Thursday, February 17, 2022

Locomotive Rolling Down the Tracks

Here I am. Back at my blog. I usually find myself back here, when I'm just not sure what the future looks like. I try to migrate back from time to time, but my posts never seem to have quite the PURPOSE behind them, unless I feel like I'm feeling my way through a dark room, blindfolded, with noise all around me. 

Ask and you shall receive. Knock and the door will be opened for you. I am glad it is open, but it is surely uncomfortable. For 10 years I built and developed something that I thought I wanted to, that served a purpose and helped many people - including myself, in many different ways and in many different seasons. My good friend Steve Kelley used to say that it is like a locomotive is coming down the tracks and it's coming apart as it travels & there are a few of us keeping it together as we keep moving. 

Well folks....when it reaches a point where people just want to ride on the train, but won't shovel any coal, won't turn any bolts, and won't do what needs to be done to keep the train moving AND on the tracks it breaks down. 

In some aspects I've looked at me getting to this point as a failure. Good thing I got Covid and didn't feel like doing anything except sleeping and thinking. I did not fail, because I gave all I could give of myself until I felt like there was nothing left for me to do. No other opportunity I could present and more energy for me to exert. The train has to stop. I unhooked some carts and left them back on the tracks and now the locomotive engine is in for maintenance. 

Being a small business owner is hard work, but worth it - if you love what you do. Being a growing small business is harder work because you are taking what you love and sharing it with more people, in hopes of helping more people. The sharing it with more people part.......That is what has brought me to where I am. 

Some can argue that I have been able to help more people. What people don't necessarily see though is to what compromise? If sharing the gift with more people does not ignite. If I can't pass that vision on to people willing to pick up the torch and run in  the same direction....the actual work suffers. They may be willing to hold the torch, but they aren't willing to run.

I'm over here holding a shovel, trying to drive the train, telling someone else what needs to be done, to help me and I have to pee. When the train screeches to a halt I look up and realize the absurdity of what I have done to myself.... What I DID NOT pay attention to as I wore myself out working for everyone else. 


Budget yourself REAL TIME quarterly - NOT 30 minutes to an hour.....several days to think EXTREMELY CRITICALLY of the direction you are going and if it aligns with what YOU (the builder) REALLY wants. It took me several hard conversations, realizing some hard truths, and LOTS of soul-searching. (I needed a full week.)

I am not quitting. I am servicing the locomotive and doing what I (that's ME, JUST me.) can do. The train stops. I'm going to take care of me, clean myself up, and start where I am, with what I - little ole' me can do. It may not keep moving, but the cargo will get there. The train will arrive and it will be ALL the good things that I can do. 

Notice to all of those other conductors driving a locomotive down the tracks: At the first sign of compromise AKA:

-Paying everyone but yourself

-Doing SO much more than those around you, AS THEY WATCH YOU

-Having to double-check work because you don't trust that it has been handled properly

-Providing more tools and continuing to lose efficiency. 

Sometimes your small business is you. GIVE YOURSELF THAT CREDIT. You built and developed something that helped others. You helped people make it through tough periods of life-changing transition. You built it because you saw a need. You shared it with others and YOU have given it all you had to give. Seriously....I drove it until the wheels fell off. 

This may seem a tad dramatic, but it is EXACTLY what it feels like. It is literally pouring all of yourself into something and someone(s) with ONLY your limited knowledge and experience....until you can't. Hopefully this blog can serve as a checkpoint before it comes to a screeching hault. 

What is so wild is that, drastically changing and downsizing ONE revenue stream, still leaves us with so many amazing opportunities. 

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Declutter & Make Money

 Two years ago, I signed up for a Declutter Challenge. It was truly overwhelming AND freeing at the same time. It was a 12 week challenge &, to make a long story short, it eased me into the psychology & process of decluttering. By the end of it, I had donated over 20 bags of items, several pieces of furniture & found a way to implement certain aspects of the challenge to daily life, PLUS my home was cleaner, more organized, & less cluttered.

What I found interesting were the very distinct “categories” my stuff fell into: 

  • Trash
  • Give Away
  • Keep
  • Sell

The Declutter challenge I did, had a solution for all of those categories, except “Sell,” so those items have been piling up in my storage building.

When COVID-19 disrupted our world we had a large influx of calls where people had under 30 items to sell. This is not our typical personal property client. As the calls kept coming, and the need was becoming more and more apparent, our wheels started turning.

We created the Buck Up Marketplace Online Auctions to meet the increased need. In that, I realized; we also created a solution for my 4th decluttering category- “Sell.”

Since the launch of Marketplace we have thinned out the clutter in our storage building AND have close to $1000 in our vacation fund.

I’ve talked to other sellers that have earmarked their earnings towards home updates & DIY projects.

Buck Up! Join us in the Buck Up Marketplace Online Auctions Facebook page. The Buck Up Crew is going to take part in a Declutter challenge & we will share our journey along the way! We are also, currently building auctions in the following areas: Carmine, Round Top, Lexington, & Waldeck. If you would like to become a seller in these areas or start one in YOUR area, reach out to us at or text or call us at 979.451.8725. 

They are designed to allow people to move at their own pace. We will launch an auction once we reach 50 items or more, per area. If you don’t finish we can start building another!

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

The Villa Bay Motel

Every so often we get these unique gems that we get to work with in real estate. A good bunch of my auction properties are diamonds in the rough. Properties with potential. Properties with stories. Properties with history. Properties pregnant with opportunity.

The Villa Bay Motel is one of those properties. It's located in the heart of the Texas Coastal Bend, in Aransas Pass, Texas. Aransas Pass is located right in between Rockport, Port Aransas, Portland, & Ingleside.

The Coastal Bend is known for many things: fishing, refineries, vacationing, the beach...& SO...for properties like the Villa Bay Motel, it attracts a variety of customers. You may see contract workers, working on one of the projects in the gulf, a refinery worker, or any other industrial type worker that is looking for a place that offers weekly rates. You may also find fishermen and women, needing a place to lay their head before heading out the next morning. You may also meet some locals that have visitors coming in, that need a place to stay, tourists visiting the beach or attending one of the many festivals in the coastal bend, or someone just needing a shower from spending all day at the beach.

It is amazing how the Coastal Bend has bounced back from Hurricane Harvey. You can see the opportunity and potential as you make the drive.

One thing about The Villa Bay Motel, is it stood strong when many things around it did not. Hurricane Harvey was not it's first rodeo. In fact, it was even able to house some that were distraught and homeless from the aftermath.

There is something special about a property that has survived and thrived in hard times. If those walls could talk... they would have quite the story to tell.

This property is up for auction. The auction closes Thursday, June 18th at 6 PM. Here is the link to the auction.  Here is a link to the Terms & Conditions. 

Here is a link on how to log in: CLICK HERE!

Here is a link with all of the details. LINK TO DETAILS Be sure to click the "Documents" tab under the picture of the hotel. You will find everything from a survey to the property condition statement to the number of rooms & MORE.

Link to Loopnet Listing HERE!

Buck Up & Bid! BId! BID! This property has the potential to become your retirement investment, the boutique hotel you've always wanted, your opportunity at coastal living with income potential, OR anything else you want it to be.

We will be at the property tomorrow, if you would like to preview it, talk with us, or get additional information. You can also call or text me at: 979.421.0325 or email me at

Heather Schoenst Kaspar
Auctioneer TXL 17037, BAS, CAI
Realtor, GRI, SRES
Buck Up Auctions & Realty
My Real Estate Expert, LLC.
Call/Text 979.421.0325

Wednesday, May 6, 2020


About half way through last week I realized I had gotten out of rhythm. Let's be honest, we are all a little out of rhythm with our "normal" being interrupted. I noticed the NEW rhythm was off.

My husband works shift work and I am SUPER grateful that his position is still essential, but getting used to his shift schedule was an adjustment. I felt like I was finally getting into a rhythm with it & THEN.....Covid-19.

I learned that things are relatively consistent when he's off or working days, but those night runs.... The effect it has on me is....I wear myself out the first couple days & then I FINALLY pick my head up and realize that I can't do the same amount of work those days as I do others. I'm not saying that is how it works for everyone, but that is what it's like for me.

Then....what I felt like I was FINALLY getting a handle on was: not completely loading my workdays up on Kyle's off days. That was a bad habit I picked up, but not on purpose.....just trying to balance my workflow.

I really had to be a student of it for several months before I learned these things & then....many times...I'd get halfway through a night run before I realized it.

I bring all this up because we are such creatures of habit. The Covid-19 pandemic has rocked EVERY habit, every schedule, every process, every rhythm....

Even the things that SEEM to have not changed, have changed, because EVERY. SINGLE. PERSON. HAS. CHANGED.....which changes the rhythm.

There is something about the awareness I have of the rhythm and the constant struggle I find myself in to maintain the rhythm....when really.....EVERYTHING around me is trying to knock me out of rhythm...that is sticking with me.

I believe SO strongly in much as I possibly can & know how to....and I believe there is SO much divine power, in taking what the world sees or perceives & turning it on its the cross. The cross was meant for death & destruction & suffering & punishment & JESUS turned it into LIFE, REDEMPTION, HEALING, & ABUNDANT LOVE & BLESSINGS. Our God colors outside the lines...OR He sees lines that we cannot.

I just finished a meditation course on acceptance. 10 minutes of meditation for 10 days. The words "LET GO" keep coming to mind. The main lesson was: identify what you are resisting & do simply that...IDENTIFY IT & watch how identifying the resistance automatically causes you to accept it.

Listen....with a combination of ALL kinds of things that have been happening & spending SO. MUCH. TIME. trying to create a rhythm....and I mean trying; to the point of wearing myself out.... I think I'm going to BUCK UP & LET GO.

In rhythm or out of rhythm....something is gonna happen. For once it is "okay" to not be what others expect you to be OR what you expect yourself to be. It's okay if you are, but its also okay if you're not....because we are ALL trying to figure it out. You wouldn't think that accepting is as hard as it is. In fact, it doesn't really make ANY sense to TRY & create a system....we should just allow it; let it flow from us and trust that we are equipped to handle what comes next & not try to plan for a future calamity, but more for the here and now. ENJOY IT. What can we each do here & now?

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Car Parades!

One thing that is "new" since social distancing was advised is CAR PARADES. In place of birthday parties, parents are organizing Birthday Car Parades. It is really for ANY special occasion.

The skilled nursing facility my Uncle Fritz is in (Giddings Residence & Rehabilitation Center) organized a car parade for all of the residents!

It was really a special event for all of us to experience. The kids and I worked together on posters & we all got to SEE Uncle Fritz and all of the other residents, nurses, aids, & staff. Not a huge post today... The pictures say enough.

Uncle Fritz is front row wearing grey!

We were able to tell him we loved him, say hello to the other residents, & THANK all of the staff at the facility!!

Buck Up & find CreaTiVE ways to come together!! God Bless you ALL!

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Today was One of THOSE Days

Something I have been noticing about myself lately is that, for the past several weeks, I have had one day a week that just WEARS. ME. OUT. I don't think it has anything to do with the day. I think it has ALL to do, with my "tank" approaching empty and I need to fuel up.

Since the kids have been out of school, I have found myself spending more time with the kids on their work & finding fun things to do as a family, because we ALL need it----but, in turn, also staying up MUCH later. The best way for me to describe it is: I find it necessary to get the same amount of work done in a day & I find it necessary to do the things I'm doing with my family. I am quite satisfied with the progress & the FuN things we've been doing, BUT I'm not real satisfied with...the adjustment. I'm a night owl. I have always been. Now, I can get it together & do the early morning thing BUT, given the choice....this girl will stay up late over getting up early every. single. time.

Also....I need my sleep. Sooooooooo I've found myself the last several days working until 3 A.M. Then, I'm usually UP by 8:30, but it takes me a little longer to REALLY get moving. Losing the 2+ hours I normally have in the A.M. is....annoying me a little. I'm still getting it all done....& really, then some, but it's thrown my routine & others' off a little. At least, that is what it feels like.

I've said it before though....we are ALL trying to figure out how to adjust and NAVIGATE this change. I post this here,'s a real wrestle. I'm not so sure it is a bad one, but one I am experiencing nonetheless. Maybe....this is an opportunity for me to trust more. Maybe, this will re-direct me to going in God's direction & not my own or anyone else's.

To finish up my initial thought....when I say the "tank" is approaching empty...I mean it. One thing life has taught me is....I WILL crash, if I don't refill & let the engine rest. I. ATE. IT....walking out of the house this morning. It was one of those falls that not only hurt, but SHOCKED you into AWARENESS. I thought I was walking just fine, until REALITY...literally, knocked me on my butt. I became immediately aware was time to put it in neutral and coast a little while.

One of my biggest blessings is this crew of people right here. This is my Buck Up! Family. I am grateful to have them & grateful that they have plenty to keep themselves busy, even if it takes me a little longer to get it together. Even when I slow down for a moment, THIS crew keeps EVERYTHING going! Buck Up Baby! LEAN ON your people & BE THERE when someone needs to lean on you. God Bless!

We are missing a few in this picture, but I APPRECIATE them all the same!

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

An EXPLOSION of Creativity

Art, CreaTIViTy…..I'm seeing it EVERYWHERE, in every way. MOST ESPECIALLY, THIS week, I have found myself DRAWN to poetry, art, design, art & science projects & differnt forms of art & expression. The words I would tie to my most recent experiences with ART are: curiosity, a retreat, an escape, a release, joy, light, connectedness, memories, reminders, a glimpse. 

Tonight, I will share images of some of the pieces, quotes, and artwork that have been inspiring to me this week, in one way or another. You can also check out my Pinterest Boards & FOLLOW ME there at: Main boards to check out would be: "Words to Live By...," "Jesus," "Mother Mary," "William Blake," "Art," & "Animals." (God's CREATION is the MOST amazing.)

Reflecting, yet again, on personal experiences..... part of the "overwhelm" I, (& I believe, many others feel) is an EXPLOSION of creativity....literally. I see it everywhere in EVERYTHING. Here are some examples from my life: 
  • Fundraising auctioneers brainstorming & CREATEing online, virtual, & tailored alternatives for fundraising, due to social distancing restrictions.
  • Livestock exhibitors & their parents finding CREATIVE alternatives to the typical show/sale environment. 
  • CREATIVE ways to share, explain, educate the public on how different industries are handling this shutdown and what it means for business.
  • Businesses shifting & adjusting to find a way and CREATE a way to adapt & offer their goods/services in a variety of different ways.
  • The adjustment of our own "typical" marketing campaigns, to find new ways to reach people.
  • Business owners changing their business plans as the observe the changes they are seeing before their eyes.
  •  The GAZILLION different ways people are staying connected to those they can't see. 
  • ART pieces & social media posts encouraging ALL the "essential" workers.
  • ART pieces & social media posts encouraging people in general.
  • I have experienced more CREATIVE negotiating tactics & creative excuses :)........just being honest. 
  • Face masks, as a form of EXPRESSION.
  • SO MANY more Facebook games & challenges, seeming to all be geared at finding a connection.
  • An OVERWHELMING increase in email MARKETING, with many different messages.
  • The many ways President Trump and other government leaders are keeping us informed. 
  • The ways communities are COMING TOGETHER & creating ways to show support to: high school seniors, athletes, college graduates, the elderly, the struggling, the recently unemployed, area non-profits, medical employees, city officials, EMS/EMT, doctors, nurses
  • The documentaries that are replacing some of the MUCH MISSED sporting events.
  • Strategic plans for non-profits changing and adapting & how they are communicating that change. 
I could keep going. I find myself being more creative & I'M LOVING IT! I've missed it. In fact, I had no idea I has gotten so far from it. I'm glad to be back! Buck Up Baby & let yourself be as CREATIVE as you want to be. Don't put ANY limits on yourself & ENCOURAGE CrEAtivIty in others. God bless ALL of you!

William Blake

William Blake

William Blake

William Blake

William Blake

William Blake