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Muir Rock Podcast Launch | Wreath Making Party

Happy Sunday everyone!

After looking through a bunch of Teri's photos today, I found this one and thought it would be appropriate to use to start off today's post:

I really am grateful for the list above and for all of you to join me here and read about all the ups and downs since I started blogging a year ago. Thanks for being a part of this new journey of rebuilding and remembering.

My First Podcast episode

We did it! The first "Muir Rock" Podcast episode launched today. The content of this post goes hand in hand with the podcast.

Thanks Zoey for being my first guest!

A brief timeline of what happened this weekend:

  • Saturday Morning - Prepare for Wreath Making Class

  • Saturday Evening - Wreath Making Class

  • Sunday 8AM - Write 80% of this blog post

  • Sunday 10:30AM - Drive to church, decide in the car to do the podcast

  • Sunday 11AM - Church

  • Sunday 5PM - Record the Podcast

  • Sunday 9PM - Complete the Podcast (Thanks Gavin for video editing help)

  • Sunday 11PM (Now) - Finish this blog post

Another Trip to Nashville

When my favorite White House Tennessee residents Allan and Zoey told me about the “Wreath Making Party” that Zoey was planning for their friends, I knew I had to be there. 

This event was originally scheduled for April 4. I was going to take Dan and Phoebe with me as well (winners of the E40 raffle). A stressful work week got in the way, so I had to cancel at the last minute and felt even more discouraged to miss out on a fun opportunity because of work stress. Hopefully the three of us can visit Nashville and Hendersonville this summer when things are less busy.

Wait a minute.. why in the world would I want to make wreaths??

I guess like everything I do these days, if it reminds me of Teri, I tend to be more interested in it. Even wreath making. Searching for “Wreaths” in her google album,  I found a really cute photo of her and Mustard from Christmas 2014:

How nice life would be with Teri, Mustard, and Mayo

Teri also spent quite a bit of money on the Christmas wreaths for inside and outside the house. She even got a special bag for the wreaths, just like she got a special container for wrapping paper and everything else related to storing holiday decorations. Of course I thought she was crazy and all of this was a waste of money. Until now.

I’ll share a few more pictures that brought a smile to my face, starting with some flowers I sent to her in July 2017 because she was stressed at work. July was also the month that we found out about her first cancer.

Let’s also not forget about the wedding. I regret all my comments I made about her spending a lot of money on flowers was a waste of money. I’m glad to look back at our wedding album and be reminded that flowers made her happy:

"Grow In Love" doesn't need to end even though she's not here on earth

Today’s takeaway: Go to Costco this week and buy your significant other some flowers! Or you can buy them for me and Mayo.... All the flowers I got for Teri’s death anniversary aren’t really doing well so we could use some new ones.

As I’ve written in the last few posts, I feel like my life is starting to get back in order. For Real. Perhaps it’s making it past Teri’s death anniversary and birthday and just wanting to really move forward (not move on) and make the most out of every day. 

Anyways, back to the present. Zoey said last weekend that the wreath making class actually got postponed and it got rescheduled for 4/20. Thankfully my travel plans lined up and I was able to make it. Everything turned out great! Let’s talk about it.

Class almost got cancelled....

I flew in to Nashville at the end of the week and when I saw their living room in a bit of chaos, I felt overwhelmed. Zoey was quite discouraged about it since it’s a lot of driving to get all the materials needed. There were also a lot more attendees that signed up (9 people), which caused more anxiety since she thought it was only going to be 4 people. Not good.

The morning of the event, we still needed supplies. Zoey’s hand was hurting. She shared with us that she felt very frustrated and discouraged and wanted to give up. I don’t blame her, especially if she’s injured. All this material also costs a lot of money. Why did she bother offering to put on this class in the first place??

Anyways, there was no turning back now. I took some time after my morning workout to look for some missing foliage (Eucalyptus) while they were at home:

Zoe didn’t like any of my ideas. They all looked the same to me and I felt like she was just being too picky, but since she’s the florist I didn’t need to impose and knew she would figure it out.

Then later that morning, they went to Nashville to get some supplies. I stayed at home.

At 3:30PM (the event starts at 4PM), Zoey said we needed to go to Michael’s to buy the last of the supplies. This store was south, the complete opposite direction of the party. Allan was also not ready since he didn’t even know that we needed to go to the store on the way there. Not good.

Since I love making decisions for everyone to save the day, my first reaction was to say “No” to going to Michael's and we would make due with what we had. We had plenty of material, I’m sure it would have been fine either way. But since there was really no rush to the day (and I kinda wanted to get there late), I offered to take her. No point in rushing or stressing out on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, right?

So we had a nice drive to Hendersonville (one of my favorite cities). We bought what we needed and even stopped for an early dinner at Firehouse Subs, a place Teri and I loved to eat at when she was OK with fast food and didn’t want “The Hat.”

Our favorite fast food places - Costco, The Hat, Firehouse Subs

Zoey never had this place and I had to take her. It prompted us to talk even more about Teri and the things we used to do and eat. 

Crumbl Cookies & Firehouse Subs = Best pre dinner ever!

We got our food at 4:20 PM. Rather than giving in to my usual impulse to eat the sandwich in the car, I decided we should enjoy it inside the restaurant. What’s another 10 minutes, right?

Eating fast food in the car always reminds me of Teri, who used to insist that I wait until I got home, no matter how hungry I was. I've never been good at waiting, especially when the food is still steaming hot.

The sandwich and cookies from Crumbl were exceptional—easily one of the best meals I’ve enjoyed in a while. I felt a little bit of guilt for indulging in a pre-dinner dinner, but it was worth it. I even said to Zoey that this was the highlight of my entire trip here.

By 5PM, we were back home to pick up Allan and pack the car for our trip to Amber’s house (the host of the event). Upon arriving, we found everyone relaxed, with food just starting to get cooked on the grill. There was absolutely nothing to stress or worry about.

Time For Class

After eating some healthy food (I had a lettuce wrapped burger), it was finally time to get started for the main event.

I’ve written quite a bit here about what else I could do with my career besides IT stuff. Teaching has always been a passion of mine, and since it’s been a while since I taught professionally at ITT Tech (~16 years ago) I figured I would make use of my talents by taking over the wreath making class. I’m an expert at teaching and I knew what to do. Zoey could still be my assistant. 

Emily (the host) was genuinely confused about why was I teaching the class. I kept insisting that I was the expert and I taught Zoey everything she knows about being a florist. Zoey played along with it since she understands me and always finds a way to have fun with every situation.  Eventually Emily figured out that I didn’t know what I was doing, as you can see with my final product with the floral foam showing (not supposed to let that happen):

What was the overall outcome?

We all had a lot of fun. Including me. Yes I can have fun once in a while despite what everyone thinks. All the wreaths looked amazing and one person even wanted to make a second wreath for her mom. I would have done the same but it’s hard to fly back with these wreaths. Next time.

Zoey said we should teach more of these classes and we can make a fortune since lots of people would pay good money to participate. Stay tuned for a class in my garage in the near future, perhaps when Zoey and Allan come visit in May or June. If you are interested, just leave a comment here to reserve your spot! Mayo will be there too.

Edit: You can buy a voucher here at the store:

Thanks for reading and watching. Have a great week!


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I'm cracking up at your wreath—but mostly because I'm imagining what mine would look like and I'm sure it would be so pathetic 😹😹😹 So thankful you got to go in the end!!


Erwin, loved the podcast! Zoey is adorable and funny and you did a great job hosting. I loved how you were such a good listener to Zoey, and you cracked me up with your humor! Great message to not give up. Wonderful podcast. Hope you get a ton of followers


Very cool Erwin. Glad you had fun making wreaths and enjoyed a nice dinner. Can’t wait to see you soon


Bring your new skills to Canada for a class! Otherwise I want one when we come to Cali next. The wreaths looks great. Glad you and Zoey managed to do this and congrats on the first podcast.


Good job!! Please host one in NY :) I have a space we can use for 10-15 people.

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