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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Any Ideas?

Welcome to the what I call the North Forty!  It is actually over 50 acres and a beautiful place to live.

Here is my front porch. These pictures were taken last year I am thinking during the winter since I have no plants or flowers covering the porch. If it were not a 105 outside I would walk around and take recent pictures. lol
This is the side view of my home and if you look real hard you can see where Gretchen lives off to the right of me about 100 yards or more towards the pond.

The opposite side of my house showing the road that passes by to Gretchens house and pond.

Here is the front of the pink house where Gretchen lives!

Side view of the pink house.

Another 100 yards and you can visit the Gazebo and pond.

As you can see these are old photos because the pond is full. Now with Texas in a horrible drought it is the lowest I have ever seen it.
My brain has been in over drive ever since my termination last week. This property sits on a very busy highway with thousands of cars going by all week long.

Last week I was chatting with our friend Susan from Art of Mine and we were discussing the options of my being out of work. One was that I live on property that is a gold mine.  We had such a good visit on the phone and talked of the things that could be opened out here. Susan even suggested a bloggers retreat.

I also visited with Marydon at Blushing Rose and we too had a wonderful visit over the phone. She and her sweet husband Harold have visited out here and she has seen the possibilities of this place.

 Gretchen came over and we talked about doing something creative and artistic out here but since then she has decided to move back to Kentucky where her mother is going through Breast Cancer.
I  am sad about loosing such a dear sweet friend for a neighbor and writing partner.  But the main thing is her mother getting well. Also Christi will be back living in Austin by the 15th of this month. 

Getting use to being alone again will be hard. 

So what kind of business would you open out here if you could. Would you use my home or Gretchens? Or there is a run down building near the Gazebo begging to be used for something.

Times are tough and going into business is a big risk. Decisions decisions.

One thing I would love to have out here is a shop full of all of your creative pieces. Maybe sell my candy and homemade pies? 

In a month my landlady will be here from Nevada and if I want to do something out here I would need to have it all planned out to present to her.

Any ideas?

Love to all


Grandma Honey said...

I've never seen a pink house before. It looks like a scene from a Susan Branch calendar, which I love.

Your house is very charming too. You must LOVE living there. Can we see the inside too some day?

Kim said...

I see a wonderful little shop in that darling little pink house. I would bet there are lots of crafty blogger buddies out there that would send you some things to sell on consignment. I know you will think of something fabulous.

♥ Sonny ♥ said...

I too really like the idea of a craft shop.. Maybe even find someone to use only a few of the rooms as a home and the rest as a craft store. That way you wouldnt be out there alone when folks came to shop..
I just know all your bloggie pals will help you come up with a brilliant idea that you can be happy with ..

Debby said...

First of all both houses are adorable. I love them. I agree with Sonny about not being alone. What about a B & B in Gretchen's house and the other shack have seasonal sales. That way you aren't tied down to being there all the time. A
nother idea....some kind of little people camp. They could come and cook, craft, or something like that. Blogger getaways or scrapbooking getaways......I'd better stop filling your pretty little head with ideas.
Not sure mine are any money makers. I do know a lady near here that lives in the boonies and has two homes that she rents for scapboking retreats. Very expensive. (((((HUGS))))

Anonymous said...

Sweet Maggie your place is gorgeous! No wonder you love it there. I am not very good at coming up with business ideas so I don't think I can be of any help to you there but I do wish you all the best in whatever you decide to do. Love and hugs!

Gorges Smythe said...

I Think the B&B idea is the best. You probably would have to do little or nothing to get the pink house ready other than furnish and decorate it a bit. I'd try to rent it by the week, and only rent for shorter periods to fill spaces in the schedule. Crafts are a good sideline, but not a good main line in a depressed economy. FOOD ALWAYS sells, but watch out for the food police. AND - go for that disability, get a lawyer that gets paid only on acceptance and be prepared to wait two years or more (so start soon).

Marydon said...

Honey, your home is excellent for a tea room gift shop, but so is Gretchen's tho yours sits closer to the road.

You know how I went crazy over the beauty of your home. It is spectacular.

I am sorry Gretchen is moving to be with her Mother. Please tell her I send prayers of healing.

Miss you so.
Love from us both,

Sue said...

I like the idea of a craft store in the pink house, too, if you think you would get enough traffic.

What a great place to live! I love the pond and gazebo.


bunny said...

What? You've been fired? Can they do that...I mean, even with your illness and back injury? Oh man...this sucks lemons!

How 'bout a B&B? I'd stay there. You can make money doing that...that and disability....jeeze, I'm speechless and so so sorry Maggie May.


A Tale of Two Cities said...

So much potential on a piece of property as beautiful as this. I think a retreat center would be a great idea!

acorn hollow said...

while I love all the other ideas. for quick cash and all that land how about a very up scale swap meet once a month. Jury people who would rent a space from you. There is a girl doing that here and she is doing great success. Because it is once a month people can't wait to get back to see what's new.
You have the land do you have the parking?

yaya said...

I love your home and the pink one reminded me of "Pretty in Pink" movie..I also covet the metal roofs. I want one on my home..anyway, an artists retreat would be art the park thing could be something around that cute gazebo. I bet pie and homemade icecream would be good, but many regulations surround selling food. I like the idea of selling space for crafts or even a farmer's market. Glad you're thinking and moving forward. Things will work out Maggie, I can feel it in my bones!

Auntie Cake said...

It's beautiful! I am fresh out of ideas, but I just wanted to stop by and send you some virtual hugs. I will get my little old brain to thinking...

Have a great day in such a beautiful spot!

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

What a beautiful house and surrounding area. My goodness! I think a B&B is a great idea or a tea room open on weekends or custom made picnic baskets for picnics by the lake. I also like the idea of a shop in Gretchen's house that would feature hand-made crafts, pies, jam, etc. Whatever you decide to do, I hope it will be very rewarding for you not just financially, but also emotionally and spiritually. You deserve the best, Maggie!

Orange Sink said...

Hi Maggie,
I admire your feisty attitude and LOVE that charming pink place! The porch is full of possibilites! If you go for a shop of some sort the idea that Cathy from Acorn Hollow had is a smart choice. Event sales seem to be the way to go these days with the economy etc. Advertise the heck out of it!
Keep it fun and people will buy!
I know there is something exciting in your future ( hey, I could come to your sales and read fortunes!! LOL)
You deserve to be happy and doing something you love!
Cathy G

Annette said...

I spoke to a lady recently who went to a quilters retreat up on the ocean near a quaint little town. She said they never left the house. They had a chef come in and cook! She'd been going up there for several years and it's already booked up for next year! Maybe that's something to consider is the retreats, whether they be spiritual, arts n crafts.

T's Daily Treasures said...

Hey Maggie, you are doing the right thing by making plans and talking things through. If Gretchen is leaving, that would be a great place to open up something. I am sure you will come up with something. Wishing you all the best, Tammy

Anonymous said...

Ask your landlady what she would do!
You could have a B and B out there.
That would give you some control over when and who comes on the place, since you will be by yourself.

*^_^* said...

Wonderful! Awesome!

Arkansas Patti said...

You really do live in a fairytale lovely place with all sorts of possibilities.
Your commenters have some great ideas.
Just be sure you start something that won't rack your back.
I love that you are positive and know you will find the perfect project.
You will prosper, I have no doubt.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

What a beautiful setting! It would be great to have a shop filled with handmade items...with some benches under those big trees to sit! I hope you can do something that you would enjoy! It's hard though with the economy so bad! But it seems like more people are buying 'used' treasures and handmade items now! ♥

Anonymous said...

From my artistic side: I think your ideas and everyone's I read are fantastic. I definitely would use the pink house for what you choose to do, therefore keeping your home as your own special place to retreat to at any time of the day for some relaxation time. I was thinking something along the lines of a now defunct company (that I think used to be based out of Texas) that was called Coomers Craft Mall. (If you look online I think you can find info of what they used to do). You could rent vendor space out of the pink house to those who would sell their crafts. They would furnish their own little section themselves and for a small fee each month/week they could display their creations for sale. (And I would set it up so your vendors were responsible for their own sales tax - but check with your local sales tax office to see how that would work out). You wouldn't even have to use the whole house for that. You could also have an area where you could hold weekly/monthly gatherings and charge a small fee for a class of some sort. Writing class, knitting, gardening, decorating, etc....

And....from my former life as a commercial property manager: Please keep in mind that when you conduct business on your landlord's property, you will need to consider the liability to that person/company and the insurance requirements to conduct the business to alleviate your Landlord's responsibilities. Easily done, but is an added cost to you, since you would need to list your Landlord as an additional insured on any liability insurance policy (a policy specifically for your protection). Also, please check with your local authority as to what documents they would need to show them that your landlord is authorizing you to conduct your business on the property. That way you could have whatever documents you need ready when your landlord arrives.

Lastly, I say "Go For It"! Based on what I've read from your blog, I think you would be VERY successful, and you have a beautiful property from which to conduct whatever business you choose. (And also, keep writing your book. It's passive income when your done).

Take care.


P.S.: Sorry for the rambling, but as you can see I'm pretty animated when I talk about business and landlord/tenant relations.

Sybil said...

I think the B&B idea id one of the best advertize as a Bloggers retreat..with crafts art thrown peaceful it must be sitting by the lake..
But whatever you do decide..just go slowly it's getting a bit late in the year for this years vaction Xmas craft market could be a good idea either residential or just selling goods you have been given on a sale or return basis..
lots to think about my love..take care remember you are still not exactly "fit" LOL
Love Always Sybil xx

irishoma said...

How about a writer's retreat? You have lots of room to wander and a second lovely house for privacy.
Donna v.

Dragonfly Treasure said...

Some great ideas have been thrown out. Lots to consider. But one thing is I think you should keep your home for you and you alone. You'll need your own space.

As far as making a decision, consider how much you want to be tied down. A B&B or retreat would be amazing on such a gorgeous area.
But there are alot of once a month sales popping up. Not much to do on your part...mark areas, then rent them out.

Be sure to check your city's ordances and whether you need permits. Permits can be costly. And like what's been mentioned check out the insurance responsibilities.

I live in California but I sell things in a store in Florida. The owner searched me out thru Etsy. She "collects" things from all over and then sells them at her store. I've never met her but have sent some things and they have sold. When she gets low on my items she says send more.
Here's her website which she lists some of the items also.
You can see her contract and the percentage she takes.
Just another idea to consider.

BTW...your home is gorgeous! So is the pink house! Love the gazebo and pond too! You are lucky to live on such beautiful property.
The white picket fences are to die for!!!! (They aren't allowed in my town :(:()
Hey, just had a thought. I wonder if photographers would be interested in using the area for photos?

Oh boy, I think your gonna get lots of ideas lol
May you only have the best of luck in whatever you decide ♥♥

And yes, get started on the suit with a atty that takes a percentage fo the outcome. Been there and done that with "him". It does take some time, but you have no out of pocket expenses which is good.

sending comforting *hugs*

sissie said...

Hi Maggie,
I love the idea of opening the pink house up as an antique shop. Start looking for vendors, charge them rent and see what happens.
I bet it will be a real success.


Rocky Mountain Woman said...

I would keep your home just for you. Everyone needs a sanctuary from everyday life where they can relax. The pink house would be just perfect as a little gift shop or tea room where you could serve homemade pie and tea!

I think the licensing requirements for retail are much easier to navigate, so you may want to start with something a little simpler.

Can't wait to see what you come up with sweetie!!!



Libbie said...

That's exciting to think of that Maggie! Your place is GORGEOUS!!! Oh how I would love to visit! Too bad I am so broke :) That's what a pack of kids'll do to ya :) I don't kmind being broke but a little travel money would be nice :)

That will be terrible for you to lose Gretchen! I was so happy that you had a friend out their so close by!

I know you will come up with some good ideas :)

REGINA said...

hi maggie...thanks for stopping by my blog. i have been so busy being an administrator on a poetry site, i hardly ever get over to blogger anymore. but recently had a "friend" stab me in the back and needed to post a poem but didn't want the "friend" to read it, since i didn't want any drama. but often it is best to get the ill feelings out, and i do so by writing. i love your page here on blogger. and i love the place where you live. what are the chances you will ever have to move? i could live there forever. perfect spot for keeping my muse in line....take care and i hope to stop by again soon.

REGINA said...

i thought about your question....of course a lot hinges on what the laws are about land use. i think a retreat would be fantastic, with a little gift shop of things made by you and possibly locals, or people online who are your friends. but again, it would have to coincide with the land use laws. i wish you the best....and if i am ever in texas, i might look you up and stay a night...or two.

Gorges Smythe said...

Maggie, another thought on the disability angle: we have a couple attornies in my area who specialize in disability and advertise the fact. They SHOULD have more experience than the average attorney, and only take payment IF you get your disability. Likeability and "honesty" aren't always the most important traits for an attorney, RESULTS is.

Connie said...

I can picture a quaint restaurant with a gift shop in one of your homes. There was one in Meridian, Idaho that was VERY popular. It catered mostly to women but men showed up too. There were different kinds of pasta salads, sandwiches, teas, desserts, etc. The gift shop had hand made items and other things as well. Your delicious candy would sell very well!
Good luck to you. I've been thinking about you and hoping you've been doing OK.
Keep us posted!

NitWit1 said...

The B&B with crafts, and maybe small restaurant would be great, if the highway produces tourists. Everything is LOCATION, LOCATION.

But the climate now is not conducive to much touring. We are going t SD but planned this several months ago. Probably would not, if we had not already paid.

Crafts in Arkansas are in and out.
Those who buy fill up their houses and quit buying, etc. Trends change, etc.

a Bohemian Market said...

Hi Sweet Maggie:
The termination must have felt like a ton of bricks : (
I understand because I was unable to get hired before I had my first spine injury due to "pre-existing condition." Finally I am legally medically disabled but at such a loss in income.
The comments great suggestions; just take it slow, sister, and it will come to you in the right time.
How is Mz. Pearl taking all of this?
I have been out of Bloglandia for over 14 months and I am seeing how much I have missed. Wish I had a pan of that delicious fudge, right about now : )
Peace & love

Marydon said...

You ok sweetie? Checking in on you.
Have a beautiful week ~
Hugs & love,

Delena said...

I think a little tea/craft on consignment shop would be great in the pink house. Also, if you know some gals who want to do hairdressing that would be perfect in the pink house. A set up process for sure but around my neck of the woods, people convert houses into tea houses and hairdressers. Just a thought.
Good luck in whatever you decide to do!

Sarah said...

I'm sad to hear your news. It doesn't seem fair to me.
Some kind of fun shop would be a good idea if you think you could get some traffic in. You definitely live on wonderful property. Looks like a lovely spot for a picnic.

Deb said...

wow you have been given so many good ideas.....I know you will come up with something great...

Julia said...

Hi sweet Maggie, I'm back from exile and read your comment on my blog. Thanks.

What a lovely place you have. So much possibilities... I love that little white picket fence.

Sorry about you being terminated.It isn't fair at all... Just find yourself a rich man to take care of you.

I wonder what kind of cliental you would get in your area. You were in ceramics before, why did you quit? would a Ceramic Cafe work in your area? I know that Ceramics have gone through some drastic changes since I closed my shop but the only Clay Cafe ceramic shop is doing good business down town. People drop in and pick a simple piece of bisque and decorate it with a special concept colors and the shop owner dip it in the glaze and fires it for them and they pick it up the next time. It would be a great idea for kids birthday parties or other occasions.

No matter what you would try, it all spells for you.

Here B & B are regulated by the government and have to abide by their guidelines. There should be a lot of information available online for your area.

Wouldn't it be a great place to start a beauty spa? as long as the farmer sprays his flies.

Good luck Maggie, hugs. JB