sure have your fingers in a lot of things”, my response was “gotta make sure I stay employed”. I’ve got bills to pay and a future to fund.

Here is what we are doing;

* Landscape design and maintenance

* Pruning and weeding services

* Plant material selection and placement/installation

* Container design and maintenance

* Client Education & Garden Coaching

* General contracting

Why are we moving to the village? Why are we changing our entire way of life?

Now more than ever I am feeling called to make a difference. To help with a long-term solution to an increasing problem facing our small villages in Alaska.

Why? This is why… Angoon, Kake and Tenekee face ferry shut down

Even if this is a short-term issue, I foresee that it will continue in various ways and force people away from their homes and culture. It will force people to live in the larger communities in order to meet their basic needs.

When a community is only accessible by boat or plane, not having access is a huge deal.

I get it that people make choices, and that living in remote communities means that a person will not have the same access to services as they would in a larger community. I totally get that. I lived in Juneau for 11 years. A very different way of life than living here in Seattle, or even in Anchorage.

Fred and I both believe that people should not have to move away from their homes in order to survive. The subsistence culture is alive and well in these places. We aim to expand on that in a way that will allow people to access additional resources in order to stay where they are.

Our native communities/villages are shrinking. Children are seeking life away from the villages and the elders are having to leave in order to seek or receive needed medical care. With that exodus, culture is fading away. Fortunately there are efforts to revitalize the language and the culture… But is that enough?

Angoon

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We will keep plugging away at our goals. We will get back to Alaska. We will achieve our dreams.

Here is another view of our future home –

We are stuck here for the foreseeable future, but not for forever. Where there is a will, there is a way… We have the will and we will find a way.

Angoon or bust!

~ Molly & Fred

 

Thankful …

I am thankful. Very thankful. So very thankful that I am a capable and motivated human being.

Fred and I worked our “other” job today. A long 10 hours of installation of bamboo hardwood floors (Fred) and cleaning, painting, and touching up spots around the house we are working on.

 

This is the very tall stairwell I was painting today… have I mentioned I don’t care for heights, especially when perched on a ladder balanced on stairs…
  
Natural stone flooring in the bathroom
  
New bamboo floors in the bedrooms X 2
  
 
I am thankful that Fred and I enjoy working together. Personally, I just really enjoy his company.

Late night meal… too tired to cook

We talked a lot today about our Alaska plans… We may be delayed due to financing issues, but we’ll make it all happen. We are resourceful and hardworking and I trust that everything will fall into place.