Thursday, December 31, 2020

2020 in the Rearview Mirror

I’m looking back on this year. There’s no doubt this year has been different and it’s been hard for so many. My heart aches for those who are suffering, while we are celebrating with the ones overcoming the obstacles this year has thrown at us all. 

I know this year is one I’ll remember for the rest of my life. While some want to erase it from memory, I’ll refer to it often, because even though there’s been bad, there’s so much good to celebrate. There's been weddings, babies, new businesses, new connections, gardening, trying new things, overcoming obstacles, spending quality time with the ones we love, a greater surge to support the local makers and small businesses... 


January started off with a bang. Busy, busy, weddings and events. The Spencer Wedding and a show at the Mineola Antique Fair both happened on the same weekend, but we figured out a way to make it all happen, with some extra help from our friends. 


February brought about the Grand Opening of Kickin’ K Cattle Co in Quitman, Texas, where we opened a booth. 

March kept up the momentum and I was so tired when we finished our last show at the Mineola Antique Fair. Little did we know that would be our last show there and what was to come. That week was when the toilet paper hoarding went crazy and I was lucky to grab us some Charmin, because we really did need it. My foot ached terribly and I did take some quiet time to rest my body. It was tired. We also fretted and worried about the future. We did a flubbed up live facebook video... poor internet service got me frustrated, as I was trying to do a live sale and it just wasn't working right, but we pressed on. We did do a few gardening videos though...


April, oh April. I scribbled on my planner that “Covid shut down the economy” and two shows were canceled, but my attitude suddenly changed and I said I wasn’t setting down and letting it destroy us. “When times get tough, get creative” became my motto. 

I scrounged through our fabric stash and starting sewing mask. Then I worked on my website and launched the Tee of the Week deal, and we made porch deliveries, and sympathy arrangements, wreaths, and Rosie the Riveter school lunch lady tees for the ladies working hard to continue feeding the kids at home. My calendar had notes all over it. 


May found us dealing with more of the same and stores cautiously reopened. “Keep rolling on” became my other motto. We also started a garden - a little late to start a garden in East Texas, but we did it! We stuffed that mailbox full of packages on lots of occasions. We picked wild berries at the farm with the calves curious as to what we were doing. We tried new recipes and fruity little drinks. 

June found us deciding to completely close our Mineola booth, but we joined the Gilmer Area Farmers Market. Gosh, those were fun Saturday afternoons on the square, with just a simple setup, but y’all showed up and we made lots of friends and connections there. Good times! I had never in my life ate zucchini - Jeff was doing the shopping at the feed store and had brought home some new plants. We honestly tried lots of new foods this year and have enjoyed them - For anyone reading this with a picky eater - there's hope! At nearly 40, I started eating zucchini, asparagus, kiwi, raspberry lemonade, strawberry lemon / lime drinks, and more! 


July found us delivering wedding flowers, then sadly we said goodbye to Jeff’s dad. He’d fought the long fight and we’d had almost two extra years past the night he wasn’t supposed to survive. We spent extra time with our family and did what we needed to do. We harvested things from our garden and enjoyed the sunflowers and looked forward to fall. The small town country girl tee was inspired by him... and there's just something about a flag and a sunflower that I absolutely love. He had a military service and the warm bullets were place in my hand at the service. He was one of my biggest supporters and I sure wish I could to tell him about the remaining part of the year. 


August found us returning to the Farmer’s Market, making flower arrangements, giving a conference presentation on repurposed items, and creating lots of tees. Did I mention we made lots of tees this year?!? Oh my, we have had so many deliveries of blank shirts! We create the finished product on all of our shirts. Sometimes people think I'm simply ordering wholesale and selling shirts. That is not the case. My hands touch and apply the images (and bleach0 to each and every single shirt that goes out. 


September we celebrated the final farmers market with a grand time, then we prepared for the inaugural Holidays on the Farm at Prairie Creek. That was a record breaking day, that lead to our record breaking month. We were saddened to say goodbye to our favorite side kick and road tripping partner. Old age caught our Trixie dog and our hearts were broken. She filled so much of our lives and was our child. 


October, oh October. We didn’t have the Yamboree, but we were thankful that the Live Gilmer group hosted the Fall Y’all Fest and it was a great alternative and success, even though it was a very scaled down event compared to the Yamboree. It was what our town and businesses needed. Fun little tidbit here. I received a Facebook message from a friend, letting my know we could use their potty’s during the fest, so we wouldn’t have to use the portapotty. I knew that weekend, it might lead to something more... 

Our new fluffy side kick made her first public appearance and we had a large shirt order for Sorelle Farms. An overnight trip with a family member, led to me having a "high rise Dallas office" for the day (aka known as a hospital procedure and I took my computer and got lots of work done in the waiting room.) 


We started November with the annual Christmas Bazaar which was another great event. Then, mid November brought about the invitation to join the P20 Land and Cattle store on the square in Gilmer. Did I mention De Ann was someone we met in Mineola a couple years ago? We had a great conversation there, didn’t see each other for a year, closer to two, and reconnected this summer over social media. We’ve since met some of her family and made new friends and been welcomed into the P20 family and are loving having a place on the square. We made lots more shirts and wedding flowers. Lacy’s wedding was at Dove Hollow, where we filled the space with lots of pampas grass arrangements. Thanksgiving, goodness how much we’ve had to be thankful for this year. 


December brought about the Yulefest with modified schedule and activities, but Miss Gussie still got to go to town with us. My nephew Jake, known as Jake’s Jigs, joined us, with his handmade jigs and fishing jewelry. We had a great day together and witnessed the kindness of a complete stranger that still makes us tear up thinking about it. We kept making shirts and flower arrangements. Stocking booths, delivering to cemeteries and porches, then got ready for the Efurd and Parish wedding at the Venue at Efurd Orchards  - it was a spectacular winter wonderland event, even if we had to deal with a little rain during the setup. Since then we’ve made more flower arrangements and lots more tees to restock our booths after Christmas. 


One of the few times I went in a store in April, I bought a gallon of paint, for a project I’d take on in my expected free time. Ha, I’ve yet to open that can. We know we are so very fortunate to be able to continue doing what we’ve done this year. We’ve made numerous shipments from our home, made lots of porch drop offs, cemetery, funeral, and even wedding deliveries without coming in contact with many (if any) people. We added contactless pay and worked all but one of our shows outdoors. We work mostly from home and occasionally on location. 

A few things I've learned this year:

  • Attitude and a good mind set are crucial. I am extremely guarded as to what I let in and consume. I don't watch tv at home (only when we are at Jeff's parent's house), I will snooze / hide the negative sharing folks on social media. Starting each and every single day on Facebook with a positive post sets the tone for the day. 
  • It's ok to pivot and shift. Just because things have always been done a certain way, doesn't mean things can't change some.
  • Truly, when one door closes, another one opens. 
  • Try new things, you just might like it. 
  • Live stream a wedding or a funeral if you need to, so that it can include the ones who couldn't be there, whatever the circumstances may be. 
  • Always look for the opportunities and jump on the ones extended to you, even if you don't know exactly how it will all work out. 
  • Persistence will finally get your Instagram and Facebook Shop started. (It took a year and a half to get the Instagram shop approved, so you can 'Tap to Shop'  now.) 
  • There are still so many good people out there.
  • I have met some of the best people this year. Sometimes you meet someone at an event, have a discussion, and don't hear from them for a year or two and then great things happen. (Booth advice here - sometimes the connections at a show are more important than the dollar amount you made that day. It can pay off in the years to come, when you least expect it to.) 
  • I love working from home (ok, I already knew this, but its worth repeating.) 
  • Some things like fresh air, sunshine, cute baby calves, and puppy dog snuggles are hard to beat. 
  • I have the absolute best customers and friends! Your support this year has been amazing and we can't thank you enough! We know you have a choice and we are certainly  appreciative of you choosing us to help make pretty things for you. 

We wish we could reach through the computer and hug every single one of you. If I did a video to say all this, I'd certainly have tears running down my face. We seriously are overwhelmed with gratitude and thankfulness for all of you, who support a girl who makes things in her small house on the backroads in the country. Who knows how the next year will go and where the road will lead us. We will continue travelling it and making pretty things for all of you. We wish you all a happy and safe new year ahead. Let's Keep Rolling On and make 2021 a great year!  Much Love, Janice  



All the places you can currently find us:

Online Shop

Etsy Shop

Facebook Page



Booth inside Kickin' K Cattle Co in Quitman, Texas (located next door to Dollar General) 

Booth inside P20 Land and Cattle Interiors and More on the Square in downtown Gilmer, Texas  or

Both booths are generally open Tuesday-Saturday, but please see their respective Facebook pages for the most up to date store hours and directions to the store address.