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Showing posts from February, 2010

Sometimes things need to fall apart

When I found out the coffee house really was not happening, I went into a semi-shock, depression, breakdown mode. Basically worthless is what it comes down to. I cried those crocodile tears and felt the panic of change. Scoured immediately through Craigslist again and again. I do think Craigslist could be my addiction. For the past few years it seems I have always been looking for jobs, or real estate, and even when I have both of those I continue to look. It is kind of like reading the morning paper. It is just something I do on a daily basis.
Having to admit that the coffee house wasn't to be - felt of course like some kind of failure. I have had to fight with my ego. I have had to admit defeat. How to tell all of these people I am not leaving, I am not going to be at 54th and Burnside when you come to Portland, that my awesome "Artistry Cafe" banner will not be gently blowing on the corner of the building. I have to email my 200+ Feng Shui client mailing list and let…

Gone but not forgotten

Sadly, the coffee house (Artistry Café) in Portland is not happening. At least not at this time. Circumstances beyond our control are to blame, not for any lack of trying, believing or dreaming. I guess this wasn't in the plan. There is a plan isn't there?

Not all is lost. (Don't cry for me Argentina) I have gained experience and knowledge from months of working on this. Writing up my business plan, the press release, creating menus, talking with vendors, landlords, and most of all, I may have a clearer vision when I proceed the next time. Will it be a coffee house in Rutherford, a B&B in Brewster? I'm really not sure at this moment, I need to reevaluate. I need to move slowly and proceed with caution. But I do know that my dream is not dead, it just isn't ready to be a reality at this time.

So where to go from here? Remember my earlier blog, when I said that if this didn't happen I'd be writing a new blog "What to do with my life now that I quit…

Back on Track (except for the lighting)

Okay, things are back on track. We got ourselves a house to live in, movers are lined up, the cleaning lady is coming in to help with the big stuff on Saturday, sold the washer and dryer this morning., came up with a killer sandwich idea, pretty much finished my press release and made a massive to-do list for the upcoming week. With only 7 days left until the actual move it seems daunting.

Need to get all of the utility companies to disconnect things here, get the utility companies to turn things on up there, return the cable box, put in a change of address, call all of the creditors and take the cat to the vet, just to name a few of the items waiting to be crossed off my list . We need to get a sedative from the vet for the cat (and perhaps he can throw in an extra one for me). Driving for 10+ hours with Ellie the cat will only be possible if she is knocked out for the entire trip. This cat hates being in the car and if she only knew, I hate having her in my car. She does that conti…

Chicken Little

Things usually fall into place once you decide to make some changes.  They may take a little longer than you had hoped or possibly things fall into slightly different places from the ones you intended.  My things right now seem to just be falling down, and taking my moods with them. I'm feeling overwhelmed and confused.  Trying to figure out if this move is really the right thing, or is the cafe merely a means to get me to move on from here?  Knowing that I need to be making immediate decisions and yet finding it so impossibly hard to make them.  One moment I am sick to my stomach and I see this as my body trying to get me to pay attention, to feel and trust my intuition.  But just as quickly that sick feeling will be gone, overpowered by a wave of excitement that washes over me. I emailed my sister this morning with an "SOS" - Please call, I am having another minor (but could possibly turn into a major) meltdown. Bless her heart, she called me within minutes and just to…

Signs, Signs, Every Where Signs

Monday the 15th I went to the coffee house.  I was expected to sign the lease on that day.  Now, being a Feng Shui Practitioner, I faithfully go by my Chinese Almanac, and if you are at all familiar with it, you will know that there are a couple of days a month that are considered "PO" days.  These days are not suitable for any activities, especially ones of importance, such as a wedding, traveling, a grand opening, or SIGNING A  LEASE! 

So, as I looked around the shop I told the owner that I wouldn't be able to sign the lease, that it would have to wait until I returned home to Napa and I would fax it to him at that time.  He didn't even ask for an explanation and turned over the keys to me.  Wow. 

I went and looked at two more places today to rent.  I found one that I actually like (at least well enough) and the owner seemed like a great, easy going guy.  Originally from Cupertino, California, he had moved to Portland 9 years ago and loves it.  People seem to be …

Cry Baby Cry

This apparently is about much more than a coffee shop, or a move to a new city.  This must be about leaving me behind, the me I know, the one who has hung on little by little to her old identity.  Things started to change when at first it was me without my husband, then me without my house, without my pets (my cherished little Westie, Sophie, who I still miss terribly each day), gone are old friends, gone is my old lifestyle.  The last part of my old life to go was my little 2002 BMW that my husband had bought for me on Valentine's Day.  I traded it in last September for a newer model, but it was hard to let it go. It was the last little piece of my old life, and oddly it felt like another piece of me died when I drove off in my new car and looked in my rearview mirror, only to see my old little car left sitting in the car lot.  It felt lonely and so did I.

And now I am leaving this place, Napa, where I moved in 1991.  Where all my memories will bring me when I'm thinking abou…

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Tomorrow morning I leave for Portland to find a place to live and finally sign the lease. Checking and double checking all of my paperwork, airline ticket, check, hotel room reservation, check, rent-a-car reservation, check, lease agreement, loan application, rental applications, several Craiglist printouts, check. Still feeling like I'm missing something. Oh yes, laptop, wine for my realtor, oranges and chen pei for my daughter (a Feng Shui rememdy I need to perform on her house), clothes for 5 days, raincoat, umbrella, two pairs of boots, and it goes on and on. And all that in one little carry on. Pretty amazing. My shoulder is aching just thinking about it.

I'm really looking forward to being able to check out the coffeehouse space again. I only saw it the one time, and now I need to check out the existing inventory, measure wall space, pick out paint colors and all of that fun stuff. I found some incredible light fixtures today on Etsy - if you are not familiar with Etsy, …

Second Thoughts?

I knew it would happen - the sooner this dream was to become a reality the more I might resist the change. I am going up to Portland in 4 days - to house hunt. I am moving there in twenty days. Maybe this is where some of the fear is coming from. Not knowing where I will be living, will I have enough space, will I be able to fit all of my old life into the new life? I am already missing the bay area - the area that I love so much. Even Napa, though I have grown tired of the wine and tourist industry, I must say, it is still breathtaking when I drive up Silverado Trail and the vines, the hills, the clouds, the sun and the simple beauty of it all, makes me feel so utterly thrilled to be alive. I will miss San Franciso, Marin County, Bake Sale Bettys in Berkeley, the Golden Gate Bridge! Oh I must admit, I feel very scared. I keep reminding myself that this is an adventure, something I would never be able to pull off here in the bay area - I couldn't afford to even try it. And nothing…

Babkas, banana bread and pound cake

The last couple of days I have spent going over my list of things to do but I can't seem to focus enough to do any of them. They are things like finish my business plan, work on a press release, start packing. All I have accomplished in the past two days is packing one small box of Feng Shui items that I have in the extra bedroom and cleaning out a couple of junk drawers. I did bake a few things too. A chocolate babka that I won't be making again, some pound cake cupcakes that were good, but not good enough, and some awesome banana bread from a recipe that I got from my sister. That one is a keeper.

I'm feeling overwhelmed with all there is to do - the move is the hard part. I hate packing, always have. But looking for a place to live online is difficult too - also trying to find an inexpensive place since we won't have an income for awhile, but still giving us enough space and an environment that we will enjoy coming home to - even if it is only to spend mini…

Signing the lease

Wednesday - February 3, 2010

I received the lease agreement today from the landlord, and it looks okay, good enough to sign. I'll be signing it and delivering it to him when I fly up to Portland next week. Good, that is done. I also received a quote for liability insurance and that looks pretty good too. All the boring, mundane things that have to be taken care of. There seem to be many. But, much more exciting to me, was I met today with a friend, a very established professional artist who is going to do my logo for me. He is an incredible painter, artist, and I feel so lucky and blessed to have him doing this for me. It is going to be very simple, very painterly, (since the name of the cafe is Artistry Cafe) and done in a sort of Thiebaud style. I can't wait to see it. I've been checking out outdoor signs and banners, trying to figure out what will work best there - I think this is something I will definitely have to wait until I recheck the building to see what will wor…

Making our dreams a reality

Tuesday, February 2nd 2010 - Groundhog Day - My introduction

Everyone entertains the idea of owning a coffee shop at one time or another. Why? Because everyone loves going to a coffee house, whether it's the local Starbucks or a small quaint hole in the wall, with mismatched chairs, local art, heads hidden behind laptops and that feeling that you belong. I'm no different. I love the coffee house scene and even more than that, I have that entrepreneurial spirit - it runs in my family.

Now at this point in my life it is time to take the plunge, never mind the bad economy or all the doubts that keep entering my mind, the fear that pricks at my skin every chance it gets. Something about this feels right. Even the timing. Here we are in Napa, California. I've lived here for the past 20 years and I'm ready to move on. Moving to Portland Oregon, where in one breath someone will say, "Oh what a great city", and the next breath, "oh, but how are you going to stan…