Sunday, October 30, 2011

pics from the weekend

Friday night: we're at the Lyric waiting for Snoop Dog, and excited about it!

Picture 2: Still at the Lyric. Still waiting. A little excited. A little... queasy.

Picture 3: Are there two cameras in front of my face? Time to go home....

Saturday night, we went to a friend's family-friendly Halloween party and drank absolutely nothing.

Had fun anyway.
Caspian, hours after his bedtime, chilling with the grownups, wearing monkey pjs.

Annaliese: not pictured, since we didn't see her the whole night (they had a teenager keeping an eye on the kidlets, and she was glued to her BFF's side the whole night anyhow).

Tomorrow? Halloween.2 blocks, trick'or'treating, with pretty much everybody we know, ranging in age from a 16-month-old to a 5 year-old. Those 2 blocks will probably take 4 hours.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

happy, happy, happy.

Typing this from the couch at home where I'm drinking tea and eating a banana to combat the queasy stomach last night left me.

k and I went OUT last night in a big way. Dinner, drinks, puking, snoop dog concert... not at all our style but it was kinda fun to do something so... different? stupid? juvenile?

I think I get seasonal depression over the summers here, because over since October hit, I've gone from feeling WE.MUST.MOVE.NOW to kinda loving Mississippi again. My house is looking great-- new energy came with the cool air and it's never looked better. I took today off from the store (a full weekend!!!) and went and got breakfast by myself this morning. Forgot my credit card and ended up borrowing money from a friend who happened to be selling at the season's last farmers' market. There was good coffee and live music and people I know to talk to.

And now I'm home, in my pretty house, and K made brownies with the kids, and life seems sweet.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Church today

Annaliese and Caspian walked down the aisle to the children's time at the alter for the first time. They walked slowly, with Annaliese's hand on Caspian's back.

They plunked down and listened like good kids.

The preacher said something about marriage and Caspian announced that when he grew up, he was going to get married.

That got a laugh.

Later there was a pause and Caspian said so clearly that the whole church heard "I've got a ball in my pocket." (He did.)

We got lots of compliments on our children after the service :)


The stupid camera thing was in K's computer bag all month! Click here to view some pics.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

in case you're not on facebook

friday morning, the farmer? milkman? awesome guy who started mississippi's first micro-dairy? stopped by to give us more milk for the weekend. and he brought his buddy, who was riding shotgun, named jimmy dean.

said the little guy had doubled his birthweight in a week drinking his jersey-cow milk.

he then told me about a pig who used to follow his like a dog, the goat who lived in his porch and went hunting with them, and the night he'd recently spent perched on top of his dairy, waiting for the dogs who'd gotten into his hogs.

i bet you can guess his daddy was larry brown, the writer.

Monday, October 17, 2011

at long last

well, I turned 29. Which was awesome. As birthdays generally are. Presents, cake, breakfast in bed-- who could ask for more?

Weather's great. Store's kicked up a notch these last 2 weeks (keep your fingers seriously crossed). K's cute. I lost 9 pounds. Kids are growing up and smart and funny and Annaliese currently has three jars of mustard in her fort on the porch, I found out this afternoon. She dips her fingers into it and eats it "for her breath."

We went canoeing yesterday. Going on a Mommy-trip to the zoo on Wednesday. I'd like my house to stay clean longer (top-to-bottom twice a week! gah!) and to have a movie-night out with K and to lose another 5 pounds without thinking about it and for our lame-ass internet to get its act in gear, but mostly, everything's great.

Saturday, October 08, 2011


The store looked really good last night. Big event here in town, another success, and K bought me a luminous painting done by the girl who lives in the white house across the street, the house where Annaliese came into being.

I was so proud of K. last night. And the store. But mostly of K.

See, in August, our first renters moved into the apartment. The apartment WE thought was beautiful, the apartment that K did his way, not fancy, but gorgeous. And with the interior design genius of the girl who moved in there... the apartment was the talk of the town last night, as she was on the art crawl and so everyone saw how beautiful it is. K. was feted wherever he went and I was so... glad for him. He has been working for so long, on his own, without any recognition.

You can go here for pics of that...

Shots of the cafe in the rear of the store last night.... typing this at the counter this morning, as a handful of people eat breakfast back there. Three grocery shoppers so far this morning. Cross your fingers.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Feeling Better.

The word is spreading in our small town that we're going to need... you know, CUSTOMERS, to survive. It's freeing to have that out there.

New produce supplier. In addition, not instead. For the first time, we have shallots, leeks, other good things. We have a big opportunity this weekend to wow people, as our town is putting on its third art crawl, a super-neat thing that will have scores of disposable-income folks traipsing by my store. They won't be hungry, but hopefully, we can impress them with some holiday ordering-- cooking class-general neat destination stuff.

It never stops.

Other than the customer-money, I completely love it. This is the first non-family/k/babies/home project I have ever had that engrosses me.


Awesome party at our house last night. I threw a "Because It's Fall" get-together. 11 kids under the age of 5. 13 or so adults. Clean house. Good food. Kids playing into the night in the garden, playing tag and Dead and wearing butterfly wings. Bonfire. Tipsy dads throwing hot coals (not my sweetie, though). Good times and I'm glad I did it.

Had a nice talk with my Dad today.


Kids are great. K's a little grumpy with me at the moment but he's got to get over it... Sunday's my birthday!

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

I am FREAKING out.

In the last four months at the store, I've dealt with a lot of things. Personnel, of course. Equipment, naturally. Starting a delivery program that's gone pretty well (last Friday, we delivered more food to 14 people than we sold in 11 hours to 70 people.) We've begun serving a hot cooked breakfast, 6 days a week. An article about us on the front page of the Sunday Metro section of Memphis's Commercial Appeal just came out.

I have done all these things and yet, I feel like I'm failing.

I said it.


Ever Monday, I hand out checks to my four part-time, two full-time employees and the baker. Every week, I juggle which supplier has to be paid right now, who can wait until later. I just found out yesterday we owe our most relaxed supplier, gourmet cheeses and meats, $1500. Every week, I can't afford to both pay my overhead AND replace the inventory that I've sold.

It's fucking depressing.

Why is this happening? Despite produce prices and deli prices being the same as Wal-Marts (who incidentally, is not down the street, but a solid 25 minute drive away), despite Water Vallians swearing up and down that all they wanted was another grocery store, despite me adding everything that's made sense: sandwiches, deli items, casseroles, soups, ice cream, yeast rolls, and now, breakfast.... people just won't buy at my store.

They'll buy a few tomatoes. Or a cookie. Or a two-dollar sandwich. Or a bottle of milk, a loaf of bread, two packages of meat and cheese. But they won't wheel a cart around the store and buy groceries. Because, somehow, we don't sell groceries in people's minds. We're not big enough, with numbered aisles, and plastic bags, and a mammoth parking lot.

Here's what it would take: 100 people spending about $50+ per week on groceries with me. The lunch and breakfast and random drop-ins would take care of the rest.

100 people.

I can count 100 people who all live within a mile of my store.

But they drive to Wal-Mart or Kroger, 25 minutes away, instead.

It's maddening. It's heartbreaking. It haunts my dreams and makes me cry and diminishes my time with my family because I have a huge albatross on my shoulder all the fucking time.

Why don't I just quit?

Because I'm an optimist at heart. Because I have employees who use the money I give them to put food on their tables (sometimes, even bought at my store). Because it would gut the optimism on my town's Main Street-- we're not the only new business.

Because some weeks, we're so close.

But it's been 16 months now, and we're going into fall and winter-- a food-retail desert, I've discovered-- with no reserves.

I wonder if we'll still be open come spring.