Come to the downtown Garland Texas Square the first and third Saturday of every month to meet some interesting people with interesting products.


Mom Christie and Pop and Baby Funke make three! Local Garland entrepreneurs sell their homemade spicy jelly—a side job for pop, a schoolteacher, and mom, a professional videographer. – Garland, Texas July 15, 2017


First an Update from the Garland Community Garden

What a busy Saturday—not at all what I had in mind when I got up yesterday morning.  Sometimes it seems the more extensively I plan, the more serendipitous my path becomes.  I had planned to work in the Garland Community Garden all day. The carrot seeds I prepared in neat rows on paper towels the night before were ready to plant in our root beds beside beets that are already planted.  My goal was to yank out the remains of a melon vine, the last holdout from spring in the bed where the beets are now planted.  Later, around 8 or 9 am when Jane arrived, we were going to lay irrigation pipes in three more of the beds down at the garden.  But, unbeknownst to me, the European honeybees had revenge for humans on their minds as someone removed their hive in between 6PM last night and 7:30 AM this morning. 

As I climbed into the back of the truck at about 7:45 AM on Saturday to get a bag of soil out, about eight honeybees stung me. I jumped down off the truck just as Jane was pulling into the garden.  With bees streaming behind me, I ran for her car and jumped in. (I’m lucky she did not lock the doors.) Once inside the safety of her car I could see the bees were swarming all around the garden.  We wondered why they were so agitated so we drove to the back where the hive was located and it was gone.

Frankly we were shocked, as I can’t imagine the beekeepers removing it without giving us notice.  We are looking into it to see what happened to the bees.  Regardless, I’m voting to not have the hive replaced.  European honeybees in my opinion (and I’m sure I’ll hear about this) are an unnecessary hazard at the garden.  We have more than enough native bees and other native pollinators at the garden AND they all, with the exception of the wasp, have much nicer manners.  Additionally, unlike the honeybee, the sting of native bees does not cause anaphylaxis shock.  Usually it is no more than the sting of a mosquito.

If the bees weren’t enough, the rain came—a blessing as it calmed the bees down—at least enough for me to go to the truck, turn it on, crank the air conditioning, and shut the door.  I waited in Jane’s car for about 10 minutes for the frigid air in the cab of the truck to put the bees to sleep.  It did.  I brushed most of them out of the truck—not dead but slumbering.

Back home again with my plans shattered, I pondered what to do next.  I finished a cartoon for a project I’ll tell you about in another post and took it to Office Depot to be enlarged.  Then I came home and painted a plywood board blue.  Now what?

By now it was 11 AM and I still had three hours before going to downtown Garland to pick up a friend of mine, Becky Browning, who had a booth at the Garland MarketPlace.

Making Fig Preserves

From 11 to 1:30 today (Saturday) I put up 7 half-pints of fig preserves.  For some reason this year the squirrels are letting me have them from my fig tree.  A week ago I made several half-pints of pear preserves, which are delicious.  This was the first time ever I canned anything.  Canning has been on my bucket list for some time.  I grew up watching my mom and granny can and always thought of canning as some mysterious hard-to-do project requiring a lot of special equipment, not to mention talent—but it really is easy AND I don’t have to worry about killing anyone with botulism.


I get the pears free as fallen fruit that no one wants—thus this jam is quite a bit cheaper than organic jam n the grocery store.

10 medium pears (peeled, cored, chopped)

3 cups sugar (I used natural stevia)

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons cinnamon

5 half-pint (8 oz) canning jars with lids

  1. Wash, peel and chop pears
  2. Put in large bowl with lemon juice and water
  3. Drain pears and put into pot.  One cup of sugar or stevia for every three cups of pears.
  4. Mix pears and sugar or stevia
  5. Add cinnamon and vanilla
  6. Stir pears
  7. Cover and let stand for a couple of hours
  8. When ready to cook, stir in 1/3 cup lemon juice and ½ cup water.

                        DO NOT COVER

                        Bring mixture to a boil.

                        Reduce heat to medium

                        Lightly boil for 2 to 4 hours.


                       During last 15-20 minutes sterilize clean jars and lids in oven at 225 ten minutes.

                       Ladle hot preserves into hot jars filling to within ¼ inch from top.

                        Wipe rim clean with paper towel if necessary.

                        Center lid on jars and apply band until fingertip tight.

(Use a stockpot. Put a cloth in the bottom to keep the jars from banging around.)

Check lids 24 hours after cooling. 
The lid should not flex up and down when you press on the middle of the lid.  If it does, no worries, just refrigerate that jar(s) and
eat it within the month.



Michael Funke with Baby hot Pepper Funke at the booth

Downtown to the Garland Square to Pick up Becky and meet the Garland residents and owners of Bubba Funke Jelly.

Is Garland becoming the homemade jelly capital of the world or what?  The people right next to my friend Becky’s booth were the Jelly-Making Funkes of Garland Texas—Jelly-making is not the only thing this couple makes.  In addition to a beautiful baby daughter, each of the Funkes has other creative careers too.

In her other life, Christy Funke is Safari Classics production manager. Overseeing all areas of video production in the Dallas office, her talent as an editor, combined with her creative eye is a driving force behind the success of Safari Classics Productions. Seeing Africa every day through her computer, and having been on safari herself, enable Christy to capture the mood and unforgettable moments of a particular story or safari. Christy is truly one of the top editors and production specialists in the entire world of outdoor production making her a key member of the Safari Classics team.

In his other life her husband, Michael Funke, founder and president of Bubba Funke Jelly, is a fifth grade teacher by day.  Michael was bitten by the ‘jellogical’ bug several years ago when he was on a quest to find an all-natural, preservative free jalapeno jelly in stores.  Not finding any that met his high standards, Michael began to make his own using a recipe from his grandmother and the rest is history.  I believe this is their third jelly summer.  You can visit their website and order their jellies online too at .



Meet Laurie Lanehart, Swedish Chef

Laurie is another local Garland entrepreneur.  She hails from Minneapolis—a city where I lived for almost 20 years.  Yes, she is an authentic Swede and the recipe for her Swedish cinnamon buns is an authentic one that came from her grandmother. 

If you’ve ever been to Minneapolis, or lived in Sweden, you’ll know that the Swedish version of the Cinnamon roll is not the same as the big yeasty ones that are often served in the USA.  The Swedish version is smaller and flatter but just as yummy!  Laurie gave me a sample and Becky and I devoured it on the way home.

Laurie makes special orders for parties.

Call her at 972-816-3698

Or write to her at

Swedish Cinnamon rolls---MMmmmmmmmm good!




Wallflower Greetings by Becky Browning

Becky has been an independent Stampin’ Up demonstrator for over two years.  Her passion is teaching others how to create their own world by sharing her gifts with others.  One of the many ways Becky does this is through her company, Wallflower Greetings.  Not only does Becky sell the cards she makes, she also teaches people how to make their own greeting cards for all occasions and encourages them to be creative and take charge.

Like the Funkes, Becky too has another life.  A graduate of west Texas A&M, Becky works for the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services DARS Center for Learning Management.  For a number of years Becky worked directly with clients of this organization teaching those in the process of losing their sight and sight impaired already how to manage their lives in the world of the sighted.  Not only does Becky have the education, she also has the experience for her work as she has been sight-impaired since birth—not that you would know it.  By example alone, Becky is an inspiration to all.  I think Becky is now working in a managerial position at DARS where she teaches others who will then be teaching their clients.  In this position Becky travels all over the state to lead training seminars.

VISIT SOME OF HER INTERNET SITES!  Better yet, meet her in person next month at the Garland MarketPlace down at the Garland Square.

Becky’s Stampin’ Up Store

Wallflower Greetings Website

Wallflower Greetings Facebook Page

YouTube ChannelWallflower Greetings YouTube Channel



Meet Cheryl Jones of The Crafty Ginger

Cheryl is another local Garland Entrepreneur, and like many of the other local Garland entrepreneurs I talked with, Cheryl is ready for that next step to broaden her commercial reach within the community.  In particular, many people have asked Cheryl if she would offer a class in hand lettering.  When you see her work, you’ll know why. Also, like Becky and Mike, Cheryl already teaches others.  In Cheryl’s case, she is an art teacher.

Cheryl’s passion is making works of art from reclaimed wood and other objects.  The wooden cutout of the state of Texas in the photo above is an example of her craft.

If you have something in mind that you would like to have created out of reclaimed wood, contact .  I’m guessing that she could make it for you.

Go to and learn more about Cheryl and her art.  And of course you can visit her in person at the Garland MarketPlace on the downtown Garland Square.



Stephanie Cole of Pinson and Cole’s Gourmet Pickles

I was thrilled to see Stephanie still in business and going strong. Stephanie hails from an area near FairPark in Dallas. I’ve been blogging about Stephanie at the Garland MarketPlace since 2014.  You can visit her products online at   Stephanie pickles anything that is not tied down—from strawberries to cheesecake!  Stephanie even has one of our local businesses here in downtown selling her goods—Trims and Treasures on Main Street, right next to Main Street Café.  Stop in for a haircut and pick up a jar of Stephanie’s pickles during business hours right here in Garland, Texas.  Stephanie sent me this collage of all the businesses that now are selling her delicious pickles.  I hope more will join.

Call her up at 214-670-2042 and tell her what you would like to have pickled—I’ll bet she can do it as long as it’s not your neighbor’s dog.

Here is a collage of the businesses that Stephanie currently shares space with:



Suzanne Matthews of Granny’s Gourmet – Greenville, TX

Suanne is another familiar face at the Garland MarketPlace.  Suzanne hails from Mesquite. She has been selling her excellent wares here on the square for at least three years.  Visit her Facebook for more information about her yummy wares, or write to Suzanne at .   



First and Third Saturday of the Month  9- 2PM

Downtown Garland Square – Garland, Texas


E-MAIL: Kirk.Eventive@Live.Com
PHONE: Tel: 469-275-9616

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