Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Eat Drink and Be Scary!

Holiday – a day fixed by law or custom on which ordinary business is suspended in commemoration of some event or in honor of some person.

Some holidays. Like Christmas and Hanukkah are religious/spiritual, while others like Mothers' Day and Fathers' day are sentimental. Holidays like Memorial Day and Labor Day honor a specific group of people and Halloween, well Halloween is just plain FUN.

Okay, so it does have spiritual roots but for most of us it's simply a day to cut loose and have fun. Witches and goblins, black cats and pumpkins have lost their original significance and have become whimsical decorations.

In many communities schools or civic organizations sponsor Trick or Treating events where children can come together in a safe environment to have fun with rag shag parades, prizes, movies, lots of candy and other treats.

Even the family pets are getting in on the fun. Veterinarians and pet day care centers have parties and hold contests for the best Halloween costumes – dog and cat categories.

More and more adults are getting into the spirit (no pun intended) too. Costume parties are common with all sorts of themed foods and drinks like Black Cat Canapes and Candy Corn Jell-O Shots.

One of my favorite Halloween treats is Black Magic Cake.  Most recipes call for instant coffee but I sort of like it better with coffee flavor liqueur.  

Houses and streets are decorated in anticipation of kids out trick or treating.   Laconia, NH is hosting a huge pumpkin festival where they will try to break their record  of 10,000 lighted Jack-O-Lanterns and pumpkin carving has become an art form.

We don't have kids and don't live in an area with lots of kids so Halloween isn't so much about trick or treat but is more about the beginning of the Holiday Season... my favorite time of year. Halloween leads to Thanksgiving and I love Thanksgiving because, to me, it's all about family.

Thanksgiving leads to Christmas and Christmas is about Peace, Love and Friendship.  What's not to love?

So, I am looking forward to Halloween and all of the wonderful holidays that follow.
Happy Halloween,

P.S.  Check out our new website at www.laurelmtbasket.com 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

What's So Special About October 15th?

At Laurel Mountain Basket Co we pay close attention to traditional Holidays. After all, supplying gifts is pretty much the business we re in.

I've always loved holidays and enjoy finding gifts for people. It's October already and I was just thinking that I am way behind on my Holiday shopping. Really, I don't usually stress around the Holidays because when I see something I think would make a great gift for someone, I pick it up and keep it in my “gift chest”.  This year the gift chest is only half full.

Unfortunately, I'm finding that more and more people don't enjoy holidays. I was saddened a couple of Christmases ago when a tradesman I do business with refused to accept a token gift I brought him. He said he didn't like the idea of HAVING to give a gift and that people have forgotten the Reason for the Season.

I didn't offer the gift because I had to. I offered it because I love giving gifts to people I value and I like that there are special days like Christmas and Birthdays set aside for celebrating and giving gifts. I do see his point though. 

Take Valentine's Day for example.  I wonder how many husbands really give their wives luxury cars and expensive jewelry on Valentine's Day. There was a time when I thought I was the only wife in history that didn't get a Lexus or BMW or February 14th.

Once upon a time, back in the Stone Age when we sent our newsletters out via USPS, we had a column dedicated to weird Holidays. I have decided to resurrect that practice using our Facebook page. For example, did you know that February 5th is Bubble Gum day or that May 15th is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day? Now there's a holiday I can get behind! Think about what fun it would be if you brought a big place of home baked chocolate chip cookies in to work on May 15th to celebrate! Spreading joy around the office sounds like a good idea to me!

So if you think life would be a little more fun if you had something to celebrate every day. “Like” our Facebook page and we will do our best to keep you in the know.

In case you are wondering, October 15th is National Grouch Day.

Happy holidays,


P.S. Check out our new website at www.laurelmtbasket.com

Monday, September 26, 2016

The Cookie Monster

Did you know that the average American will eat 35,000 cookies in their lifetime and that Chip Ahoy! Is ranked number one in store bought cookies?

I'm not surprised that a chocolate chip cookie ranked number one since chocolate chip cookies have been around since 1930 when Ruth Wakefield baked her first Tool House cookie. Ruth and her husband owned the Toll  House Inn, so named because the structure, built in 1790, served as the toll house between Boston and New Bedford.

Toll house were where travelers paid their tolls, rested or changed their horses and got a home cooked meal. In the tradition of the earlier toll house, Ruth cooked and baked for her guests. One day, while making Butter Drop Do cookies, a recipe that dates back to Colonial days, Ruth decided to cut up a bar of Nestles semi sweet chocolate into little bits and add it to her cookie dough.

The chocolate did not melt like she thought it would. It only softened and held its shape. The cookie was a huge success and her recipe was published in the Boston paper.

Ruth was approached by Nestles and they eventually came to an agreement. The company could print the recipe on the wrapper for their bars and Ruth would be supplied with chocolate for the rest of her life!

Samoas, Trefoils, Do-si-dos and Thin mints If you recognize these cookies, you've provably bought a package or two from a Girl Scout. The first Girl Scout cookies were baked at home with moms volunteering as technical advisers. It was a way for the Mistletoe Troop of Muskogee, OK to finance troop activities. Being true entrepreneurs, the troop sold their home baked cookies in the school cafeteria. That 1917 troop project went national and today the Girl Scouts sell about 200 million boxes of cookies a year. Amazing what a couple of million girls can accomplish.

Oreos (ranked #8) used to be my favorite cookie until I tasted Brent and Sam's Triple Chocolate Bliss. Okay, so it's not “technically” a store bought cookies but you can buy them on Amazon and we used them and other Brent and Sam varieties in many of our gift baskets.

What is your favorite store bought cookie and which Girl Scout cookie do you buy and keep for yourself?


P.S.  You can see lots of our gift basket designs by visiting the Laurel Mountain Basket Co website.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

When Words Are Not Enough

What do you say to a parent who has lost a child. Even if that child is an adult it is a devastating loss. How can words comfort a brother or sister who lost a best friend or a wife who was looking forward to enjoying a quieter life with her spouse without the strain of jobs and children? And the children. What on earth do you say to the children who have lost a parent?

Our neighbor passed away earlier this week. We haven't lived in the area long but had gotten to know Ron and Cindy a little. Ron had been fighting his battle with Cancer since we fist met him but he always had a good word and smile no matter how poorly he was feeling on any given day.

As I sat down to write Cindy a note I realized, yet again, that I didn't know what to say.

At Laurel Mountain Basket Company making and delivering sympathy gift baskets is a big part of our business. Often the sender will ask us for suggestions as to what to write on the care. “Thinking of you during this difficult time”, Keeping you and your family in our thoughts and prayers” or “With deepest sympathies” have always seemed appropriate but this time, they didn't work.

I think it was because I was too close to the situation and was forgetting what condolence wishes are all about.

1. They are not about you, not about how you feel. They are not even about the person who has passed. Messages of sympathy are about the ones who are left behind.

2. Messages of sympathy are not about “fixing it”. There is nothing you can do or say that is going to take the pay and grief away. Time will change things but it is NOT your place to point that out.

3. Actions speak louder than words so if you are in a position to help, here are a few things you can do.

4. Remember that everyone grieves differently. Let them know you are there if they want to talk or if they would like your help but don't push or hover. Respect their need to grieve in their own way.

5. Offer to run errands or do chores like picking up people at the airport, baby sitting, cutting the grass, or picking up some groceries.

6. If you are not in a position to personally help out, send prepared meals or a gift basked filled with fruit or other easy to eat foods.

7. Don't question them about the details of the death.

Sympathy may be one of the most difficult emotions to convey and there is not easy way to approach someone who has just suffered a significant loss. Offer what you can whether it is an ear to listen with or a shoulder to lean on. It will be the right thing.


P.S. For more information or to view some of our recent designs, check out laurelmtbasket.com or call us at 413-527-1243

What If....

When I was six years old I wanted to be a cowgirl, just like Dale Evans or a pioneer like Daniel Boone.

The other day we were watching one of the Jason Bourne movies and I thought being a spy might be very cool profession.

I go to the gym 4 or 5 times a week so I'm sure I could jump from roof top to roof top and swing from bell ropes and utility wires easy enough. I've had my driver's license since I was 16 and only have had one fender bender (the time I backed into my husband's tuck while it was parked in the yard) so I'm sure I could drive 100 mph through foreign streets during the running of the bulls and not pile up.

I haven't field a gun in years but I'm sure I could handle any of the new fancy firearms available today (as long as someone disengaged the safety for me).

Other than sneaking into dark places to photograph secret documents (I get jumpy walking to my car in a parking lot at night), the only problem I see that would prevent me from being a first class spy would be remembering which name I was using on any given day.

In a lot of spy movies the spy has a bunch of passports all in different names. I have been Mrs. Lisewski for almost 40 years and the receptionist in the dentist office still has to call my name three times before I realize she is talking to me.

Come to think of it, I probably don't have the skills or temperament to be a very good spy. Gift basket designer is a much more suitable career choice for me. In fact, I love what I do and I am very good at it so gift basket designer is definitely the perfect career choice for me.

How about you? What would be your fantasy career?


P.S. Check out some of my custom designs at laurelmtbasket.com and see if you don't agree that gift basket designer is the right choice for me. 

Opportunities In Disguise

While unpacking a distributors order, I noticed that a carton of cookies was crushed on one end and several of the individual boxes were damaged. That wasn't a big deal because I knew my distributor would credit me for the damaged goods (which they did). The problem was that I had a dozen boxes of cookies that I couldn't use in my gift baskets.

I like almost any cookie. I've been known to buy a package of Oreos out of a vending machine on occasion but Brent & Sam's chocolate chip cookies are in a league of their own. They are to die for. So you can see my dilemma. A dozen boxes of my favorite cookies that I can't use, what to do?

As difficult as it was, I chose not to eat all of those delicious cookies myself but I did need to get them out of my sight as quickly as possible. I gave a couple of boxes to my mother, another couple to my husband, who loves to taste test our products, and the rest I dropped off to clients around town. Okay, I did save two for myself but they were small boxes.

The wonderful thing about Brent & Sam's chocolate chip cookies is that they are all about the chocolate chips. My husband couldn't believe the number and size of the chocolate chips in each cookie. The cookies are made from scratch with no added preservatives. Everyone who received a box commented on how delicious they are.

My mom and husband both wanted more….. I created two cookie monsters! I bet my clients were tempted but since they aren't related, they probably felt it would be inappropriate to take advantage of our relationship.

My point, I do have a point, is that not all cookies, coffees, or chocolates are created equal and at Laurel Mountain Basket Company we choose our products very carefully. Not that we don't use Oreos and Pringles. They are practically a staple in our College Survival Kits, but our gourmet gift baskets are filled with wonderfully delicious, quality treats.

When we create a gift basket for you, you can be assured that it will

It doesn't happen often but occasionally we are forced to make sacrifices for our craft, like having to eat a couple of boxes of the best chocolate chip cookies anywhere. (They really were small boxes.)


P.S.  See lots more Laurel Mountain Basket Company designs at laurelmtbbasket.com  

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

What Dad Really Wants

After many years of being a daughter and many years of being a wife, I finally figured out the perfect Father's Day gift,

Looking back, I feel bad for my Dad. He's been gone now for 40 years but the poor man got a tie and a bottle of Old Spice Aftershave just about every year for Father's Day. He was a mechanic most of his life and wore a green shirt and green pants to work six days a week. But every year my Dad got a tie and aftershave from his girls and a new shirt from my Mom. I guess it was Mom's way of making sure he looked presentable for Sunday morning Mass.

Although Father's Day was started by Sonora Smart Dodd to honor her father, Civil War Veteran and widower William Jackson Smart, who raised six children as a dingle parent, Father's Day has grown to include all men who love and support their families.

When it came to buying a Father's Day gift for my husband, I thought I'd be smart and just ask him what he would like. That didn't quite work out the way I thought it would. There was no way our budget would cover a new truck or a two week deep sea fishing trip to some place warm. Yup, he got shirts and ties until the year I discovered what all men like.

Food. Add a good adventure flick to to mix and you have the perfect guy gift.

Going to brunch is Vic's favorite Father's Day gifts and this year we might add one of these other great guy gifts to the mix.

1. Book a tee time at the local golf course. You could make it a family affair or not. For those with young children, miniature golf is lots of fun too.

2. Take him out to a ball game. Can't swing Red Sox tickets? There are some really good minor league teams like the Blue Sox in Holyoke, Mass or the Fisher Cats in Manchester, NH. You can take the whole family to one of their games and not bust the budget.

3. Go bowling or fishing. Both are fun activities that children can enjoy. Pizza goes great with bowling and a picnic goes perfectly with fishing.

4. Take a bike ride or a hike. Hiking with the dogs is one of our favorite family activities and living in Northern NH means we'll never run out of fantastic trails.

5. Go to the Movies. Taking in a matinee and stopping for ice cream on the way home brings us back to the gifts that men love…. Food and a movie. You can't go wrong.

However you choose to celebrate Father's Day this year, we wish you the best.


P.S. If you can't be with your Dad this Father's Day, a gift basket from Laurel Mountain Basket Co is the next best thing.  laurelmtbasket.com

Monday, May 23, 2016

Special Orders Don't Upset Us

Remember the lyrics to the Burger King jingle?  Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce, etc.  Well, at Laurel Mountain Basket Co. we also know that tastes differ.

Our website is filled with gift baskets designed for a wide range of tastes and budgets but we know that even this wide assortment doesn’t include something for everyone.  That’s why we’re more than happy to work with our clients to design gifts that are specific to their need.

Most gift basket you see on our site and others are filled with chocolates, cookies and other “feel good” treats.  After all, a gift basket is supposed to lift the spirits and satisfying the sweet tooth usually does just that.  But there are some folks who just can’t enjoy a couple of cookies or crackers and dip without becoming ill.  I’ve discovered that more and more people are becoming gluten intolerant or have other dietary issues.

Thirty years ago I knew one person who had a gluten problem and twenty years ago I knew two.  Today several of my friends or their children are gluten intolerant.

I do have my own briefs about why so many are getting ill from common foods but I’m not a scientist so my opinion doesn’t matter.  What does matter is that I do understand that gluten intolerance and other types of allergies do have a real impact on lives.  That doesn’t mean that a person who suffers from gluten intolerance can’t experience the joy of receiving a beautifully designed gift basket filled with yummy foods they can actually eat and enjoy.

We can design a gluten free gift basket for any occasion and have worked with clients to design baskets for birthdays and other celebrations, various holidays and to express get well or sympathy wishes.

So the next time you want to send a gift to a friend or family member who is gluten intolerant, you can send them a beautifully designed gift basket.  You just need to order it from a company that has years of experience designing gift baskets using products that are suitable for those with gluten allergies.  A company like Laurel Mountain Basket Co where special orders don’t upset us.


Friday, May 13, 2016

Can't Get That Here

Dom Perigon, Russian Tea Cakes, Pistachio & Almond Croccante and Truffle Oil are just a few of the items you won't find in our gift baskets.

I don't think many of the folks I know would be watching the Sunday game munching on Russian Tea Cakes and drinking Dom. Most folks I know, and I bet those you know too, are more of the chip and dip types. Not that they wouldn't enjoy a nice hot and spicy mustard with their pepper jack cheese and a three pepper cracker with their summer sausage, but you get the idea.

Years ago my husband managed a large warehouse operation. During the Holiday Season he would receive gift baskets from vendors and clients.

The first thing we would do when we opened one of those gift baskets was divide the contents into two piles. One pile was for “Who eats this stuff?” and the other was for “This looks pretty good”. I'm not a big fan of glazed roasted figs or Kalamata olive spread but give me any kind of cookie or chocolate and I'm your friend for life. Another thing about the contents in those gift baskets, by the end of the season , we would have a third pile consisting of all of the Starbrite peppermints.

I realize that sending gifts at the Holidays was a smart way to do business and that a busy executive didn't have time to personally select a gift for everyone on their list. It made sense that they would contact a local company or go on line, choose something in their price range and be done with it. I think the saddest thing was that I knew the gift baskets we received weren't cheap as far as cost but they looked pretty ordinary as far as presentation. Those gift baskets were what got me started in the business. I knew I could do better.

At Laurel Mountain Basket Company we create every gift as if we were personally sending it to our best client or our best friend. We fill our baskets with gourmet treats we know they would like. Sure, we like to surprise your taste buds with treats like yogurt covered cranberries but mostly your find high quality “simpler” items like Brent & Sam chocolate chip cookies or Ghirardelli chocolates. We also know that our clients work hard for their money so we work just as hard to give them the most value for their dollar.

Shopping local is a big deal for us and we are always on the look-out for new vendors, We have a great time attending Farmers' Markets and Craft shows making new friends and taste testing new product.

If you're looking for a gift basket with champagne and caviar, we can recommend a couple of places but if you are in the market for some down to earth, really good gifts for your friends and family, we can help.

Check out our website laurelmtbasket.com for samples of our work and give us a call at 413-527-1243 and we'll be happy to put together a gift basket just for you. Remember, consultations are always free and we can work with any budget.

Bon appetite,


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

How Many Empty Coat Hangers Does One Person Need?

Where does it all come from?  A person sure can accumulate a lot of “stuff” in 30 years.  When we moved, over two years ago, I got rid of tons of “stuff”, so how come there is still a huge pile of boxes in the corner of my basement that are still unpacked?

I’ve read lots of articles about how to get rid of clutter.  Most of them tell how to prioritize things and get rid of those items we no long use.  Here are the steps they suggest:

1. Objectively look at an item

2. Decide one of three things about the item;
    a. Do you love it
    b. Do you use it
    c. Will you use it in the future.

3.  If the item doesn’t fit one of those three categories, get rid of it.

When we were moving and I had a house, a studio and a warehouse to clear out, the idea of packing was overwhelming.  The task became much easier when I broke it down into manageable pieces.  After all there is only one way to eat an elephant… one bite at a time.  By starting with a small area, like a kitchen drawer, closet or small room, I was able to de-clutter and pack everything without being overwhelmed.  It took days to clear out the drawers in my office desk alone but it got done.

Don’t second guess yourself.  I made three piles.  They were, the “definitely keep it” pile, the “definitely get rid of it” pile and the “not so sure” pile.  The key to successfully using the “not so sure” pile is to go back the next day and make a decision as to which of the other two piles an item belongs and deal with it.

I also had three “getting rid of” piles.  One was for items I was going to donate to Goodwill or other charitable organization, another was for items I was going to tag sale, and the third was for items that were headed for the landfill.  I made regular trips to Goodwill and the landfill which helped keep reduce the clutter level in the house.

Be ruthless with the “get rid of it” piles.  Yes, there will always be something that you got rid of that you find yourself looking for a year later.  Soon after we moved I bought a can of tomato juice and after I got home, realized I didn’t have a can opener.  We did manger to find one in my husband’s tackle box but I did panic for a couple of minutes.

Those boxes in the basement.  I started going through them recently and since the three pile system worked fairly well before, I’m using it again.  Not many items are falling into the landfill pile but the tag sale pile is growing.  This house is much smaller than our old house so there isn’t enough room to display all of the items I love. The “definitely keep” pile has things like photo albums, books and things like the pretty tea pot that belonged to my grandmother.  I will definitely keep them even if their new home is in a box in the basement. 


P.S. We've moved.  Check out our new website at laurelmtbasket.com

Friday, May 6, 2016

Fouls To Felons

What do a baby horse and a home invasion have in common?

Answer:  They are just two of the reasons we make gift baskets

As I was going over the accounts to send to the accountant, I was reminded of the variety of projects we worked on over the years.  Most were for occasions you’d expect like the birth of a child, death in the family, birthday, get well and of course Christmas.  We’ve designed gift baskets for corporate events like annual board of directors’ meetings and regional sales meetings and with schools providing “final exam survival kits” for their students.

We’ve designed some very interesting gift baskets too.  There was the $600 gift basket that included gift certificates to several restaurants, movie houses and golf courses as well as some sexy lingerie.  I was given a list and a budget and went on a shopping spree.

We have a line of pet gift baskets and make a lot of baskets for dogs and cats.  We have even made some for small animals like ferrets and bunnies but the most unusual one was the welcome baby gift basket for a horse.  Not for the owner but for the horse herself.  Our inventory was low on “horse” gifts so this also required a fun shopping trip.  A straw cowboy hat became the “basket” and we filled it with things like a curry brush, shampoo and mane tamer and a package of carrot and apple cookies.  I don’t know what the horse thought but the owner loved it.

Not all baskets are for happy occasions.  In fact, sympathy baskets are a big part of our business.  The most emotionally difficult delivery I’ve made was to an elderly man who had just lost his youngest son.  When I arrived at his home he was sitting alone under an apple tree in his yard.  His wife and daughter-in-law were out taking care of one of the many things that need to be taken care of when planning a funeral.

I handed him the gift basket and offered my own condolences.  He placed the gift basket on a table and did something that made my heart break.  He hugged me and began to cry.  When he was finally able to compose himself I asked if he would like me to sit with him until his wife got home.  He said he was fine and I left.  I cried all the way home

Oh, the home invasion.  An employee of one of our clients was the victim of a home invasion.  It was horrible!  Not only was their home broken into the occupants were beaten.  Our client wanted to show support and sympathy for what the employee and his family were going through.

As you can see, there are lots of reasons why people send gift baskets and at Laurel Mountain Basket Company we take each one seriously.  We go the extra mile to make sure your gift says just what you want it to say.


P.S.  To see samples of our work, go to our website at www.laurelmtbasket.com

Sometimes Even The Professional Needs Professional Help

I’m the gift giving “expert”.  Clients come to me when they need a gift and have no idea of what they want.   At Laurel Mountain Basket Company we believe we have the knowledge and experience to help our clients choose gifts appropriate for every occasion.

Imagine how weird it felt when I needed a gift and didn’t have a clue what to give.

Vic and I are invited to the wedding of a woman I know but not all that well.  She is a widow and it is a second wedding for her fiancĂ© also.  They are both in their 60’s and have everything they need for their home.  Unlike some brides, she didn’t “register” anywhere so that wasn’t an option. 

Time to call in the professionals.  One of the great things about the gift basket business is that it is filled with some very smart people who are willing to share their knowledge and experience.  We belong to a couple of industry groups and over the past 17 years, I have developed wonderful relationships with some amazing people.

With a click of the mouse, I was able to get some great advice.   After consulting with the professionals, I realized I had the answer the whole time.  All I needed to do was follow the Laurel Mountain Basket Co formula.

1.  Who is giving the gift? Seems obvious but we all fill many roles.  Will gift be sent from our company or from us personally?

2.  Who is receiving the gift?  What is our relationship?  Close friend, family member, co-worker, business associate?  The type of gift should reflect the relationship.

3.  What’s the occasion?  In this case, it’s a wedding but what kind of wedding?  Is it a black tie formal or a back yard bar-b-que?

4.  What’s the budget?  This is always an important consideration.

It didn’t’ take long to realize that I did know something about the couple that made choosing a gift easy.  They love to cook and they love Italian food so I designed a pasta gift basket especially for them and since I know she likes wine, I added a nice bottle of red.

When you need a gift and don’t know what to do, just ask a professional like the ones at Laurel Mountain Basket Co where gift giving won’t make you a basket case.


P.S.  To see samples of our work, go to our website at www.laurelmtbasket.com

Your Next Challenge

What do all these things have in common?

Run a marathon
Visit a foreign city
Dance in the rain
Learn another language
Learn to play an instrument
Swim with the dolphins.

Answer: They are all items you will find on many Bucket Lists. Don't have a Bucket List? There are several sites you can visit if you want to start one but don't know where to start. One list I visited had 10,000 ideas. The list was comprised of items from actual Bucket Lists submitted to them.

A Bucket List is nothing more than a goals list and like a goals list; it won't happen without some effort on your part.

I don't have a Bucket List but if I did, here are a few things that would have been on it that I could check off.

Go to college. This was a very big deal because my father didn't believe in college for women. No one in his family had gone to college. His sisters were both successful, one taught at a cosmetology school and the other was an executive secretary at a huge corporation. So why bother going to college.

I did manage to win him over and I got to go to college. It was a wonderful and rewarding experience. I did so well that when my sisters also wanted to go to college, he was 100% on board.

Design and build my own house. Okay, so I didn't do the little line drawing or nail pounding but I did paint the entire interior myself. It took over two years from meeting the Architect to moving in. It was an interesting and educational experience. I'm glad I did it once but once was definitely enough.

Own my own business. My grandparents owned a restaurant forever and my dad had his own auto body repair shop for several years. Even though I saw how had they had to work, I still wanted to own my own business. Laurel Mountain Basket Co has been in existence now for almost 20 years! I love what I do but I have to say my current boss is the toughest boss I have ever worked with.

Vic and I wanted to move to New Hampshire when we retired. We both love the mountains and the slower pace of northern New Hampshire. It was difficult leaving all of our friends and family and moving not only our home but Laurel Mountain Basket Co to a new location. It's been almost three years now and we absolutely love living here.

Elbert Hubbard (American writer, publisher, artist and philosopher) said, “A goal without a deadline is just a dream”. A Bucket List without effort is just a list on a piece of paper.

Want to run a marathon? Start training. I have a friend who wanted to run in a half marathon in support of the Cancer Society. She had lost her father to the disease and running in her father's memory was her way of honoring her father's life. She not only ran the half, she now participates in full marathons, triathlons and multi-day hundred mile bike rides, all in her father's memory and to raise money and awareness for the disease.

Want to visit a foreign city? Do the research, set a date and set aside a few dollars every week.

Some goals are much easier to reach than others, like dancing in the rain. The next time it rains, just do it!

Looks like it's time for me to take up my next challenge. I think this is going to be the most difficult one so far. I want to break 100 in golf. If you've ever played golf with me, you know that is going to be some challenge.

Love to hear what you've checked off you Bucket List and what your next challenge is.

List it and then go for it!


P.S Check out our new website at www.laurelmtbasket.com