Friday, November 30, 2007

Tough Choices

We heard back from Nova Scotia...looks like we are unable to change our closing date. We will be property owners in NS starting February 1st! Things are looking a little bleak for sales prospects here but who knows what will happen. Real estate moguls...that's us.

John and I had a planning session yesterday for how to handle my business. We decided there are 3 choices: sell the business, keep the business, wind up the business. We then listed pros and cons for each category.

Selling the business doesn't look promising. I had a couple of ideas in mind for this, but they didn't work out.

Keeping the business is a possibility, however I won't be able to operate the same way I do here. Currently, I have a bakery to bake all the biscuits. I pick up the biscuits and bring them to my workshop where I package and ship them. If I want to keep the business I have to find someone willing to pick up the biscuits and package and ship. (I should mention that it's a 3 hour round trip to pick up the biscuits). At our new home, there's no room for a workshop unless we build one. I might be able to find a new bakery in Nova Scotia but I'd also need to find a packer and shipper.

Keeping the business all boils down to costs. It's not a business with big profits, so there's not much room for hiring people and still making money. I'm still trying to work out some details. The good news about not moving on Feb 1st is that it gives me some extra time to come up with some business solutions.

Winding up the business. This is a tough one and where my Gemini personality shines through. One minute I think it would be great to wrap up the business on a high note...and move on to other dreams. The next minute I think I would miss it terribly. It's been my identity for over 9 years.

Choices. Sometimes it's hard to make them.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


The past couple of weeks have been a bit of a challenge.

So far we haven't had any viewings on our house, which is quite disappointing and a bit tough on the nerves of steel that we have. We purchased our new home in Nova Scotia with a closing date of February 1st after meeting with a real estate agent to discuss "realistically" how quickly our home here would close. We were assured that things would move quickly.

Now one month has gone by with no viewings. That's not to say that we haven't been busy. We've cleared out so much (to charity, to auction, to the dump) that it makes me wonder where we were keeping it all! I've painted a room with cathedral ceilings (formerly "Cody's condo"...our son's tv room outside his bedroom on the second floor) It was Marigold (aka orange) and is now a creamy colour called Wood Lily.

To top it off, I had been negotiating to sell my dog biscuit business. I thought it was a perfect fit. Someone experienced, in a similar but non competitive business. But we couldn't agree on terms.

When that fell through, it sent me on a bit of a tail spin. House not selling. Business not selling. Oh boy. Maybe we're doing the wrong thing?

New day. Back to positive. Things happen for a reason. True...I won't be able to package and ship biscuits from my new home. But. I do have other options. Better options. I'm working on those now. Keep your fingers crossed. Please.

We're also checking with the vendors of our Nova Scotia home. They are planning to build a new home, so we've asked them if they would consider a later closing than February 1st. Keep your toes crossed. Please.

So, everything looks much better. Not all roads to your dreams are smooth and straight. Sometimes there are bumps and curves along the way. That's what makes it interesting. And that's what makes changing it from a dream to reality truly rewarding.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Presents in the mail

A gift arrived last week from our granddaughter...the lovely Miss M. This is a drawing of John (on the right) and me. If you look very closely, you can see that we have blue noses. So, I guess we really are officially Bluenosers!

Miss M has lived in Nova Scotia her whole life (6 years!) and we'll be joining her early in the new year. We'll be living an hour away from her, but that's much closer than the current 15 hour drive it takes us to see her.

Also arriving in the mail:A book full of Nova Scotia sayings. The one we've noticed most in our travels down east..."right" used as an "intensifier". As in : "She is right smart" or "It's right windy today".
I can't imagine saying it myself. I guess I won't be a true "coaster" until I catch myself saying things like that!

What We're Leaving

Let's take a tour of the home we're leaving behind...

To see the listing of our current home, click here. Once you reach the MLS page, you can click on "view multimedia". Then, choose between still photos under "photos" or 360 views under "panoramas". The panoramas are a little skewed. Basically, they are a series of photos that have been linked together to make it look like a video.

The house looks so good, I wonder why we're moving? Hopefully someone else will love the house as much as we have over the past 9 years. A few weeks ago was a blur of getting our home ready for people to view. We painted, did minor repairs, gave away furniture and clothes, threw away 10 garbage bags full of "stuff" (mostly old election signs from John's days on council which are of no use to anyone), and sent 8 green garbage bags of shredded paper to recycling. Phew! Well, we're ready for people to come. Now we just have to do a cleaning blitz before each viewing.

So far, it's been over 3 weeks and no one has been interested. But we're still hanging onto that dream. It will happen.

Choose your dream and work it. Dream big and go!

Time To Live The Dream

Welcome to my first "Dream Big and GO!" blog post.For the past 25+ years, I have lived in Ontario. Before that, I spent one year in Alberta and before that, 20 years in Ontario. I was an Ontario girl with a heart on the east coast. A "Blue Noser Wannabe". I'm not sure how it started. Maybe it was because my parents took me on a trip to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia when I was small. For whatever reason, I've always felt a special place in my heart for Nova Scotia.

But life happens.

I had a career in banking. My job as bank manager disappeared in 1998. I was given a choice...take another job in the bank or take a severance package. Well, why not? I took the package.

I started my own business in 1998...the first dog biscuit company in Eastern Ontario. I won an award for "Most Innovative Local Business in Ontario" in 2001. My company was featured in countless newspaper articles, magazines, radio and television shows. I created "Paws for Charity"...a unique collaborative effort of 4 dog businesses raising funds for breast cancer charities.

And it's time for another change. Time to live the dream. My husband and I went on a little trip to Nova Scotia 1 month ago. One week later, we finalized a real estate deal. We bought a house! 20 acres of land...totally isolated...on the South Shore of Nova Scotia.

My oh my. Time to live the dream.

Stay tuned.