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From Cows to Canoes, From Zion to the Ozarks

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I was there for everyone’s worst day. After 15 years of working as a first responder (3 years as an EMT, 12 years in law enforcement), I was well versed in working with the public. Unfortunately, for me to interact with this public, someone had to call 911 for police or an ambulance and that almost always constituted that someone’s worst day was about to occur; whether loss of life, property or freedom. Many times, men and women in those roles of our first responders can get caught up: caught up in feeling not appreciated by a society who is taught to hate them, caught up in feelings of being overwhelmed, tired and stressed. The saying goes “Try not to take your work home with you.” But sometimes the work follows you. Sometimes, the same people you have arrested for a crime, figure out where you live. Sometimes, the stress of almost losing your life that day, causes you to be checked out at home. Sometimes, you can’t find the words to explain the traumas you have seen, and you feel alienated from your family who can’t fathom what you have been through, even if they are trying really hard to provide support.

It was time for me and my family to heal. I left law enforcement and the city and moved to my family’s cattle ranch in Utah. Being surrounded by family, cows and Zion canyon desert helped me to find myself again. I was able to appreciate the daily interactions with people and learn to stop looking over my shoulder. I was able to learn so many skills that have been neglected working 12 hour shifts 4 days a week for 15 years. I was truly present in my kids’ life and was able to appreciate the importance of family and working with my hands.

Our family’s cattle ranch is being sold. There are multiple facets that lead to this decision: family dynamics at play, government regulation with the sale of meat, drought. We will miss our ranch immensely and look back on those years spent there fondly as it was equal parts harsh and unforgiving and beautiful and rewarding.

Our next adventure is something we have thought of doing for the past 10 years but didn’t even know where to begin. There are moments it has truly felt heaven sent and guided by God. We are now the proud owners of Beaver Creek Campgrounds, Cabins and Canoe Rentals in Ava, Missouri. We made the difficult trek from Utah to Missouri, spent our time simultaneously moving, selling property, learning and taking ownership of a brand-new business. It has tested our strength, patience and endurance, much like the ranch did for us.

We are a family-friendly campground, located right on Beaver Creek and next to Mark Twain National Forest. 

We offer:

  • Canoe, kayak and paddle board rentals.
  • Tent camping and 3 concrete pads with 30-amp electrical hook up for smaller RVs/ travel trailers.
  • 1 cabin that sleeps 12 with bathroom and outdoor kitchen
  • 2 rustic cabins that sleep 4 with electricity
  • 1 cabin that sleeps 2 with full amenities including a kitchenette and personal bathroom.
  • All of our cabins overlook the creek.
  • We have a small general store.
  • We even have 2 covered wagon rooms with air conditioning.

Since we have been here, there have been amazing neighbors that have offered their assistance in any way possible to transition our new lives here. Running a campground will be a learning experience for us and I am sure there will be lots of failures, I hope the successes can be enough to keep us pushing forward. I am ready to now be there for everyone’s best day.

We hope to see you at our campground and be a part of this journey with us.

www.beavercreekcampground.com

For reservations, please call or text: 417-796-2336

Use discount code Beartaria for 10% off on lodging accommodations

By Perspective96Bear

Business

New Product Announcement From Ferrell Custom Wood Designs

We have combined our passion for music with my Dad’s passion for woodworking to bring you our exciting new product, Wooden Cell Phone Amplifiers, that require no power!

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Hobbit Bear here from Ferrell Custom Wood Designs. We have combined our passion for music with my Dad’s passion for woodworking to bring you our exciting new product, Wooden Cell Phone Amplifiers, that require no power! They come in different selections of pine, cedar, and oak for various acoustic tone options. So you can amplify your favorite music or podcast, and custom fit any cell phone to boost your sound on the go, at family picnics, in your garden, or your work area. Just drop your cell phone in the holder, crank up the volume on your phone and enjoy your favorite music or podcast.

Please message me on The Beartaria Times App @Thehobbitbear to get yours today. It’s easy to ship and affordable at only $60, with shipping straight to the comfort of your home. Keep up with all my latest products and music on BTA page as well.

I want to thank you all for your support and, as always, onward to Beartaria!!!

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Arts and Crafts

Too Many Mittens

My mom has always loved seeing her children be creative, so she was thrilled when I showed interest in learning how to make mittens. So, in 2016, she taught me how to make wool sweater mittens.

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By: Charity (@trailerparkgirl on BTA)

My mom started making wool sweater mittens sometime around 2014. She got the idea from visiting a local Mennonite-owned store. She found patterns online and started out just making them for the family. We’re a family of ten, so there are plenty of us to make mittens for.

In 2015, at eighteen, I became her right-hand businesswoman and began photographing her mittens and selling them on Etsy. My younger sister, Madeline, drew the mitten in the shop logo.

My mom called her shop “Too Many Mittens.” She may or may not have gotten the idea for the name from the 1958 children’s book “Too Many Mittens.”

It’s one of a few books she remembers from her childhood. My mom grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and the story takes place in Michigan. 

My mom has always loved seeing her children be creative, so she was thrilled when I showed interest in learning how to make mittens. So, in 2016, she taught me how to make wool sweater mittens. I found them to be pretty simple to make. Very fun, too. I already had some experience with sewing, so it didn’t take long to get the hang of mitten-making. The excitement of pairing different wool sweater fabrics together and adding cool buttons to the cuffs was enough to get me hooked.

We make the mittens out of wool sweaters from thrift shops. And we line the mittens with fleece. My mom and I have had a blast sifting through thrift shop clothes racks in search of funky wool sweaters. We’ve gone through hundreds of wool sweaters in the past several years. Sometimes I see a sweater that I love so much that I’m tempted to keep it for myself to wear. But then I think, “Nah, that’ll make some really cool mittens.”

A few years ago, I invested in an embroidery sewing machine and lots of machine-embroidery thread. It’s been lots of fun to play around with different designs on mittens. They really give mittens extra character. The machine was definitely worth it. And it was fairly affordable. I use a Brother SE625. 

Now, in 2022, my mom is far too busy for making mittens. She’s focused on helping raise some of her grandchildren. So, my mom decided to let me take over Too Many Mittens. I’m planning on adding other handcrafted goods to our shop in the future, like cold-process soap. I’ve been playing around with soap-making since 2018. I’m currently working on perfecting recipes. My goal is to have soap available by Spring 2023. I’m even trying to get my younger sister to design the labels for the soap. After all, it is tradition. 

One day, I hope my mom will have some extra time on her hands so that she can get back into making mittens. She really enjoyed it, just like I do. Together, we have sold over 350 pairs of mittens. I’m grateful for the time we’ve been able to bond because of our mutual love of mitten-making. If I ever have a daughter of my own, I plan to teach her how to make wool sweater mittens and so many other wonderful things.

Visit my Etsy shop, Too Many Mittens, Here!

Bears get 15% off with the code: TRAILERPARKGIRL

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Business

What Time is it? SLIME TIME!

“I want to start my own business. I want to start a slime shop. I’ve wanted to do that for years!”

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By: Winki Bear

Ever since our daughter was two years old, she has always had the desire to please people. She wanted to start a home restaurant where she could create her own menu. When people would get their bill, she wanted it to say “FREE .”Through the years of her childhood, we have taught her the value and importance of hospitality and giving and how that can meld together with the value of her time and skills. Teaching her what costs and benefits mean through her weekly allowance for doing her chores and coaching her through the spending and saving process was an important step for her to realize that her hard work of cleaning the house every week will end up as a good or service of her choice if she desires it. Once that concept sank in, she was ready for the next step. 

Since the beginning of her educational path, Norah has always been homeschooled. However, when we moved to Missouri in December of 2021, we were now out of the city, away from family and away from tons of distractions. As we got settled, since we don’t live on a farm or have a huge plot of land to work yet, like many bears here in Missouri do, my husband and I realized she had a lot more time on her hands. So, we decided one day to sit down with her and have a loving conversation.

“Ok, Love, we have some options for you to think about. You have a lot more time available outside of your schooling now, and we want you to choose how you are going to fill that time. You can either pick a school subject, an extra-curricular activity you would like to expand upon, or start your own business.” 

It did not take her long to choose. “I want to start my own business. I want to start a slime shop. I’ve wanted to do that for years!” “Perfect!” We were excited to start this adventure with her but wanted to do it in the right way so she would get the best education out of this experience and have a lot of fun. 

The first thing we did was discuss with her what her brand wanted to be and what her shop was going to be called. “Products are so fun to make, but the brand and image of your shop are what sells your product.” This took time and a lot of rough drafts. We had her draw out a few logos and play with quite a few names. She finally settled on Boba Bear Slimes. She chose that because she loves boba tea, she is a bear, and the last part is obvious. We sent her rough draft logo to Bytesize Bear, who is a master at digital art, and she created what is now Norah’s logo for Boba Bear Slimes. The next thing was for her to start a slime journal. She needed to create an outline for her business. What products would she need? Where would she find these products, and how much will they cost? What will her packaging and shipping of the products look like, and what would she need for that? How is she going to label her products? Being supportive through this process was key, as she was only nine years old when she started this adventure. We incorporated all of these tasks with her homeschooling curriculum, so it wasn’t overwhelming. Once she had this outlined, she then moved on to writing down the slimes she wanted to create. Norah keeps a log of every slime with the name, the type of texture it is, the scent, the color, and the add-in that comes with it. Then comes the fun part, making the slime. 

It didn’t take too long to acquire all the essentials for creating her little individual masterpieces of art. Once she had everything, she started bringing her hard-outlined work into reality. Mixing glue, dye, scents, glitter, and the like in big batches was just the beginning. Putting the semi-sticky and wet textured slime into jars and giving them name labels, scent information, and in some cases, price tags along with the most important, the Boba Bear Slime logo, is just as long of a process as making the gloppy toy itself.    It takes Norah about three days to create a batch of 24 slime jars. She also attaches a complimentary bag of ‘Activator’ with instructions just in case the slime gets too sticky, which happens over time. With every slime she sells, she also gives a sweet treat which is her way of saying “Thank You” for supporting her shop.  

Boba Bear Slimes was first created in July of 2021 and was first introduced to the realm at The First National Beartaria Times Festival right here in Missouri. Since then, she now sells her products in a local downtown boutique here in Lebanon, Missouri, called Crazy Daisy Boutique. She has her own Etsy shop and has attended two craft fairs which she has almost sold out of her slimes every time. Norah has learned the value of hard work and organization and how much it pays to stay focused and persistent, and consistent. Her advice to anyone who wants to start their own business: “It’s not as easy as you would think. Do a lot of research. Don’t just jump right into it. It’s not going to be as easy as watching a YouTube video. They had to plan things and make rough drafts and create logos and figure out financial details. If you follow your passion, it will always lead to success.” 

You can find her products on Etsy, the Beartaria Times app by contacting Norah @Bright Light Bear, or locally in the Crazy Daisy Boutique in Lebanon, Missouri. 

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