The "whys" behind Brungot Farms

The Truth: Behind Brungot Farms & 2015 Christmas Tree Plans

28 July, 2015 6 comments Leave a comment

The Truth:

I haven’t done blogs in quite some time, so figured I really need to start back at it. First it helps me keep my focus, and second, it helps all of you understand what this Dream really is and means.

I put this HUGE disclaimer out there again, I am not a professional writer. English was the subject I least liked, taking time to read books was forced. Give me a car magazine, you might keep my attention, but my real love was outdoors, in the woods, fields and streams.

So yes, I named this blog the truth, it’s pretty telling I think. I was raised on the grounds of tell the truth, it hurts less than a lie. *(but for the record that is really hard to believe when the pain is there and real) Now with August upon us, and me on my knees trying to crawl past the pain, frustration, Struggles, and hardships, I want to write to regain the focus I had, it is SO very important that I get it back.

Steve Jobs nails it 11 seconds into the below video! Anyone that knows even part of me, knows that I walked away from my Job with a Fortune 500 company, one that paid the bills, and got me to where I am.

(Read More about Why Christmas Trees here)

Working for them for over 16 years I learned a lot, and daily try to apply it. Now here’s where it gets real, I walked away from an empty feeling of I could do more. What I loved the most about my job, the people and the opportunities it provided me to do things for kids, and families in need.

Now we all have heard the saying “The grass is greener on the other side” I have a whole new perspective, it’s not the same green if you think of it in the sense of Money, Time, and Stress Relief!” I honestly think I need to go to the eye doctor, and make sure he consults with a shrink, to write me a better prescription.

I watched the video below, because yes I need some major advice!! It is full of wisdom, from people that have done exactly what I am doing, risking everything to believe in something! I know this pain, stress, trouble, is worth it, I know because its right in my heart and soul I just hope that the people that I would call my customers, believe the same. If they survived it, so can I!

The dream has changed quite a bit over the last 18 months. Some things are much clearer, others I can’t even see straight. I plan to start telling all in blog postings on the website, but here’s where I need your help! If you have made it to this point, you have for a reason. I need your input, words of encouragement, and most of all help sharing the story. Without them, this Dream will die, I am doing my best to live with courage, but every person breaks, I want to see this dream continue to come alive. It’s a living dream, be a part of it, and help shape the future of something AWESOME!

In these bodies we will live

29 April, 2014 0 comments Leave a comment

“In these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die, where you invest your love you invest your life.” ~Mumford & Sons “Awake my Sole”

Three years ago today, these words helped me make sense of a hard time for me & my family. Here I sat, knowing that I couldn’t make it home in time to say goodbye, riding in the truck to the airport, getting the call that a loved one has gone on to a better life. The words to this song didn’t click until one year ago. It was quite simple, my choices were killing me, making me miserable, and only I could change those choices, repair some of the damage, and make my life better. Here’s how it clicked;

“These bodies” – You only have one, and it’s fragile. Modern medicine is great, you can change parts, like the parts on your car. But that parts still come from somewhere. You can put medicine in your body but there are still side effects, and consequences. I looked in the mirror one year ago, 342 pounds and climbing, 3xlt shirts, 44 pants. I could see my body, looked like my mind, Overloaded, stressed, abused, and done only by myself. It was time to change, and it couldn’t wait! Now last weekend, 290 lbs, lost 16+ inches, button & zipped 36 pants, and put on a XLT shirt. Do I look better on the outside, and feel better Oh yes! I can go walk 4 miles and keep going energized by the journey of the walk instead of sitting in a chair with a TV Clicker & a burger.

“Live”- Don’t go thru the day’s just getting buy. I was going to work to pay the bills, just paying the bills is not a real goal. I had gave up, settled for where I was, and was too tired of trying to get ahead of the system by someone else’s rules. Not happy with my life, I vowed to change it! I didn’t know how, but I knew it had to change, and knew the direction it needed to go in. Happy, peaceful, enjoy life, and the people that are around me. The one’s that you really call Friends, and family. The ones that are there for you, which give, even when they have nothing to give.

“Die”- Every day is precious, not knowing if it’s your last, or the last of someone else’s that is close to you. If you die today, did you live the right & best life you could? Or did you just skate by, live it to the fullest, never settle or put off till tomorrow! Did you tell the one’s you love how you really love them? Maybe you should?

“Invest” – Simply give without expecting in return. I am not specifically talking about money, give your time, your ear, your hands, and your heart. There are people that will just take, and it will hurt too! You have to risk this, one day when you need that hand and it will come. But if you’re selfish, it won’t.

“Your life”- Don’t be a victim, you are in control of your life. Take it squarely on your shoulders and change it. Don’t wait for someone to do it, you have to look up and out in front of you. Grab the bull by the horns, and guide it. Choices won’t be easy, you will hit ditches, cross water bodies, and be exhausted. But when you stop and look at where you were, and where you are now. Smile, because you walked there, not someone else.

Over the last year, I have lost & gained many things, friends, jobs, my health, and love. All of these things can and will come and go. As each day goes by, I realize I am now gaining more than I have lost. Life is real now, the emotion, the events, the people & the purpose, all driving the same direction. Invest your life in the things & people you love, and live your life. Tomorrow maybe too late, so start today. The journey of your life, is defined by your soul, purpose, and passion. One day you will leave these 3 things behind, and I personally want to be proud of what I leave behind!

What will you sacrifice?

29 April, 2014 0 comments Leave a comment

So let me rewind, it was Sunday night and I had been sitting in my chair at the house, after i obviously got a message from the man upstairs about changing my life. Ok, yes there are skeptics that I am trying to pull some yeah sure God told you to do it card. Let me explain something, God’s not telling me to do this, he’s telling me to follow the dream, to get out of my misery and go for the life I really know I would love, would be happy in.

OK don’t believe me yet, so let me explain what happen on the very next Monday, this made me a believer!! Here is a reminder of what I asked for on Sunday night:

Read the whole Blog here:

“Lord, I hear your message, but I don’t know what to do. How do I get out of this mess I am in to follow this dream. To make this place that it’s clear I am supposed to build? I need you to show me how, I don’t know.” Amen.

So bright and early Monday morning, sitting in that very place I dread. I was exhausted already because of the events of Sunday night. It was Cyber Monday the 2nd busiest sales day of the year for us. Nothing working in my favor on reporting out the weekend performance so I was trying to fight thru the requests in my email for information. (All sounds normal right??)

At 9:15, it stopped being normal in my brain, it turned into bizarre!  Enter an email from human resources. Sounds like I got in trouble huh… NOPE it was an offer for VSP, known as Voluntary Severance program. You could have dropped a pin, on a carpeted floor 10 rooms down, and I could have heard it when I read that! Oh yeah, and sanded a Hardwood board on my arm from all the goose bumps!

Here are the words from the video message that are burned in my mind. “If your heart & soul aren’t in it any longer, here is a way to change course and do something you really want to do”

Yup, if he didn’t already get my attention last night, he surely has it now!!! And I am sitting in my cube in the office, and I can’t for the life of you tell you if I said this I my head, or out loud. But it was pretty simple. “Seriously you want me to Quit my job????” the very thing I have stopped myself from doing a bazillion times before because I need to pay my bills?

If I didn’t feel like working when I got there, I surely had my day derailed now!

It took me 18 days to decide what to do. Sleeping few hours, having many deep conversations. But I will sum it up this way. What I am willing to sacrifice, is nearly everything to follow this dream. Now with God in my corner, and an employer that is basically paying me to follow my dream. The time is now! December 18th 2013 is when the Dream, started to become reality!

 

“But” will you answer when he calls? Part 2

29 April, 2014 0 comments Leave a comment

Have you ever wanted to reach out, grab someone by their shirt collar, get right in their face to give them a reality check? What would you do if God did that to you? He did it to me!

Now if you’re reading this, and haven’t read Part 1, now is a good time to pause and read it here. It will help paint the picture. Read it here: 

For those that have, let me do a quick recap, Miserable… Yup that about sums it up! But something started to happen, I was oblivious that it was the man upstairs trying to deliver a message. I kept on going in my own miserable world, not seeing what he was trying to tell me… So he decided he knew exactly how to get my attention!

What is your biggest fear? Well, mine is alone in a hospital room, Sick with no family there. Reliant on our healthcare system of Nurses. I love Nurses, please don’t think this is about them! They are over taxed, not enough help, and more paperwork than you can even begin to fathom. This paperwork, and red tape, along with high Nurse to patient ratios limits your care. If I was in the hospital, unable to help myself, and so sick, honestly I would rather be dead. Sorry it’s direct but I have felt that way for MANY years!

Well many people know my best friend’s wife has been battling cervical cancer. Thanksgiving weekend 2013, she was hospitalized due to a kidney infection. As many times before, I try to help them in any way I can. This Saturday night, I was up at the hospital with her, as He was taking care of the kids at home. Batting a near 104 fever, I wasn’t leaving the hospital that night till it broke and she was resting. The nurses had their hands full with the patient next door. Imagine the yelling, thrashing, and just difficulty of a patient that was in a bed, and just didn’t want to be there.  The nurses came in multiple time to apologize for all the commotion.

Fast forward to the next evening, walking out of the room, to leave for the evening. The same lady from the night before cries out to you, “Sir!!! Help me, they won’t help me, I need to get up!!” I turned around and the sight I saw was God, grabbing me by that shirt collar, and showing me my worse fear! All I heard, was “Do I have your attention now?” Thankfully a nurse saved me, as I couldn’t even udder a word to this lady. She was lying in a bed, couldn’t get out, her hands were covered with padding so she couldn’t rip her IV’s out. I mean, she couldn’t even pick up a glass of water if she needed to!

Badly shaken, I fled the hospital! I sat in the truck for a long time in the parking lot. Why in the work did I just see my biggest fear, and FREEZE! As I have done many times, I escape in music when I do a lot of thinking on life. This night was no different. At home, laying on the couch I pondered what happen while listening to mellow music.

Now I have gotten goose bumps before, but on this night, I got Goose MOUNTAINS! From head to toe, like a lightning bolt had struck me. Follow these with instant flash flood of Contact floating moisture coming from my eyes. (Must have been dry contacts, had to be.)

The trigger for his was the words to this song:

Now let me take the fluff out, to show you what I heard in the message via bold words:

Courageous Lyrics

We were made to be courageous, We were made to lead the way, We could be the generation, That finally breaks the chains We were warriors on the front lines, Standing, unafraid But now we’re watchers on the sidelines, While our families slip away Where are you, men of courage? You were made for so much more Let the pounding of our hearts cry We will serve the Lord And we’re taking back the fight And it starts with us tonight This is our resolution Our answer to the call We will love our wives and children We refuse to let them fall We will reignite the passion That we buried deep inside May the watchers become warriors Let the men of God arise Seek justice, Love mercy, Walk humbly with your God In the war of the mind, I will make my stand In the battle of the heart, And the battle of the hand

With all the events of my past, where my mind was, these words struck me deeply. Then surfaced the guilt again because I didn’t go to church that last weekend, or even today!! I knew they put the sermons online, so I went to the website and immediately knew, the message wasn’t’ over!!

Name of the sermon: “The best is yet to come!!”

http://vimeo.com/80313448

 

Needless to say, I have no doubts I was delivered a message,

BUT! Didn’t know what to do with it… I am still mired in a lot of things, no idea how to get out of them, but know my heart is calling me to go do something I have for 21+ years wanted to do. I raised my hand that night, and said a prayer: “Lord, I hear your message, but I don’t know what to do. How do I get out of this mess I am in to follow this dream. To make this place that it’s clear I am supposed to build? I need you to show me how, I don’t know.” Amen.

Do you think he answered? Well, this blog has gotten pretty long, in the next one, I will tell you what he said. It kept me up at night! MANY nights!

“But” will you answer when he calls? Part 1

28 April, 2014 0 comments Leave a comment

Have you ever been in a point in your life, the kind where you know you have to change course, and you’re willing to do it, “BUT” what about the cost? It’s not about selling your soul, it’s about freeing it. It’s about getting back to the way you know it should be, not the way it has had to become to survive.
Watch this video to understand the word "But" 

I was there, miserable is the only word that I have to describe the feelings. When you don’t want to do the things you know you love to do. When you don’t want to get out of bed because you don’t want to face the day. Having to face, to do, and to be someone you’re not. Every day I found myself day dreaming of what I really want to be doing. When I was under attack by the things I hated most, I would post a simple saying on my FB page. “Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree” It was my way of trying to escape, code for wanting to be sitting in that field of Christmas Trees, shutting the world out.

When I drove home, in Oct of 2013 it was a last minute choice to do so. My mom needed help, because the winter firewood wasn’t even started, and the weather was turning cold fast. It wasn’t just to help her, it was to escape. It was to do what I knew was the right thing in my heart. ChainsawsTo stop prioritizing my day job, how I was trying to survive and pay my debts. Family is so much more important than my day job in corporate America. So I drove, cross country 2,200 miles one way…

My escape was simple, take a well used chainsaw, a log splitter, my bare hands, and my truck. With them, create firewood from the land. I found it so easy to get up in the morning, eat breakfast, get dressed, and attack the day. I didn’t dread what I was doing, I truly enjoyed it. Then that job crept in, in order to stay back home for the whole three weeks, I had to bring work with me. “Have a laptop, can work anywhere with an internet connection.” TruckloadwoodThis is where the fun started to go away, once again, I was having to prioritize the wrong things to pay my bills, to keep the bosses happy. This feeling frustrated me immensely as felt like I was neglecting what was important in life. Neglecting it for what was expected by others, because “of course they knew what I was supposed to be doing, how to prioritize my life.”

When I got back to Austin, back into the routine of Rivermy normal everyday life. This frustration REALLY started to take over. I couldn’t focus on work, all I could focus on was that peace I felt, back home with nature. Enjoying Nature at its best, working hard, standing in the middle of one of gods great creations a beautiful river as it cut thru the land. Ever so peaceful, it’s beauty creating a noise that would block the world out.

This frustration came to a peak, around thanksgiving weekend, all I wanted to do was find peace. The demands of work during the biggest time of the year, consumed my life, and I regretted it dearly. I regretted I couldn’t live and enjoy the holiday moments without guilt that I was neglecting my job. What was I to do? I couldn’t take it any longer, but I was stuck, I had to pay my debts. I was struggling with everything after my divorce went final just a year prior. I limited the driving of my race car, as funding that ride couldn’t take precedence over paying my debt. Giving up everything I was enjoying for the things that were trying to drowned me in life.

I was invited to church by a good friend the Sunday before thanksgiving, an invite that had been offered by that friend, and another multiple times. Of Course I didn’t go, myself and the man upstairs weren’t really on speaking terms. I believe in him, but with my situation and all that happen, I lost my respect for him. Didn’t understand why I was being put in my situation. The guilt from not going that Sunday morning, troubled me the entire week.

This was a big week for me, it was the anniversary of many things, one right after the other. Not good things, the things that I was mad about, LegoFarmthat I didn’t want to talk to god about. In the middle of this anger and guilt, I walked into the office on Monday morning with a very interesting surprise on my desk. Someone had left a Lego Christmas Tree Farm built beside my keyboard. A coworker found it after buying Christmas presents for his children, it was a free gift for his purchase. He said, “I knew exactly who I was going to give this too”

What I didn’t realize was there a chain of events that had started, events that were completely out of my control. This chain of events would change my life forever! These would awaken a dream, break the chains of guilt and pain, and cause me to say good bye to Corp. America, and truly believe I didn’t have to go back. “BUT” am I willing to take the Risks needed?

Lessons in life can come in really small and special packages

22 April, 2014 0 comments Leave a comment

So your best friend calls you up, and says he’s going to do a BBQ Fundraiser. He doesn’t have to ask you if you want to help, he knows the answer. He just has to tell you where and when it is. Now here is the thing, your best friend is in the trenches of his own troubles in life, but still gives everything he can give to help others. How can you not support someone like that? This fundraiser is for a little girl, born with a broken heart, and her family that is even with health insurance is completely overcome with debt to pay the medical expenses. How much can one small group of people do? It really doesn’t matter, even a $1 that they don’t have, helps!

Fast forward to the day of the BBQ Fundraiser, anyone that has cooked for a lot of people with a small army of volunteers knows it’s not easy. It was a CRAZY busy day, and many of us were really tired, but we were driven by the knowledge it was for this little girl, her heart, and her family. I finally took a time out from all the running around to get some food myself, and rest my angry feet. While I took that moment, I got a chance to meet this little girl named Brooklynn, she was very shy. I even got down on my knee, as I know the 6 foot 3 inch giant can be very scary to a little thing like that. I tried to say hi to her, but couldn’t coax her out of hiding behind her mom’s legs…

Brooklynn’s mom Tracy & I got into conversation about the experience of what the Congenital Heart Defect, which Brooklynn was born with has done to her. She was now working on a non-profit to help raise awareness for it. It’s My Heart – Austin was her work, basically by herself to honor her daughter, and their biggest challenge was having funds to do anything to raise awareness. In this conversation, I expressed I was going to do something to help even more than this BBQ Fundraiser that day, as the debt was still nowhere near paid.

This is where Hero’s enter the scene, because I couldn’t have even started to do what I wanted without their help. Terry & Joey Tschoerner, from Terry’s Body Shop in Taylor Texas, Don Painter and Leanna Knous, from Browning Auto Part’s. Without them, the #50 would have never made it to the track, the countless shop hours at Terry’s body Shop, converting my old Thunder Stock to San Antonio Speedway Charger rules. Browning Auto Parts making sure the costs and Funding for Tires & race day expenses doesn’t take away from the goals.

So wait I am going to a VERY fast, high banked track that I have never raced at and pretty much no idea what I am doing. I don't have much time to learn as practice is short. Oh let me mention that another driver wrecked in practice right in front of where we were pitted. I will just describe his car after this wreck as an obtuse Triangle instead of a sporty rectangle. Thank you Anthony & Russell Gordon on helping me with step up, to help with putting me on the spot with handing and how to get around this monster. A monster that likes to eat racecars when drivers make mistakes. Was I scared pulling onto this strange race track, in a car that I wasn't sure of, OHHH YEAH!! I put it on the internet what I was doing, so I better get over this quick, as there is no time to chicken out!

There are a lot of other thank you's to put out there, my race day crew, Ryan, John, Janice, Brandie. Along with the Staff at San Antonio speedway, Rodney, Debbie, Nathan, Brian. Thank you for SAS giving passes to Brooklynn and her family to join us for this night, that's where this story gets special. Even a bigger THANK YOU to all the people that have donated, and continue to donate toward Brooklynn's needs thru this portal: www.gofundme.com/BrooklynnsHeart

Here is this 3yr old little girl, fresh off of her 2nd, Yes SECOND! Open heart surgery to mend her broken heart. March 5th, Brooklynn's life was in the hands of the talented doctors and God. This Brave little girl, came thru with flying colors, April 20th she is sitting in the stands with her family and you would have never known anything was even wrong with her. Her Smile for enjoying the races was priceless! It got cold that night, and it got late, and she stuck it out thru all of this.

 So what did I learn from all of this that changed my life forever? Look at the smile on this girl’s face, with all the pain that she & her family have been thru. Do you see pain? Do you see scared? I don't see pain, I see a little girl and her family grateful for one of gods BIG, little miracles. Life could be very short, don't waste a single day. Do what makes you happy, because happiness is not a pursuit, it’s a state of mind. Enjoying what you have, because you never know when you will not have it.

 

Tracy Brooklynn's mom has a blog, and wrote in it about her experience, this was part of her closing statement: "I hope that one day I'll be able to do something for all of the people that have been so generous and selfless in helping us"

Find her whole blog here: http://www.tracyandbrooklynn.blogspot.com/search?updat

ed-max=2013-05-03T13:25:00-05:00&max-results=7

 

I want to be very clear in my reply to this, there is no debt to be paid for

those that have helped you. They help because your little angel is stronger than all of us hope to be some days. We didn't just help you in your journey, you have helped us in ours. Today, I stand in a snow storm in New Hampshire, Proudly wearing my Brooklynn T-shirt & Red! 

Why Christmas Trees

03 April, 2014 0 comments Leave a comment

WARNING, I am not a professional blogger and hated English in school, so if you’re a technical writer, or English major, I am Sorry!  The second part of this is, I am not putting this up to hurt anyone, these details can get deep, and many people would look the other way when faced with this kind of stuff. To be honest, there are parts of this life that I shouldn’t have looked away from, but I did and I am very sorry I did. I promised myself that Mind, Body & Soul I was going to get my life right. Now it’s quickly moving in the right direction.

It will take a few blogs to explain this truly overpowering story, and chain of events. I know without a doubt, that the time is now to give up my nearly 16 year career in Corporate America. To be honest, with the chain of events, and the knowledge that I have learned since, I am nearly certain it was going to happen even if I didn’t chose to jump. I am giving it up to chase a 22 year old dream of growing Christmas Trees, and building a Choose & Cut Christmas Tree farm & experience.

OK, stopping right there, let me explain something in the wrong frame of mine, this entire idea currently scares the dickens out of me! But after a series of “perfectly” timed events in my life, I have no doubts that this is what I am supposed to be doing with my life right now. Every time my mind flutters on the plan & events, It quickly gets a correction by someone that seems to be a spy in my mind, seeing the doubts, and clearly erasing them.

Here is the set up that makes the meat of this story make sense. Many people know of my efforts and works the last few years, I will do anything I can when I see children hurting, or in a tough situation with family and friends. I am a believer that it’s not about what you take with you when you die, it’s what you leave behind. Yes, I am a child of divorced parents, the events that led up to that divorce shaped me to who I am today. There are many things that I won’t put in this blog, but I will sum these events up this way. Alcohol & Abuse can ruin families and set in motion a very nasty chain of events that ruins many lives for many years. I did not learn how to do stuff the right way, I learned the wrong, and had to find the right way. I promised myself young in my life, I would not follow in the footstep I was being taught from.

This leads into the why Christmas Trees? There are two reasons, in high school, we had 400 acres of land that the FFA department managed. One area was a Christmas tree field, I remember many times, begging to have to mow the field, so that I could escape school, and go to a place that I found truly peaceful. Our next door neighbors to the land we had in Dalton, NH also had Christmas trees planted in their fields. I would take the dogs for walks, and routinely walk the rows to trees, It was my peaceful place. I remember times of laying on the ground in these rows of trees for long durations of time, just escaping life.

Melvin, Aaron, and Baby Nate @ Christmas

The second reason, Christmas became my favorite holiday. At Christmas, family gathered, and the events and pains of my childhood stopped being painful. Maybe it was only for a few hours or days, but it was happy times, getting gifts that you wanted and begged for all year, but couldn’t have them. Getting to see family that you hadn’t seen in a long time. Don’t get me wrong, my childhood wasn’t all bad, there was a lot of good, and to be honest the bad revolved around one thing, Alcohol. I truly believed it was the devil in a bottle.

Now why today, to start to tell this story. Today is my Grandfather, Robert P. Bigelow’s Birthday, This man was the light in many dark days. He was the man that taught me like a father how to live the right way, how to love, even when times were tough. No need for fancy things, just truly caring, and enjoying life. I was truly honored to give his eulogy at his funeral, and the words I spoke then, I am living now, my soul has been awakened, I am investing my life in what I truly love. I love the true spirit of Christmas, and I will make that spirit, and nurturing it my job, and the base of my living.

If you’re still reading this, this is just the beginning. This story gets to be over powering, I am a true believer that god has stepped into my life, to turn me around from a sinking ship, and will tell you how… I leave you with video Dream..

It came into my life at a dark time, and provided a Huge Light!

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