F&f Blog

Updates from laurie about all things field & forage


Find these beautiful wood cutting boards in the shop!

Products in the Making - July 27, 2019

I’m really excited to find AWESOME and local products for the shop! We are currently carrying some beautiful handcrafted wood cutting boards made by Nick- I have known Nick since he was born and it’s crazy to see him as this young man now, who has amazing talents and is just an all around great guy!

More from Nick:

“Hi, my name is Nick Sprague, I am 16 years and am a junior at Sault Area High School. My whole life I have enjoyed small wood working projects. This past year I took my first woodworking course and enjoyed it very much. It was my favorite hour of the day and I was happy that I could make whatever I wanted too. I started my cutting board company this past spring because I enjoyed making them and I thought it was a good idea. My other hobbies include Blue Devil hockey, track, hunting, fishing and I am now trying soccer.”

New beginnings - August 2, 2019

So…..I am totally new to this “blogging” thing. Lots of thoughts cross my mind, but it’s hard to think of a place to start. My plan is to share with you my journey over the coming months of how I came to this idea of opening my own business. Hopefully I can help inspire, encourage, or at least make someone’s day a positive one by sharing my story. Lord knows we need all the positivity we can get, right?

Years ago, and I mean years, my sister, Nancy, and I wanted to open our own gift shop and we had planned on possibly purchasing our Grandma Barrett’s house, which was located right on Ashmun St. (one block from Dairy Queen, which is grand when you’re a little kid) and would make a great spot to start a business. We had countless ideas and had plans for every room in the house, but it came down to timing. And as I talk about timing, I mean how the stars have to align and everything happening in life has to give you the go ahead. That didn’t happen. We both had young families and we knew the dedication needed to run a shop would detract from that, so the idea faded away. Please, no sad faces. I am a very firm believer in things happening a reason and it just wasn’t our time. Better things were to come….

Pullin’ weeds - August 6, 2019

I love this saying: “Your life is your garden, your thoughts are the seeds, so if your life isn’t awesome, you’ve been watering the weeds.” Now, I’m not saying my life hasn't been awesome, but I sure as heck have let my thoughts control a lot of my life and how I’ve handled certain situations. So, I’ve had a freakin’ garden of weeds growing for a long time! I don’t know if it’s just a woman thing, feeling that we constantly need to feel appreciated and that we worry too damn much about what others think of us, but this has been much of my personality for a very long time. It seems to be an innate feature of women to do what we feel we should do instead of doing what we really want to do, to do or be what inspires us. It’s our job to care for others and for myself being a mother and a teacher, it’s the best thing in the whole world! My family means everything to me and I count my blessings each and every day. The students I’ve had in my classroom are also my children and I consider myself so lucky to have been a part of their lives. Despite all the amazing things in my life, I still felt like I was being judged. Not by others, but by me. I know we are harder on ourselves than anyone else could ever be, and I took that to the limit. There comes a point though when that has to come to an end, when you have to pull the weeds and start growing some flowers!

Comes with Age I guess- August 16, 2019

Unfortunately, things that our parents or grandparents told us when we were kids, we didn’t take them seriously. We were smarter than them, right? My grandma always told me, “Don’t wish your life away.” As kids, we always wanted to be older than we were. Being older meant you got to do more things, be more independent, and not have to answer to anyone. Then, adulthood happens and I can say it goes by pretty damn fast! Now, I am just a bit over a month into grandparent hood. BEST THING EVER by the way, and I am months away from turning the big 5-0. You all know the old saying, “I wish I knew then, what I know now.” I think every stage of life we go through has a purpose and we are only meant to know certain things at each stage. Think about being a little kid, it would be overwhelming to know about all the shit that life will put you through. Yes, it would be nice to know all the fabulous events that would come in your future, but the “adulting” crap is definitely better left unsaid. Every stage we go through molds us into who we are today. We are forever evolving, every moment, every day continues to shape us. I think we put way too much pressure on ourselves, especially when we are younger. There is no such thing as a perfect life, and we should never expect to have that, but we can get darn close. Have patience and faith in yourself that you are on the journey you need to be on, and if you don’t like the direction you’re going, find the guts and strength within yourself to change the path. It’s there.

Together may we give our children the roots to grow and the wings to fly

August 26, 2019

The week before school starts can always be a source of stress and anxiety for kids, parents, and school staff alike. It’s the signal that all the fun of summer time activities are coming to an end and we again are to enter the world of buying school supplies, going to school open houses, and setting that ridiculously early alarm.

I see many mommas posting on Facebook about the hardship of sending their little ones off to school, often for their child’s first school experience. I remember very clearly those experiences with both of my children. It was much harder when my son, Graham, went to kindergarten than it was when my daughter, Erin, went to kindergarten. There is a big difference when you no longer have a little one at home, so when that last kiddo heads off to school full-time, it totally changes your world. I remember that first day of school went when I dropped my kids off and drove away…alone. I had been working the previous school year, but was laid off. So here I was, no kids at home and no job. Let’s just say I did the ugly cry all the way home. What was my role now? I know this may come across as being overdramatic, but this shit’s real. As moms, we build ourselves around the needs of others and when you have nothing purposeful to do each day you suddenly feel like you’ve lost your sense of purpose. Silly, maybe. But that was how I felt. I was fortunate to get a call that very day and I ended up back in my school district with a full time job starting right away. I was happy to have a job once again, but it was still hard for me. Another stage in our lives had begun. Was it going to be hard? Yup! But did I adjust to my new life of getting my kids off to school every day and getting myself to work? Yup!

My advice to you mommas and daddies who are struggling with the beginning of a new school, whether it be your first or not, I can tell you as a mom of two grown amazing children, that it’s okay to be sad ‘cause your babies are going off to school. Have that ugly cry or lay on their bed and hug their favorite stuffed animal. But remember, that first day of school is one small moment in a lifetime of amazing things you are going to see your child do. Acknowledge their independence and their excitement to share what they did at school and the new friends they made. it’s pretty awesome when you stop to think about it.

September 6, 2019. The leaves aren’t the only thing changing

So, this week was a bit different for me this week. I’m using the phrase “a bit” rather loosely. This was the first time in 13 years that I wasn’t beginning the school year in a classroom. I knew this time would come when my teacher friends and the kiddos I love would be back in school and I wouldn’t be there. My decision to leave education was not any easy decision and it was something that weighed heavily on me for the past few years. I thought about the different scenarios that would play out if I stayed teaching and if I chose to go. Not only were there the personal feelings and reflections to think about, but also the logistics and possible consequences of giving up a full-time job with consistent pay and benefits. When I started telling people that I was going to quit my job and open my own business, I had nothing but positive support and kind words. “You’re so brave!” I heard many times. But all the time I was thinking in my head, “Am I brave or just stupid?”

I think there just comes a point in every person’s life when something has to give. I’m not saying you have to be at your rock bottom, but there’s just something you know in your heart that has to change. It’s been interesting the conversations I’ve had with different people in the past few months, some have been close friends, some family, some people I just met. The topic of life changes has come up a lot and I share my own experience and try to offer some small words of advice. This is what I know. To quote Albert Einstein, he stated that “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. That was me. I needed different results. I can’t say what the future holds for me as I continue on this new venture, but no matter what I can feel good about myself in the fact that I chose to try something new and reignite myself. I wish everyone who wants to try something new the opportunity and support to make their dream happen. Change is scary, but staying stagnate is worse, way worse. I’ll close with one more quote from Mr. Einstein.

“A ship is always safe ashore but that is not what it was built for.”