Thursday, May 20, 2010

K. was feeling rich.

So guess what he did with it.

Chipped away at his student loans? Nope. Patched the leaking roof of the house that shall not be named? Nope. Wined and dined me? Uh-uh.

The one with the bottle on it is faithful Boatie. The other? K's new daily driver, kitted out for vegetable oil, with a working radio and the third seat in the back.

Every time he looks at them he giggles.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Spaghetti Dinner

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Chickens in the garden this weekend.

Here's where I go every Wednesday:

I don't care for all the Amish farms but this one is SO BEAUTIFUL. Just the order. And the garden of strawberries :)

More to come.
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Monday, May 17, 2010

We [layed outside until Annaliese got bit by an ant. So now the kids are eating strawberries and watching Aladdin.

I should be:

1. Starting dinner
2. Making the bed
3. Folding the laundry
4. Calling my meat/cheese person or possibly
5. Running a dozen eggs down to the store.

I have been struck lately by how so much of my life is about balancing what has to be done, what various people need, and how to stay sane. Constant choices-- who can afford to not talk to me? What can slide for the day, and what absolutely has to get done? (Guess where the dogs rank in this daily tally... they are down to weekend walks.)

I disintctly recall when my time was more like what I should be doing, and what I was doing: chore versus luxury.

Those days be gone, baby.

And I can't really say I miss them.

I used to worry I was lazy. Because I didn't like doing chores, or much else besides reading. I wanted-- even as a child-- to be a person who liked to take walks, garden, read non-fiction, work hard at something without hating every minute. But all I really wanted to do was read, possibly swim-- while reading.

And now? A morning off means I sweep the house, mop the kitchen, and weed the tomatoes. AND IT'S FUN. Because I can go at my own pace and daydream while weeding and enjoy the sun shine and the gleam of clean floors.

I think I am doing the right things.
Because I may not yet be in the black, or have enough time for everything, but I do not grudge the time I spend.
I am not waiting to be done so that I can return to my real life.

Gosh, it can be fun to be a grown-up.

Eatin' Beets

We got a wading pool on Saturday afternoon and consequently none of the weekend pictures have any clothed children in them.

Lunch to eat, kids to pick up. More later.
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Thursday, May 13, 2010


K's away. Molars are coming in (again). Chocolate croissants are delicious. Anika is beyond amazing. Doc Watson's getting me through a slow afternoon.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Blogging From Work

I think I might be beginning to find my equilibium. I finally realized yesterday that what is keeping me off-balance is "hearing" the things every person who walks in the store is thinking. Not that i'm psychic; indeed, I'm probably making it all up. But in my head, I hear people's thoughts. Thoughts like "this is it?" and "those tomatoes aren't anything special" and "how in god's name can they run a grocery store and not have bread?" Couple my craziness with the actual words coming of out people's mouths and my thin skin and it's like being beaten with a mean stick all day long.

So today when I catch myself thinking other people's thoughts, I'm telling myself to shut up. And it's helping.


An Annaliese story!

Friday, her teacher told me Annaliese had something to give me. So I waited until she wandered out with something in her hand. Miss Lee urged her to give it to me, but there was a 3-foot-tall teddy bear in the room, and she was distracted. Eventually she came over but instead of handing me my Mother's Day present-- a styrofoam cup with a flower planted in it-- she said " no! it's my present!"

At which point, I and Miss Lee gave up and I toted the kids to the car.

I was buckling her in and asked again if she wanted to give me my present. She said "NO MA'AM" and so I started up the car.

The whole way home, Annaliese cradled her plant and sang, "Happy Birthday-to-ME, Happy Birthday-to-ME."

This child of mine.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

We had a great day yesterday.

Really, it was our opening... a festival happened right outside our doors, Main Street closed off to traffic, bands playing, the whole shebang, and we sold something like 300+ bottles of vintage-style cane sugar soda, all our bread, every last bottle of milk and cream, and bag after bag of candy.

It was a great day. A long one: on my feet from over 12 hours, smiling and checking people out, refilling coolers, coping with what came up, but a great one.

(took this outside one wednesday, not festival day)

our aprons arrived. don't anika and i look cute? we make the teenage boy who helps us wear one too.

Caspian's enjoying the ball pit, along with 900 other kids....

Anyhow. It was a lot of fun. And then I shut the store down, came home, got to sleep in until 8 AM!!!, and then we went to the zoo. Which was a whole different kind of fun. One I really needed.

And THEN I came home and found out that my baker is dumping me. Without warning. Which means my store opens at 8am tomorrow without our biggest draw/seller. Which really f-ing sucks.


Pictures of the store and the zoo and the whole SHEBANG here.


Heh! Turns out I was wrong! She was just mad at me about a labeling snafu. And out of town unexpectedly tomorrow. Which is not good, but so very much better than I'd thought.

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Friday, May 07, 2010



This week has been a killer. I am struggling to find my balance in just about every arena. Today, with 90% of our goods priced and on the shelves, produce re-stocked, coolers (cross-your-fingers) stocked and working, and having had breakfast with the kids, it feels possible.

The rest of the week? Not so much.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

First Day

Yesterday, I worked from 7am to 8pm without ever going to the bathroom, something I didn't realize until after the end of the day. I sold 50+ loaves of bread, all my bananas, okra, strawberries, and a shocking amount of bagged things I didn't really think would sell, like papaya and pineapple tidbits.

It was a great day.

Sure, there was the stringy-haired lady who bought a cabbage and shoplifted sardines. And the the off-looking gentlemen who pleaded with me to sell my slicing tomatoes 2 for a dollar. And the old man who came in several times to tell me that the family who owns the PigglyWiggly were going to get me. And the family who came in, asked the store's phone number, left, and then called to haggle at great length about the price of the hanging baskets.

Not to mention the fact that 2 of those pricey open coolers I bought were apparently rewired by drunk monkeys, I now owe a repair man an exorbinant sum of money, and we didn't even get the meat/cheese cooler working, so we had none of that out. It also poured and K had left an upstairs window open, so water began seeping though the floor and dripping onto my eletrcontic scale, cash register, AND VERY EXPENSIVE COMPUTER. I'm not entirely sure the printer has survived.

Oh. And Norma? Didn't come to work on Friday or Saturday, because apparently those 4 days of pricing and bagging put her back out.

But despite the obstacles that kept (and will) keep cropping up, it was supremely satisfying to begin. Thrilling to see people excited about the produce and condiments and locally produced milk and bulk spices.

And the kids' area? Brilliant. Parents are loving it. Kids are loving it. Annaliese made about 100 new friends. A little boy told me he loved it and then ran into play, while his mother was practically incoherent with glee that she got to shop in peace.

I know a lot of people came out of curiousity, and Saturday's earnings are not likely to be repeated. In six months, maybe, we'll know if we'll make it. Not today.

But it was a good start. Pictures here. We'll get one of the outside this week.


I have been sitting, staring at the screen, trying to think how to convey that while the store is my inititative, it would not have been remotely possible to open with K, who has done everything from requiring the entire electrical system to building literally everything to helping me with inventory and pricing, to Anika, who got here on Thursday from Germany and has literally not stopped working since, to our babysitter, who has come over at the drop a hat to take care of the kids in the evenings, especially on Friday night, which was INSANE-- I sent Anika home at 11, K home at midnight, and I made it home at 2...

there really just aren't the right words. But man is it good to have those two at my back.

Today is the day of rest. It's raining. K's taking a nap with Caspian, Anika is getting a chance to unpack, and Annaliese is stomping around in her pajamas. It's Family Day. And so I'm not going to think about produce logistics or inventory or bagging or my employee problem any more, at least until the evening.

It's good to be started.