Friday, August 6, 2010

Dreary Day

I didn't feel like writing anything yesterday. I was busy taking inventory because the realisation I have come to is that I have to order again soon. I am out of root beer and hickory bbq sauce; almost out of Lucky Charms, Skittles and Dr. Pepper. Getting low on lots of other stuff, as well. This is scary! I thought I would be able to wait a bit, but nope. I will start putting my order together in the next few days.

First, I have to get through this weekend. My big boy is in the shop with me today *helping out* -- summer care is officially over and school starts on Monday. Tomorrow morning is the big hullabaloo for kids starting 1st grade this year... Like my youngest. He is excited and while I am excited for him, it is also a bit of a *wow* thing in that it means he is SEVEN. So yeah, still have stuff to do for that tonight (someone remind me to take the good scissors home, please).

I have had a wish for a certain hot sauce and think I may try to order a few to see how they go. They look interesting. Not that I have space or anything... This weekend we need to finally get storage shelves up and maybe I will even remember to get a foot matt for in front of the door. Hurrah.

The weather is a bit off today (rainy and grey), I hope things will pick up a bit. I might go stir crazy otherwise. Tomorrow will be 2 weeks of business!

The big boy helped me re-stock today and straightened up the shelves for me. It amazes me how type A he is about my shop and how type slob he is about his room at home ;) Then I sent him on a walk around the block as he was bored. Poor baby...

Had some interesting customers again today, really nice, a bit odd and everything in between. The guy I forgot to give the package of chips to last week came in and evidently hadnt realized I had stiffed him. Well then, all the happier today. I have found a german distributor for some American goods. I am going to check their prices and see if they would be a good option for *in-between* orders. Their pancake mix is astronomical, but some things are not outrageous.

Would be interested in any serious comments on Blair Hot Sauces (extreme)!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Humma Humma What?

I was locked out of my account with my British distributor on Monday and innocently sent an e-mail to my personal contact there yesterday morning stating that my log-in wasn't working (again) and asking her to please re-set my account. I immediately got a no-reply form e-mail stating that my email was deemed phishing or spam and sent on for further lookie-lous. What? All I did was tell her that my log-in was not working. Hmmm. So I found an e-mail from her and replied to it and received a response from someone else in the team that she was out of office and that my account would be reset. All was fine in my world again. Then this morning I got another no-reply email stating that the lookie-lou peeps deemed my e-mail spam / phishing. Roger. Huh?

I redid the windows a bit this morning -- there were dead flies and dust in it, so hey ho, I thought it necessary. I need fabric and wooden blocks or something to be able to work more effectively. One day.

So, my 2nd son is starting school next Monday, where does the time go? Didn't we just welcome him into the family? I need to write up a list of things we are still missing for the 2 school bubs so I can send Dr. Dude with them on Saturday to finish school shopping. One of the perks of having my own shop is that I can give certain jobs to Papa now... It may make me less of a woman, but I no longer enjoy shopping like I used to.

10 minutes to opening. Excuse me while I rock out to CSNY to get the mindset on. More later once I have had some interesting interactions.

My kids go to normal German schools, but I have to say that I am really liking the International School here. I have met several teachers and parents and they are really nice and have a lot of information and have given me some more book ideas -- especially for youth books. Fun times!

Weird random thought: I feel like I am slightly re-americanising myself. Weird. In German you have the formal and the informal ways of adressing people: Sie and Du. In general people are formal and use Sie. I find myself say Du to more and more of my German customers -- those younger than me, which isn't hard here in the Neustadt. Sometimes I feel like a bit of a granny. HA! And I taught a young German guy about fudge today, poor soul has no idea how ruined he is about to become. He bought a jar of marshmallow fluff and I told him about fudge. He is going to spoon half a jar and try to make fudge with the rest. Rawr.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Have I mentioned how awesome my friends are? They are fantabulous, truly. I really could not ask for a better support system -- both local and international. Through the months of preparation of this big adventure I had my friends abroad cheering me on and telling me I would be fabulous. Keeping me motivated not to make this a total *fail*. I will NOT get sappy, but trust me when I say that my tears were constantly dried by love and support.

And then came the serious business part of this. Getting my 2 huge deliveries (5600 individual units, in case you wanted to know) just days before I was due to open. Yeah, I panicked. I was not sleeping, I was wrought with fear of everything. Then the *Librarian* came to my rescue. My pride was overriding my fear and did not allow me to beg for help. I tried to tell myself I could do it alone. Then she came and told me she was there to help and to just let her. She took a project into her own hands and rolled with it. The next day, too. And then again on the day before the opening. She even brought me a chili plant (it is still alive and I have been munching on the chilis!), as if her help wasn't gift enough for being able to open when planned. Thank you, you were awesome! And she sent gazoodles of business my way on my opening and in the week since. Awesomesauce.

And then there were the other snow-by helpers during that preparation week that just came by for a bit to stick labels and chat. I cannot thank my support system enough. Those who came on my opening day and in the first week to buy things AND bring gifts, I feel truly unworthy. Nope, no sap here, really. *whistle*

But that isn't all! I just picked up a totally unexpected parcel from the post office. I mean really. Kathi, you are truly the sweetest. I don't deserve you and your support. You have so much else going on and here you are sending me gifts! Thank you, thank you. For the awesome bag I have been saving for and drooling over. Gawgeous. And the tea for my next bout of insomnia -- it will come when I place my next order. Count on it. And the cookbook. Holy canoli, the recipes sound awesome: Simply Simpatico. The Home of Authentic Southwestern Cuisine. Indian Blue Cornbread, Guaymas Salad, Grits Gruyere, Adobe Bars. Yum.


Have just had a new friend stop by, followed by a round of female missionaries stocking up on missed American foods. And someone asking for the wish of all wishes: clotted cream. Really. I guess I will have to get a refrigerated unit and should probably start pricing them. Add that to the storeroom shelves, a few extra tables, the card stand, a vacuum.... ugh so man costs coming up! And I need to start preparing the next shipment. Yikes. Where is my break? Am thinking the Sleepytime tea will come in handy soon...


Monday, August 2, 2010

A new week

I have started my 2nd week with a crushed left pointer finger. I have no idea how I did it, but it hurts.

Rainy day, I expect it to be a bit slow. I have some official work I need to finish (sign up for a company that I have to pay for the packaging I am bringing into circulation -- in the future I will not offer as much glass...). After that, I will do the final ingredient translations. Then I will allow myself to knit. Just a little. And only if there are not any customers.

First, I have to clean up the shop a bit as I did not get around to it on Saturday afternoon.

I will be back later for more, if there is more to report.

I met the American that has a Sport shop up the street from me. He is really nice, from New Mexico and was a Dead Head for 5 years with his VW Bus. Ahhhhhh, not only a nice person, but someone who shares a passion! Ha :D And he has been in Germany almost as long as I have.

Been a slightly weird day, I am feeling off. Nice customers, though -- new friends from last week and new people, in general. Definitely a good community.

A guy came in that was looking at ingredients. He and a friend have an ice cream business and make American Style Ice Cream (a la Ben & Jerry's):

Roll on evening.

The name of my shop seems to be a huge hit, by the way, as is the sign. Score one for the not so American taste I have. Score one for Michifreak.

Right, one last comment for today: I just had a customer who has been to Eugene and asked me immediately if I am a Deadhead. He is Australian and the crazy thing is that when he came in I kept thinking: I know him, I know him, where do I know him from????? Aha! We used to ride the ferry across the Elbe River together. Nearly every single day. Really nice guy, his wife is American and he is sending her in tomorrow. Yes, powers that be: please send me more like that!