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So what has been going on the business world of Ellipsis? Well to be honest, lots of catching up mostly. 

Life has been more than hectic. There was a little bit there where I had three part time jobs, this was not conducive to running a business from home. I’ve acquired and sold quite a lot of books, but I am very behind on adding books to the various sites where I sell them. I have about 7 more boxes to add and I am currently hovering at just under 1,000 books for sale on Alibris. 

Many of the books I have yet to list online are vintage or antiquarian and need to photographed and listed on Ebay or Etsy or both! 

Yes I am now on Ebay! I am not consistently listing, but it is much easier than it was a few years ago when I tried it. It also seems to be less expensive, but maybe it’s that I have more money to throw around. Ebay is great for books/DVDs that I cannot list on Alibris. I am also selling non-media items that I am taking a commission on selling for clients. 

As far as jams and jellies go, I have been experimenting as time allows. I made a GingerGinger Peach White Tea Jam Peach White Tea Jam that is the bomb and I also made a classic Concord Grape that turned out quite nicely. In a week, I will be setting up a craft show. My aim is to sell out of the Winter Jams before Spring jumps into full bloom and I am drowning in violet blossoms. 

I am so excited about the garden this year! I dug the smaller bed into a larger bed about 8 feet longer. I bought fencing supplies to keep the rabbits (and my very rabbit like pug) out of the garden and I also bought tomato cages! I know it’s probably silly, but now that I have tomato cages I feel like a real gardener. Staking them up last year just did not work. They just kept falling down. Some of my cherry tomatoes were so full of tomatoes that the bamboo stakes they were tied to actually cracked and broke! Now this year they will be all caged and professional looking.

My compost also turned out gorgeous and a second bin is coming along nicely. I have seedlings all ready to go out and I’m planning a trip to the nursery soon. 

All in all, the business is doing great. I have 300 wedding favors (herbal teas) to package and ship out very soon (pictures will be coming). I am making money instead of loosing it, always a good sign. 

Since it’s now 2012, I thought this would be a good time to write a blog. It’s time to collect my thoughts on the last year and put down my abstract ideas for the future into words. Over the last year I think I made more changes in my life than any since perhaps the year after I graduated high school ( a year in which I traveled to Kazakhstan, moved from Pensylvania to Orlando, Florida, attended college, and met the love of my life : ) )

In 2011, I celebrated my daughter’s first birthday, settled into our first house, learned to make jelly, started selling used books, planted a garden, worked in a restaurant, an ice cream parlor, and a bookstore, tried managing a restaurant only to discover I really don’t want to work in the restaurant industry at all, I learned what the word “terrior” means, I received a certificate in Web Design and started the advanced certificate, I made salsa from green tomatoes and how to cook celeriac, I traveled to Fairfield, IA and learned that the way I want to live is possible, and perhaps most monumentally I registered Ellipsis Books and More as a business, making me a small business owner!

Yes, it is still all online, but it’s doing so well! I am so happy with all my progress. The year 2011 was such an important year in my life because I figured out what I want to be and what I want to do and I am honestly on a path that could lead me to a place where I feel successful.

So with 2012 now upon us, what will I do? Well I will set up the greenhouse and make it into a little paradise of orchids, spices, and a dwarf citrus tree. I will plant a garden full of heirloom seeds and nearly extinct varieties. Using vertical techniques and forest gardening, I will create a biologically diverse and extremely productive micro-ecosystem in my backyard. My kitchen will become a testing ground for food preservation and organic cooking. Ellipsis will grow into the physical realm, through consignment. And I will take a vacation! A real vacation to somewhere exotic.

Bring on the new year! I am ready and willing and I will blog all the way through.

 

It was Summer last time I posted and now it is Fall! How time flies when progress is being made. My cabinet is bursting with dried herbs, tea blends, and canned jellies, jams, and pickles. I’ve designed Ellipsis’s new logo and ordered labels for all the teas and jellies. Also I’ve acquired quite a large backlog of books! New ones, old ones, good ones, better ones and they all have to be cataloged!

So things are moving along. Of course they would move along a lot faster if there was more money, but alas things are as they are.

There are some other very exciting developments happening, involving a book club and Etsy. Of course all good things come to those who wait patiently  . . . right? Well yes, but of course there is always hard work involved.

Check out Alibris for new books I am adding all the time!

As summer progresses we see things come and go. Flower and fruit, fruit and flower and we have to consider what to call progress. Some things such as raspberries flower and then fruit, others like broccoli, flower when it’s too late. Interesting isn’t it, how things work?

All the rain from the last couple of days is working wonders for the garden. It seems like the plants tapped into some underground source of energy and just grew like crazy. The banana mint is doing wonderful. We are thinking of a strawberry banana tea with dried fruits and banana mint making up the base. Also can’t wait for the peppermint to come up. Mint teas are amazingly relaxing and a perfect companion to most books.

Construction on the greenhouse has halted. Something has come up that may cause us to relocate, so we’re waiting and seeing — my least favorite thing to do. We probably won’t be going anywhere until the end of the summer, but it’s best to just wait it out with the greenhouse and put it up in our new location (I’m hearing whispers of California.)

Harvested lettuce and spinach mustard yesterday. Made a salad with the lettuces today for lunch. Yum yum. Trying to think of something extra creative for the mustard.

The goals for this week: continue to flesh out the Ellipsis business plan, weed, eat healthy foods, above all: be productive and go forward.

By the way, we’ve discovered Sundance Channel’s Big Ideas. It is a fantastic series on sustainable living is all sorts of facets of life. The episode on business is amazing. There are all sorts of practical and smart ways to enforce a triple bottom line, People, Planet, Profit. Things from recycled glass counter tops to recycled blue jean insulation to reclaimed wood tables are all possible and all make so much more sense than the current business model of consume to make money and consume more. A singular business model where only a few are benefiting is a dying concept. The changes happening every day, everywhere are brilliant. Check out Big Ideas: http://www.sundancechannel.com/big-ideas/. Or it’s on Netflix instant.

It’s a hot one in Galena today! We have basil, stevia, eggplant, and corn to plant, but man is it going to be a sweaty, dirty job today . . . Soon we will post pics of our herb garden, it’s getting to be quite nice. We can’t wait until it’s flourishing and we can harvest for tea making, especially the peppermint and ginseng.

In other news, the greenhouse base is almost complete. Today we will put screw it together and attach the floorplates and weight it down. Pics will be posted! So excited to grow our camelia sinensis! Also we are looking into dwarf citrus trees. Lemon and orange peal are wonderful additions to teas. Slowly we will build up a supply of spice trees and bushes, vanilla orchids, and hibiscus to have the best selection of teas.

The book business is also going well. We are always acquiring used and vintage books. Of course we are always looking for self-published authors as well. Remember to check out our online store at ellipsis.alibrisstore.com periodically for new additions.

Aside from lovely vegetables and herbs we also have some  beautiful flowers around the property. Here is a yellow gerbera daisy on the front step.

Gerber Daisy

It’s true. Remember those little lettuces from last week? Well look at them now.

Lettuce

Look how they've grown!

All the rain we’ve been getting however dreary it is, really helps out our little plants. We’re going to have to thin them out so they have room to become nice big heads of lettuce, but it’s going to be so sad to pull them up!

Also the broccoli and cauliflower are doing wonderful. Little tiny broccolis are already starting to form.

Broccoli

Baby broccoli

We also have beans and peas coming up faster than expected. The trellis for them needs to go up later today if it’s not raining too hard.

Bean Plant

These just popped right up!

In other news, the wood for the greenhouse base has been delivered, and we’ve managed to borrow a saw. So pending the purchase of galvanized deck screws we should have the greenhouse up within a week or so. Then the camilia sinensis will be started as well as some dwarf citrus, bergamot, and hibiscus.

The raspberry bushes on the property may bloom and fruit as well. I discovered these blossoms in the raspberry bush that is growing inside one of our flowering shrubs.

Raspberry Blossoms

Very soon we will be planting the root vegetables and corn. The corn bed will have to be de-rocked as it needs a lot of open soil for its roots. The root vegetable bed is less rocky so it shouldn’t be too much of a chore to do. And also we will be repotting the tomato and pepper seedlings as they are not ready to go outside but outgrowing their little peat moss pellets. We will post pics!

The business timeline for Ellipsis is as follows. Soon we will be growing tea plants and blending loose teas. We also plan to package little cotton muslin reusable bags with each tin of tea. Perhaps we will sell vintage book and tea packages on Etsy and also we hope to sell tea with some of the shops in downtown Galena. First however we must learn to dry and make different types of tea for the best taste and health benefits. And of course we are continually working on our business plan and scouting out local resources.

Have a wonderful day! It looks as though the sun is coming out in Galena. I hope you see the sun today as well!

Everything is going wonderfully. The broccoli, cauliflower, and lettuces are all getting big, the squashes and melons have sprouted, as well as the beans and peas. And yesterday we planted most of our herb garden. Mints, borage, parsley, sage, thyme, cilantro, rosemary, and dill. Next we’ll do the root vegetables and corn. Then the peppers and tomatoes should be big enough to transplant. We also have calendula sprouting which adds lovely color to tea.The stevia is also doing great, but we’re not sure whether or not it should be planted in the ground. Same with the thai basil. It does get a little chilly here in Galena at night.

Also we’ve added a few books to our Alibris site! http://www.ellipsis.alibrisstore.com

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