Friday, February 29, 2008
On Wednesday we popped down to Toronto (a four hour drive!) to take our son Cody to lunch. After the first 20 minutes of the drive, the roads were clear and dry, but the drive was a little scary nevertheless. I guess they must have had a storm the day before. We passed 5 transport trucks (one with a double trailer) and over 20 cars in the ditch. The last time we were down to Toronto was the day after Cody moved in. So we got to see the place all decorated (ha!). Two 20 year olds decorate a lot different than us. Lots and lots of movie posters, lots and lots of movies and gaming systems and games. Lots and lots of empty bottles. A couple of surprises...they keep a candle burning (which resulted in a mom lecture about "always remember to blow out the candle when they're not in the room") and they recycle. The three of us and Cody's roommate (Mike from the same theatre program as Cody when he was at college) went out for lunch. Then we went to look at Cody's workplace...a gourmet food shop within walking distance of their apartment. Cody seems quite happy, which makes us happy. The one bad thing about moving to Nova Scotia will be that we won't be able to "pop down" for lunch any more (kind of hard to do when the drive will be 20 hours).
Of course, I forgot to take my camera to Toronto. Cody has a camera in his cell phone, which resulted in some embarrassing moments for him as I took photos with it (Cody in front of his work, Cody at work, etc). Despite his promises that he would send them by email right away, I'm still waiting (no big surprise there).
I've been busy loading up the Search Me etsy shop with different versions of my rice bags. The photo at the top of this post is one of my favourites...a bright yellow fleece with red and blue elephants.
Tomorrow morning we're on the road bright and early to see our grandson's last gymnastics class. Then we're going out for breakfast with Mr. J and his mom. (note to self: don't forget the camera!)
Have a great weekend everyone!
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Yesterday I sent an email to my special website customers to let them know that the business had been sold...to thank them for their business over the past few years...and to "introduce" them to the new owner. As I said before, dealing with my customers was one of the things I enjoyed most about my business. Well. Let me tell you how wonderful they are. Not only did they send me emails to congratulate me, they sent emails to the new owner to congratulate and welcome her...and assure her that they would continue to support the business. How great is that? Pretty fantastic I'd say.
John and I celebrated on Friday night by going out to my all time favourite restaurant. It's a local place called the branch. Not only do they have absolutely fantastic food, but I love the building too. It's one of the older buildings in town and has the original tin ceilings that must be 14 feet high or more. The owners are really really nice people and always come by and chat for a while. We were entertained by Pat Johnson, a blues singer. He brought along someone that accompanies him on a couple of songs on one of his cds...a tuba player! Have you ever heard the blues played by tuba? It was great! We liked it so much of course we had to buy the cd and have it signed by both of them. We end up buying a cd from all the performers we hear at the branch and we've not been disappointed yet.
No action on our house sale yet. Big Sigh.
I've sent out a couple of Search Me bags over the past weeks. I received an email from one of the purchasers...her daughter loves it. Yay! So nice of her to send a note to let me know. Since this is a new venture for me, I was a little nervous. I also received a note from someone who is interested in buying them wholesale. Double Yay! A few more items will be uploaded later this week. (and some for the DIYers too)
Funky Finds has one of my Search Me bags too. They'll be using it in their March giveaway. They've got a fantastic jewelry giveaway going on this week...30 items! Here's the link...Go have some fun.
Now...time to go. John is cooking me a steak dinner. Yum. (did I mention how lucky I am?) Tomorrow...we're off to Toronto (a 4 hour drive) to take our son to lunch!
Friday, February 22, 2008
I started my dog biscuit business in 1998 after leaving my job as bank manager. My job had been eliminated and I was given a choice...take another job in the bank, or take a severance package. I grabbed the package. We sold our downtown home in Canada's capital and moved "to the country". We had 2 dogs at the time and I got this crazy little idea... I decided to start up a dog biscuit company. They are fairly common now, but at the time there weren't many around. We were the first in Eastern Ontario, and because of that I received lots of press for a few years for various reasons.
In April of 1999, we did our first "event"...we sold biscuits at a street fair called "Maplefest" in Perth. It was a dismal failure. It was freezing cold but the sun was shining brightly. At the time, I had the biscuits packaged in cellophane bags. Sunshine + cellophane = moisture. Not good for biscuits! Sales were terrible. But you can't keep a good woman down. (especially a woman who has a great partner...John has been with me all along this great adventure!)
One of my favourite projects was introduced in 2006...Crunch for a Cure. Through that I helped raise funds for breast cancer research...a very personal thing for me. That project wouldn't have been possible without our models...breast cancer survivors Betty and Triona who generously agreed to appear on dog biscuit packages. And the wonderful photographer Suzanne Bird (the URBAN dog photog) who photographed the models and designed the tags. I lost my mom to breast cancer so this project was very special to me.
I want to thank all my stores, my web site customers, my Paws for Charity gang, and most of all to John for helping me (unpaid!) for the last 10 years, and to Cody who was always proud to say his mom owned a dog biscuit company.
So, I'm saying goodbye to my baby. I know the new owner will look after it well and give it some new life. I'm very happy to move on and do something different (no, I don't know yet what it will be) but a little sad too.
Here's to a new chapter in our lives!
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Yesterday was also a memorable day because we made our last dog biscuit delivery. We delivered to a gourmet food shop in Merrickville....Mrs. McGarrigle's Fine Food Shop. Oddly enough, Mrs. McGarrigle's was my very first wholesale customer way back in 1999. It seems fitting that they would also be my last customer too!
Tomorrow the business gets handed over to a new owner. Our taste testers (our 3 dogs) have been given their severance packages...a couple of bins full of dog biscuits that should last them a while. My Vice President of Logistics (aka John) is considering lodging a formal complaint because he didn't receive a severance package. I guess he doesn't consider dog biscuits fair payment!
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
P.S. am I dating myself by referencing the song "one eyed, one horn flying purple people eaters"? Does anyone else remember that song?
Saturday, February 16, 2008
John and I love huskies and seeing them brings back good memories of our Bailey. She was only a member of the family, not a working dog like these guys.
What a great day!
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Monday, February 11, 2008
Today turned out differently than expected. We have a new holiday in Ontario called "Family Day" and our grandson and John's daughter will be visiting us. We thought it was today, so I got up early and vacuumed and did dishes, etc. I was looking forward to a yummy brunch cooked by John. Then a school bus went down the road. ?? There's no school on Family Day. So, off I went to the computer to check it out (isn't the internet great?) and it turns out that Family Day is next Monday.
So...I got all my business deliveries into Ottawa done today that I was going to do tomorrow. Always good to be ahead of the game.
And...now I get a breakfast for dinner. I love having breakfast at supper time! Nothing like hash browns, eggs, and sausages with a little white wine.
A little note about the upcoming Valentine's Day... John says he doesn't believe in Valentine's Day...just a holiday made up by some card companies. But he surprised me with a "Happy Saturday" gift on the weekend...a beautiful red leather hand bag from Rowland Leather. What a nice surprise!
Saturday, February 9, 2008
Friday I did get back to my vow and worked on a sweater for myself. I started this sweater in Jan 2007 and knit up all the pieces very quickly. (Patons 500838 Cardigan knit in Shetland Chunky Tweed Deep Red)
We received some good news last week. Our son Cody (who moved to Toronto in December) finally found himself a full time job. He was working part time, which pulled in enough money to pay his rent but we'd like him to eat once in a while as well! Now he's working a full work week and once he gets settled into his job he'll pursue his acting dreams. He seems to have adjusted well to Toronto...a big move going from a town of 3500 people to Canada's largest city. He has 3 very good friends...one roommate and 2 others in the same 3 apartment building so they are very close. Nothing better than good friends to share your ups and downs with.
Have a good weekend everyone!
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
What do you think?
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
However she goes, what
is supposed to mean "Whatever happens happens, that's life" Also "That's how the cookie crumbles". "That's the way it is".
I can't really imagine that anyone actually uses this phrase anymore. The locals will probably give us some interesting looks if we say it once we move down east.
However, it's a philosophy I'd really, really like to live by. I think we all know people who live in the past. "I wish that this happened instead of that" People that can't move on and live in the present. Usually they slant to the negative way of thinking. They lost a job, they lost a relationship, they lost something they thought they deserved and just can't move on. I find people like that to be a real downer and I try not to hang around them too long.
On the other hand, living in the moment is a real challenge for me these days. I'm so focussed on the future and moving and living in Nova Scotia that I'm finding it truly difficult to live in the here and now. I feel like I'm in limbo land. Other than cleaning house in preparation for a viewing as we try to sell our home...and waiting for the phone to ring...I don't seem to be accomplishing too much.
I think that's got to change before I drive myself crazy. So, my pledge to myself is to do one creative thing (maybe not a big thing, but something creative) every day.
I started working on something a couple of weeks ago but put it away. I'm going to pull it out, take some photos and see what you think.
However she goes, what
Sunday, February 3, 2008
Oh, and here's open that the people who do show up are actually looking for a new home and not just house tourists.
After some mad morning cleaning, we'll be off in the car with 3 dogs and a cat driving around for 2 1/2 hours.
Update: well, our agent was happy with the results but I'm not so sure. We had 6 sets of people come by...one set was some neighbours! Tsk, tsk. Nosy people. Our viewing on Friday went well. The people loved, loved, loved the house but think it's too far to drive from their jobs. We'll keep positive...it's the only way to be.