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"Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful."
- Unknown

"That which does not kill you, makes you stronger."
- Handed down through the ages.

"Life's tough. It's even tougher when you're stupid."
- John Wayne

Thank YOU!

You have all been SO wonderfully supportive regarding this latest headache.  So many of you have commented here on the blog, and many more have sent me direct e-mails.  Thank you to each and every ONE of you!  That's . . . YOU!  :)

A few people have pointed out how fortunate I am to have the terrific parents that I do.  And, that is soooooo true!  They have truly been nothing but supportive in this last month (of knowing what I've been working towards).  They've been super cautious of keeping their own "well, I'd do this rather than that" out of the conversations.  And, I really, REALLY appreciate that.  I don't know how to properly express this, but I really need to make this decision on my own.

In the past, I've relied on their advice in decision-making . . . perhaps a bit too much, and that has prevented me from not moving on certain dreams.  I don't mean to be poo-pooing them and their advice, but I know they tend to be more cautious . . . not wanting to see me potentially fail.  But, in this last year (hey, it only took us 40 years of being a family to figure it out!), I think we three have each realized that I make decisions differently / choose different paths than they do, and vice versa . . . and THAT'S OKAY!  We don't NEED to operate the same way but, rather, respect the other person's decisions.  Kind of like "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all".  I don't feel like I'm expressing this properly, but I hope you understand???!!  Bottom line, it's just good to hear them say "we support you in whatever your decision may be, honey" . . . and I can do the same for them (and am learning to).

Hmmm, got off on one heck of a tangent THERE, didn't I?!

Anyhoo . . . here's the latest.

I met with my realtor yesterday afternoon.  I went in to the meeting pretty riled up.  All the anger I'd been working to quell over the past 24 hours came zooming right back up to the surface.  So, important fact #1:  he truly doesn't think I told him what day I was meeting with the financial guy at the court house.  So, if that's the case, the seller couldn't have known, either, and it was just a coincidence of REALLY BAD timing.  And, I don't have the e-mails here on my home laptop (working from home today) to prove it one way or t' other.

Important fact #2:  the seller came in to the realtor's office to tell him, face to face, that she was pulling the business off the market.  According to him, she felt "really really bad" about "knowing that I was getting close" and that she wanted to stop the process before I had any more time, etc. invested.  Hmph.  I still hold that she should have made that decision when she received my Letter of Intent at the beginning of the month which said that I WAS going to make this happen.

At Ms. Apple Pie's suggestion, I did (do) want to make SURE that the realtor HAD EXPRESSED to the seller HOW INVESTED I was/am in this.  That, were all the legalities done in time, I was ready and prepared to take over NEXT MONTH.  So, he said that he would go and speak to her, face to face, to make sure she realized this.  And that, as of Tuesday, the finances were a 90% done deal, that I COULD make this happen.  So, waiting to hear on those results.

After that, the realtor and I started brain-storming about other commercial properties available.  Of course, this particular business, since it was SMACK DOWNTOWN of my little blink-and-you-miss-it village would have been PERFECT for my daily commute.  So, we looked at other commercially-zoned properties in the area, and there really aren't any options.  There are some that might present themselves in 5-10 years, based on the current occupants' plans . . . but nothing in the near future.

So next, we started exploring options back in town proper.  And, the good news (actually, it was anxiety-inducing-ly exciting) is that there are many commercially-zoned properties available!  And, it's certainly a buyer's market.

I'll be back - nasty storm coming my way, and I'm gonna disconnect power.

Storm over, wasn't bad, blue sky has returned.

There are two that I definitely want to look at, and we've already set up an appointment for one of them for Monday.  Now, please bear with me as I list & look at them all to see benefits / negatives:

(All of the options have the con of being all the way in town.)  Also, for those of you familiar with this town, please don't guess any of these places by name, okay?  Just refer to them as the option name I give them.  Thanks!

1.  We'll call this one Option P.  Pros:  I'm familiar with the building, the structure is good, it has an existing kitchen, it's right downtown, on city sewer / water, there is space for a gallery w/in the building, there is an area I could turn into an inside dog run for Maisy & Tucker.  And, my realtor thinks the seller would take Contract for Deed.  Also, with only the addition of a convection oven or two, it would be entirely ready to go.  I could open immediately and then change the decor as time allowed.  Cons:  It feels a little "weird",  there's not much customer parking, the dogs wouldn't be able to be outside (although they would be with me).  And, in theory, the weirdness would abate.  I'll explain that when all of this is all said and done.

2.  Option PP.  This is the other one I really want to get in to see.  Pros:  was functioning as a full restaurant; very neat, LARGE piece of property with a zillion options; outbuildings and living space I could rent out; plenty of gallery space; beautiful old building I could really make into something incredible; dogs could have an outside run; apple trees onsite; great parking; beautiful, huge enclosed front porch for seating.  Cons:  just on the other side of town (but all the tourists would still have to pass it, coming or going);  has a commercial kitchen but many (if not most) of the appliances were sold off; kinnnnnd of looks like a money-pit - would have to find out about the structure of the building, and I have my doubts about that; septic system & well, I'm guessing - what shape are they in?

3.  Option South.  Pros:  Right downtown, tiny space that wouldn't cost much to rent.  City sewer / water.  Decent parking.  Might not take much to dress up the exterior.  Cons:  looks like a tiny space from the outside, doesn't have a commercial kitchen / would need to transform existing kitchen, don't know if the owners would consider renting (agent is on that).

4.  Option RH.  Pros:  Adorable, outbuildings, area for dog run, might have rentable living space, 1.84 acres.  Cons:  no commercial kitchen / would need to transform existing kitchen, not much parking, on the far side of town again but still seen by tourists coming and going, no city sewer / water.  Not sure whether or not it would have gallery space.

5.  Option BS.  Pros:  Brand new construction / could put my own ideas into play.  Decent location, right in town, space for gallery, good building management.  City sewer / water.  Cons:  Brand new construction / would have to purchase complete commercial kitchen.  Probably couldn't have dogs around.

6.  Option GF.  Pros:  just this side of town and would still get all the tourists driving by.  Good parking.  Might have rentable living space.  Outside space for dog run.  Cons:  not walking distance of town, would need to transform existing kitchen into commercial, not sure what shape building is in.  Would have to facelift exterior.

So, that's pretty much where I'm sitting now.  There are some options that are lower down on the ladder but I want to fully explore these six first, so I won't even bother going over those others right now.

I'll keep you posted as I tour each of them.  In the meantime, I'm trying to do some creative financing, i.e. stretch one dollar into three.  AND really hit both my graphic & web design and the photography business really hard.  I could still do WAY more (free) advertising for them both, and I still haven't gotten the photography business out on the Internet which is REALLY where it needs to be.  Nothing like a "it's now or never" fire lit under one's arse to really put 'er in gear!

Thanks fer yer support!


  1. now when you learn how to make that$1.00 in $3.00 ---I want to find one of those money tree's too-good luck.all that strategical gearing up went over capacity of my brain!

  2. Judy, the only way *I* can get it all to make sense is to make list of Pros and Cons and design spread-sheets . . . which is exactly what I'm doing right now, a spreadsheet.

  3. I like your thinking. First and foremost, I'd want my dogs with me. Not only will that save you having to schlep them to and from doggy day care, but having your two cuties around is a draw. Next, I would focus on something that had even rudimentary living space for you. Let's face it - with 9 months of winter, having a place to spend the night would be an asset. Especially if you end up in town. You could set up the basics of a commercial kitchen, with stepped plans to add-to as money and opportunity (i.e., used, low-priced equipment or FREE - we can dream) come available. Keep us posted through all the ups and downs! And let us know what we can do from our far flung peanut galleries.

  4. Hmmm, lots of choices! I would stay away from new construction at all costs (no pun intended). In this economy you should stick with what's available, kind of like the used car theory. That being said, you should DEFINITELY look into anything that could be rented out as living quarters, that's dependable monthly income year-round and that's hard to come by in your area. I would also lean towards something that is getting foot traffic, but car traffic works too if it's visible from the main drag. Stay away from anything "off the beaten path" in a tourist community. Oh, I am hoping so badly you will find the perfect place and can't wait to hear more about your options! Here's an Option 7: there will be many vacant oceanfront properties here in about 12 hours, you would only have to replace windows LOL! Love and hugs, these are exciting times for you!

  5. In case you care, I'm voting for option P or option PP, just based on what you said. Primarily because kitchens are EXPENSIVE, especially if there are complicated upgrades to meet health code. You don't want to have to invest that much right off the bat.

  6. Geesh, I had my Jenny Girl this weekend and I miss like 10,000 posts!

    Ok, glad you met with realtor and I am still very curious on the lines of communication. There is a missing link somewheres...

    Now your options. P, PP, and RH sound pretty good and well thought out. I am with Erin, new construction and all the build out costs...eeek! And even tho I have never been to your town or seen it, in my head I have a lovely vision of "Quaint" and new construction just isn't what I "see" for you. Not that it matters of course. Because it doesn't at all. And even if you did new, I'd still visualize it otherwise. :)

    Wow, this is really intense stuff man! You will get there, I just know it!


If you are familiar with me and where I live, please respect my right to retain some anonymity by not referring to me by anything other than Chicken Mama nor mentioning city/town/villages by place names. Thanks!