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Beauty, Books, and Caring for our Community

2020, from February 29th forward, has been a highly unusual and personally, as well as professionally, devastating year for many of us. It’s been a time of record-setting gains in the markets for the investment classes and record-setting unemployment for those whose primary source of income does not come from investing, but rather, hands-on—meet and greet—physical as well as office work.

Our specialty food and high-end gear business - which was expanding exponentially in January and February of 2020 - took a major hit by mid-March. Most of our products are sold following Burn's Night in late January through spring, summer, and fall festival seasons. We thrive when Highland Games thrive. We thrive when Celtic Festivals thrive. We thrive during baseball season through Octoberfest celebrations. When there are no festivals or Highland Games, life becomes more challenging for us in terms of sales. That has forced us to think differently about how to distribute our products to existing customers while trying to expand our individual customer base. Ultimately, I believe through continued innovation, hard work, a bit of luck we will continue to grow and improve. We are lucky in that regard. Some in our community are struggling to stay afloat.

It is my hope that as we grow and improve, we can shine a light on those in our community who excel in their respective businesses. Under the theory that a rising tide lifts all boats, I will be periodically highlighting people and businesses who get it right.

I love beauty in all its forms so, first on my list for this blog is a Wisconsin artist who exemplifies dedication to craft and precision work so detailed he’s won numerous national and international prizes for his work. To see images of Harold’s stone lithographs and watercolor paintings visit:

Here are some of my favorites that I’ve purchased from Harold’s gallery in Hartford, Wisconsin. Harold has exquisite work available for purchase in many price ranges. If you contact him and ask, he’ll send you photos of the stones and other tools he uses to produce his intricate lithographs and prints. Harold is also a whisky master of epic proportions. Should you visit his site or email him inquiring about a purchase, he may also answer your whisky questions, if you’re nice. Grin. I know Harold personally and can attest to the fact that he is one of the kindest people you’ll ever meet.

I’d also like to give a shout out to @MarkGreaneyBook. Mark Greaney and his Gray Man novels are new to me. I just started Mission Critical and it’s fantastic so far.

Of course, I’d love it if you purchased Home Again at Here’s a link to Amazon should you wish to purchase it in paperback. HOME AGAIN: A Door County Novel (9781941884089): MacDonald, M. L.: Books.

Laugh, cry, and fall in love in the lovely small town of Fish Creek, Wisconsin. If you love romance, you’ll love HOME AGAIN, by M.L. MacDonald. For every copy purchased on my site during December 2020, I will donate $1 to The Hunger Task Force of Milwaukee. BTW: is a phenomenal no cost food bank serving Milwaukee, Racine, and Kenosha counties. They distribute over 10,000 boxes of food to seniors in need every month.

So, my friends, I hope this December finds you well. May we all have enough to give to those more in need than ourselves. Please share your thoughts on the season, hopes for 2021, and anyone you’d like to give a shout out to a business or an individual entrepreneur who has made your world a more beautiful or simply a better place. I’m also interested in anything wonderful you’re reading!

I’ll leave you with this short Gaelic Blessing: “Rath ort.” ~ “May You Prosper.” Always.


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