Sunday, June 28, 2009

Brian's 2009 Climb

Well, OK. He didn't climb Denali. But at least Brian got to wear his crampons once this year.

After about 3 days of prep work (grinding, then acid etching, then cleaning and drying), we painted the kitchen floor last night with a 2-part epoxy paint. When the first coat was down, Brian donned his crampons to walk over the floor sprinkling silica sand all around the traffic areas. This should help prevent the concrete floor from becoming slippery when wet. Today we will put on the second coat. Once it dries, we finally get to move all the equipment to permanent locations in the kitchen!

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Monday, June 15, 2009

Believe It or Not

I remember thunderstorms as a normal part of my childhood in Pennsylvania. Here in Talkeetna, dramatic summer storms pass through maybe once or twice a year at most. This one today was brief, but came with good old fashioned rumbles of thunder, claps of lightening and hard rain.

At about 5:15pm there was a huge flash and crack, then immediately afterward loud time to count how far away it was. I was in the bakery with one worker. Brian was just leaving to go pick up Oliver from day care. Penny came running in from outside all shaking and pretty frightened.

An hour later I needed to fill a bucket of water for some painting clean up which we can now do from a spigot in the mechanical room. Brian told me to plug in the well pump. To make the rest of the story very short, there was a sort of "KA-POW!" with a big scary flash of light.
Best we can figure so far, yes, believe it or not, our well must have been struck by lightening.

Maybe someone can explain to me the whole "grounding" thing because as far as I know the well itself is a darn good ground and there are several rather expensive long copper rods in the ground for all the electrical everything on our property - not to mention that I thought the whole purpose of circuit breakers is to break off power to electrical devices before they explode. So much for the $500 well pump - hopefully it will be covered under warranty.

This is the moment at which my lovely mother would say, "If I do not laugh, I will cry."

We're thinking about purchasing a nice surge protector for our NEXT well pump. Just to be on the safe side. Go figure.

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Saturday, June 13, 2009


Well, in the last couple of weeks a lot has happened.

At the same time, our circumstances necessitate the retort that in the last couple of weeks not enough has happened at all because, alas, Flying Squirrel is still not open.

But here is a progress report anyway:

  • I turned 40. Best part about the low key construction waste bonfire/potluck we had in my honor was: I brought home a 5 gallon bucket full of full bottles of wine. In fact, as I write this I am enjoying my second glass of the bottle pictured here on an empty stomach and I am feeling better every second. My friends hit the nail on the head with their generous gift giving. A glass of wine every night until the opening might just get me through the madness.
  • The oven hearth is complete. Brian is now working on the oven walls and finally today found someone to weld a custom piece for where the hearth will meet the doorway apron, but it will probably take a week.
  • I have been painting some every day. The dining area is about 1/3 of the way painted and right now fits right in with the madness theme: mustard yellow walls with pepto-bismol pink painted wainscott. Photos coming soon. Don't worry, painting is a process. I hope to never see pepto pink anything once Flying Squirrel is open for business!
  • Haven't been able to find the camera for about 4 days.
  • Electricity is ready to turn on. We have to wait for the electrician to contact the electrical inspector, then for the inspector to approve, then for the inspector to contact the electric company, then up to two weeks for the electric company to come out and turn us on. Just figured out this ridiculousness on Friday. Heads might roll on Monday.
  • Our sweet dog Penny got too close to a moving car on our driveway and managed to get her foot under a tire. She got very lucky and is ok, but is pretty gimped up this week and quite stir crazy being stuck inside so much.
  • Most kitchen equipment and furniture has been purchased and is here. I found a dough divider which might save a lot of time cutting and weighing hamburger buns for local restaurants, or it might just be a 500 pound beast of a dinosaur and a waste of a thousand bucks. Still need to find some annoying items like freezers and a washer/dryer. Maybe a funky couch or two. Right now, in the madness, I am thinking red. Red couch. Or maybe black.
  • Two wonderful people have agreed to come up to Alaska to help us with child care and whatever else during the madness. No, make that one. Never mind: two. ARGH - Back to one again! At this point, I called my mother. So, two. Definitely two. THANKS IN ADVANCE AMY AND MOM - I can't wait!
Despite the constant madness*, the fact that every time we turn around someone wants another $5000 from us, and how we watch all the summer traffic of cars and bicycles passing by everyday, the opening of Flying Squirrel Bakery Cafe does seem imminent. If only I had an answer to that burning question I hear at least twice a day...WHEN?

*I do use this term affectionately. I believe that a lot of greatness comes from madness. Also, I do not at all mean it as it defines anger, more a frenzied craziness.

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