PODCAST: Fresh Autumn Musings

Episode 5

“Meditation was really challenging for me. I was a nonstop, high energy, high achieving, always busy. Meditation was the opposite of all that, in my opinion. And I would attempt it and be annoyed with the distractions at first or I would just completely fall asleep.

Michelle Girasole

Getting F.R.E.S.H.: Autumn Musings
If you’re looking for fresh ideas for living your best life, connecting with others about things that bring you joy, and learning more about digital marketing, then this episode is for you.

Today, we’re talking about fall things. Key points include:
1. Food – apples! morning glory muffins and a secret applesauce ingredient tip
2. Recreation – the Calm App, 7 Days of Gratitude
3. Experience – a D.C.-bound military “flight of honor” for veterans
4. Sponsor – TheMarketingCamp.com and the RI history of Fruit of the Loom factory complex
5. Happiness – Scooter “gotcha Day” – the annual “super dog adoption day” event in Rhode Island

Connect with Michelle:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sassymichelleg/ 
Websites: FreshMaps.us FreshRebellion.com
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[00:00:00] Michelle: Welcome to Get F.R.E.S.H. with Michelle Girasole, a podcast that gives you fresh ideas for living your best life. Enjoy our conversations and learn what the acronym F.R.E.S.H means, food, folks and fun, resources & recreation, experiences and entrepreneurs, our sponsors, and our happiness moments. We hope that you enjoy this podcast hosted by me, Michelle Girasole, serial entrepreneur and founder of {FreshMaps.us}. This is the Get F.R.E.S.H. with Michelle Girasole podcast.

[00:00:44] Michelle: Hey guys, welcome to episode five. It’s been great to hear how everyone is enjoying the podcast. Thanks so much for listening and if you’re just tuning in for the first time, I’ll tell you why I’m doing this. “Fresh” is my company name, and I enjoy talking about things that bring me joy and highlighting it, talking to friends about what brings them joy. And I hope it adds a little joy to your life as well. Really, I love connecting with people about this stuff. It makes life rich for me and I hope you agree. So let’s get into it. 

F – Food: Apples

[00:01:17] Michelle: Our first episode, we talked about food and charcuterie boards and I talked to people about their favorite foods. It’s the fall at the time that I’m recording this so today I am going to talk about fall things. The fall means apples here in New England and I have enjoyed many sunny afternoons with my kids picking apples. We have some great orchards around here. Oh, I just love getting into the basket of apples when we get home and crunching through some juicy ones, making an apple sauce maybe, or an apple pie or apple muffins.

(Click for link to recipe)

[00:01:54] Michelle: Today, I made Morning Glory Muffins, which had apples, shredded carrots, pecans, really, really delicious. I used Ina Garten’s The Barefoot Contessa recipe. It was really moist and I think it’s healthy. You know, muffins you don’t tend to think of as a go-to healthy food but it had so many nutritious ingredients. It has to be healthy. So, Morning Glory Muffins. 

[00:02:22] Michelle: And also, I made a different apple sauce recipe this year. My friend Katie was going to pick apples and she texted me a picture of what she called her grandmother’s famous applesauce. So I texted her back, “What makes it famous?” And she tell an ingredient that really makes sense, but I had never used an applesauce put vanilla in it, right? It just made it such a rich different flavor than… usually, it’s apples, sugar, maybe lemon juice, some cinnamon and you just let it all stew down in some water and then mush it all up. But the vanilla really added a depth of flavor that was unexpected.  So thanks Katie and your grandmother for that tip.

R-Recreation: the Calm App

[00:03:07] Michelle: Okay. Our next category is recreation and a recreational activity that I have been very much enjoying for the last week or so is the Calm App to guide some meditations. I’ve been meditating on one in particular. It’s called the 7 Days of Gratitude by Tamara Levitt. I hope I said that right. It’s about… I don’t know, 15, 10 or 15 minutes, and I’ve been using it to start the day I took a trip… business trip and I had some time to wake up in a different way than I do at home. And I said, “I’m gonna start the day with gratitude,” which is easy to do. I’ve had a gratitude journal. I write things from time to time when I’m feeling really grateful for something.

On the Calm App

[00:03:52] Michelle: But this really deepened the feeling of gratitude for so many things that I just take for granted. Bodily functions… all of your five senses. Some people don’t have sight or they can’t hear, COVID took away our sense of smell and taste in many cases. So you’re just really grateful for those things when you don’t take them for granted. Things in nature, relationships that you might just assume we’re always gonna be around and that’s not the case. So I really spent time with all of those things as part of this seven day meditation series and I suggest you give it a try. You know, Google simple things to be grateful for and then just read it if you don’t have access to the Calm App. But I promise you, your life will be richer for it. It was really nice.

[00:04:41] Michelle: Listen. I had a long and sorted history with meditation. I didn’t do it growing up. You know, I grew up in a faith that was really about praying and not so much meditating. So it was like a conversation with God, not like downtime, time for stillness, time for present. So I’ve spent probably in the last… I don’t know, 15 years or so since I took a class on yoga and meditation and just trying to expand my self care practices. 

[00:05:11] Michelle: Meditation was really challenging for me. I was a nonstop high energy, high achieving, always busy like meditation was the opposite of all that in my opinion and I would attempt it. And be annoyed with the distractions at first, or eventually I learned, like when I did it, I fell asleep if I actually stopped for five minutes and I would just completely fall asleep. 

[00:05:35] Michelle: And so, that was not really meditating, but it did help me get back to sleep in the middle of the night when I couldn’t. So it’s really just being present to your breath, being calm, being in the moment, not letting thoughts distract you. And then I found the Calm App with a series of free and paid meditations and it’s really very pleasant so I encourage you to check that out. That is my recreation for this episode.

E-Experiences: Vegas and the Flight of Honor

[00:06:03] Michelle: Next, experiences. One of my favorite parts of this podcast series is hearing about experiences. And recently, I went on a business trip to Las Vegas. I was there in December for a wedding. And you know, we saw a few of the sites but it was really about being at the wedding with our friends.

[00:06:22] Michelle: So this one, I had a conference ( IMEX America), which is all travel and meeting event planners. It was a great experience. But the town of Las Vegas? The city itself is such a spectacle of a town. I have friends who love it. I gotta say, I do not love it. I’m a nature girl and it’s hard to find nature other than palm trees in that town. But I wanted to find something good about that experience to share with you.

[00:06:52] Michelle: So, a couple of things,  I was able to revel in the fakeness of it all, right? I was in the Uber, I’m driving to the hotel and I’m snapping pictures and sending it back to my family back at home. I’m like, “Look, guys, fake New York City. There’s a fake statue of Liberty and a fake Big Apple. It’s like they wanted to recreate the New York experience in the desert of Nevada.” That’s Las Vegas like. Then you go up the street, it’s like, “Oh look, a fake pyramid, and there’s a fake sphynx and fake hieroglyphics.” It’s like really the whole town’s charm is the fantasy of it all. It’s a place to marvel at the spectacle and the hugeness of this entire recreational city built in the middle of the desert.

[00:07:38] Michelle: I’m not a gambler. I’ve been to Vegas four times now and I’ve never spent a dime in the casinos. Not my thing, but it is entertaining to be there and it’s a great place if you need to get more walking exercise ‘cuz you do a lot of walking. My step count was really high in Las Vegas. 

[00:07:56] Michelle: But I’ll tell you, it wasn’t until the morning that I left that I found the experience that I wanted to share with you guys today. And that is, it happened the day I was leaving. I left the hotel really early, got back to the airport, got to my gate before 5:00 AM. None of the coffee shops were open. I’m a big coffee girl to get going in the morning and I got to the gate and there was a table with fruit and coffee and two people wearing these enormous Uncle Sam costume hats like tall Abraham Lincoln style hats that were red, white and blue. And I was like, “Oh, what is going on here?”

[00:08:36] Michelle: And then I look at the gate where the flight attendants— you know, where they check you in to go to the flight. And there was a color guard, so I’m like, “There’s some military ceremony happening here.” And then I looked at the people sitting around at the gate and many of them were wearing red caps. It was a veteran’s unit from the State of Nevada and this was their Flight of Honor. 

[00:09:01] Michelle: And if you’ve ever seen or participated in this, it’s a really beautiful military experience that honors the service of their veterans by flying them to Washington D.C. I believe they go and they see the monuments and they have time to be together as veterans. And this particular group, there were 25 of them, 12 of the veterans were in wheelchairs. And at first, I had that like, “Oh, this is gonna take forever. The flight’s not gonna go. What is this about?” But then as I started to understand what was happening more, it was really, really, really special.

[00:09:40] Michelle: There were men who had served in three wars, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and as far back as World War II. One of the men, it was his 97th birthday and he was a veteran of World War II. God bless him. Imagine at 97, hopping on a flight from Nevada to Baltimore to go explore Washington D.C. But this is really… It was beautiful and they made it fun. Each veteran, if they needed help, had someone, a volunteer to help them. They all had these red hats and they gave them a military honor welcome when they boarded the flight. 

[00:10:20] Michelle: And when they arrived, when we landed in Baltimore, there was a water cannon all of a sudden. It’s a beautiful sunny day and there’s water running down my window. And they had shot a cannon filled with water at the plane when it arrived. So really neat, really special. And they were just all… you could tell how much they were enjoying the experience of being honored for their service. So thank you, the State of Nevada veterans, for your service to our country. And that’s our experience for today.

S – Sponsor: The Marketing Camp

[00:10:50] Michelle: Okay, next up is our sponsor. Our sponsor today is the marketing camp. The Marketing Camp, themarketingcamp.com if you wanna look it up. After a career in marketing, I am honored to be part of a group of creative marketing professionals who put on an annual conference for small businesses called The Marketing Camp.

The Marketing Camp, Warwick, RI: May 19-20, 2023

[00:11:11] Michelle: It’s pretty unique in that the theme is summer camp for adults. So it’s a very playful way to enjoy some professional development. We get everybody out of the office. Everybody meets new people who are also learning to grow their business and most importantly, they’re able to, in a very short day and a half, brush up on trends in marketing from the people who are really the best in the region.

[00:11:35] Michelle: I’ve worked for over 20 years, 25 years in the field of digital marketing and these guys are all the best. We just booked the venue. It’s gonna be May 19-20, 2023 at the NYLO Hotel in Warwick, Rhode Island, which is the Providence Metro area. And fun fact, the place where we’re having it this year, we’ve done it in two rustic camp-like locations, but this is the first urban location. And it is the place where Fruit of the Loom began! That’s right. Fruit of the Loom had Rhode Island beginnings according to Wikipedia and the people who run the hotel.

(Pardon the diversion, I’m a history geek.)

[00:12:13] Michelle: And the origin of the Fruit of the Loom company dates back to 1851, when a textile mill owner and his brother produced this muslin fabric. And a friend of one of the owners had a daughter who is an artist and she painted images of apples {which they} applied to the bolts of cloth. Those were the ones that proved to be the most popular. So the mill owner adopted this as the perfect symbol for…  when he did a rebrand, which again, is a marketing story, right? Perfect.

[00:12:47] Michelle: Fruit of the Loom is an expression referring to clothes paralleling the phrase ‘fruit of the womb,’ meaning children that come from the woman’s uterus. This is all on Wikipedia. I’m reading it, word for word, [this phrase} can be traced back to the Bible. So biblical underwear story originates from this. What I think is interesting is that in 1871, just one year after the first trademark laws were passed by congress, the mill owner, Robert Knight, received the trademark number 418 for the brand ‘Fruit of the Loom’.

[00:13:23] Michelle: So, that is a very quick diversion. I guess, we have two sponsors, The Marketing Camp and Fruit of the Loom, but I’m a total history geek and marketing geek and that makes me happy so I share that with you. So once again, our sponsor is The Marketing Camp and you can find more information for this event that’s coming soon on the website themarketingcamp.com.

H – Happiness: Dog Adoption Anniversary

[00:13:43] Michelle: And that brings us to our final portion of this podcast, The F.R.E.S.H. podcast and the H in F.R.E.S.H. is for happy. What is making me happy this week? It is the fifth anniversary of our dog adoption, Scooter. Scooter Girasole.

[00:14:01] Michelle: In November,  every year, in Southern Rhode Island where I live, there are dog adoption agencies and rescue agencies that bring hundreds of dogs to one place. This giant greenhouse on this big farm is for adoption. Many of the dogs have made trips from afar, like our dog was adopted after being at a foster home. After being adopted, brought up from a beagle rescued in Little Rock, Arkansas. He’s part beagle, he’s not all beagle. He’s a blend of dogs. But he’s…

[00:14:34] Michelle: This was the day that we went… you know, there are so many sweet, big and little dogs that are looking for a home at this event. And when a dog is adopted, they ring a bell and everyone claps. It’s so fun. And we went five years ago so this is the fifth anniversary of our ‘Gotcha Day’ on this fifth podcast episode. And Scooter really is the heart of our family. If you have a dog, you notice, they just take over when they move in and it’s like we never lived a day before he joined our family.

[00:15:07] Michelle: That day, we had a lot of things to do and we got there late and there were already over 360 dogs adopted. We were like the 307th dog that was adopted that day. My husband who is kind of resistant to the concept of having a dog for the first 20 years of our marriage, I would say. It was important to me to have a dog while our kids were still home so that they could learn what it was like to have a dog. We were cat people.

[00:15:35] Michelle: But my husband saw this one, medium-sized dog. He looked like a young, black lab puppy. And the woman from the rescue was holding him and his little face just looked so sweet. And we ended up taking him home that day. And after they rang our adoption bell, they took our family, the whole family and our new seven month old puppy whose name was ‘Scooter Pie’ because he was from the South. And I placed that picture in a photo frame that was shaped in the letters J-O-Y.

Happy “Gotcha” Day, Scooter!

[00:16:08] Michelle: Adopting a rescue animal truly is joy. They are so grateful. Speaking of gratitude, they just seem to know that you’ve given them a good life and they appreciate it. So that is my happiness moment and I’d love to hear from you. Put photos on the Fresh Rebellion blog of rescued dogs that you have in your family and stories of how much joy they bring you. So send them to me at freshgetaways@gmail.com.

[00:16:33] Michelle: So that’s our episode for today. Thanks for joining us. Next week we have Marita Fairfield, who’s a dear friend of mine from MidCoast, Maine. And we spent some time together up in New Hampshire during foliage season so we’ll talk a little bit about that on our next episode. So goodbye for now.

[00:16:52] Michelle: So that’s it. I hope you enjoyed the Get F.R.E.S.H. podcast. If you liked it, you can find us on Apple, Spotify or anywhere you’d get your podcasts and please find us online at freshrebellion.com. 

[00:17:04] Michelle: You can get our links to social media there. Join our Facebook group, Fresh from Rhode Island, and find me on Instagram, @SassyMichelleG and Twitter, @SassyMichelle. Talk to you soon. Bye for now.

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