Friday, March 20, 2009

Spring Equinox

In honor of spring, we cut down many of the trees along the road in hopes that passersby will start to watch our progress. I made a quick sign which looks great in this photo, but is still pretty hard to see from the road. More trees will have to be sacrificed for the exposure. It's really a tricky balance. I have always wanted the cafe to feel out of town, peaceful, in the woods. But I won't be in business very long if no one can see the place to even know it's open. At least all of the wood will be put to good use in the wood-fired masonry oven that will bake most of the bread at the Flying Squirrel.

Meanwhile, spring was also ushered in with a middle of the night phone call saying our name came up on the moose roadkill list.
This is a mixed blessing. Moose butchering is probably not how we should be spending our free time right now (what free time?). Yet, how wonderful to have meat that is fresh, healthy, appreciatively salvaged, and that Oliver can eat on his special elimination diet. Brian cooked some of the heart for dinner. Oliver kept saying, "More moose guts please!" He must need the vitamin B. I kept saying, "Thanks, Moose." Brian kept saying, "Yum...mmm...mmm...yum."

The third happening worthy of note this spring equinox, besides Talkeetna's annual Oosik Classic ski race (I just finished preparing almost 500 dessert bars for the banquet - boy am I looking forward to a real kitchen), is that the White House lawn WILL in fact sport a garden this summer! Read an article about it here. Hooray and happy spring! Finally.
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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Blank Stare

Blank stare. Cough, cough. Blank stare. Cough. Cough. (Yes, I finally got some version of the crud that has been going around town).

That's all.

It's that kind of a week.

I was feeling like I needed to update the world on the progress here at Flying Squirrel central. But I just can't find anything substantive to say. Don't get me wrong. The project is progressing. And the sense of anticipation for the opening of the cafe is getting pretty palpable around our house, and I hope in the community of Talkeetna as well. Spring Equinox is full of anticipation of all kinds in Alaska.

Last night, Oliver was bawling his head off because he was having difficulty getting his dinner to stay on his fork as it made the journey from plate to mouth.
Through his tears we heard him cry over and over, "I can't stab it very well!" His frustration was intense, as was ours, as we just couldn't convince him that it was all going to be OK.

Neither Brian nor I am bawling yet. But I think we both feel this week like "we can't stab it very well." Or at the very least, that many of the pieces we are trying to pick up fall back onto the plate several times before getting to where they need to go. Like Oliver, frustration over one forkful or two or three forkfuls can totally blind us to the bigger picture.

Meanwhile, what happens when things get overwhelming or frustrating? What happens when you (or your three year old) just don't like the answers you get to your seemingly very important questions?

Blank stare. Cough, cough. Blank stare.
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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Cheap Labor OR How We Conned Our Parents into Helping Us

Yes, it's a family affair here at the Flying Squirrel Bakery Cafe. Every step of the way. Brian and I are both very lucky to still have both sets of our parents actively in our lives and even luckier that they are supportive and encouraging of all of our crazy ideas. OK, not ALL of our crazy ideas. But this cafe project certainly wouldn't be possible without all four of them in so many different ways, not the least of which was bringing both of us into this world in the first place.

Example number one: Brian's parents asked if they could do anything to help. We said, "Sure!" And here they are, for three days, cleaning, brushing, carrying, and staining boards in preparation for siding the cafe. It was difficult to resist asking for them to help with this particular task since we remember what an excellent job they did on prepping the siding for our own house last winter.

At the end of their 4-5 hour shift over at our project, they go home to Birch Creek Ranch and water all the starts in the plant room, clear snow, prepare for the summer growing season, and try, in vain I think, to act like retired people. I do envy the frequent afternoon naps they tend to enjoy, but the rest is most certainly well deserved.

Thanks does not begin to describe how grateful I feel to both Brian's parents and my own for helping us to achieve our goals.I look forward to handing each one of them their first free loaf of bread!
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