February = Vendor Month… And Other Highlights

Each month so far has had a theme…

November was Demolition Month.

December was Contractor Courting Month.

January was Construction Month.

February was Vendor Month.

March was Finishing Touches Month.

And the plan was to open April 1.

Well April Fool’s Day came and went… and we definitely aren’t open… No. I’d say we’re back in January here… somewhere in the middle of Construction Month. So the joke’s on someone… We have definitely gone awry!

But, as with all of those best laid plans, we are still blindly heading forward – in a million directions at once. As I said in my last post, the only difference is now we answer all questions with, “When it’s done.”

Because, in the end – and in the middle – and even, in the beginning…. that’s all you can really say. Yes, we could have a crew of 15 men in here. We could have a posted schedule at the entrance. We could have benchmarks and timelines… weekly meetings and daily check ins… there could be a lot of structure to this beast. And, truly, behind the ol’ Madness Curtain, there is a lot of structure and even minute-to-minute check ins. But the crew of 15 consists of an absent general contractor moonlighting as a consultant with little grasp of the English language or how to use a cell phone, a part-time plumber with a full-time job… elsewhere, an electrician who works hourly and – thus – slowly, and 2 builders named Emme and Fitz who are very cute, pretty industrious, but can only do so many things at once.

What we’re learning is that something held too tightly will move more slowly than if we were to simply let go.

In college I took an Alexander Technique class as part of my dance curriculum. Alexander Technique studies body positioning and habits we form that track visible patterns in our bodies. These patterns affect posture, create pain via tight muscles or displaced bones, sway emotions and our psychological make up, and even affect biological and physiological functions like digestion, the menstrual cycle, etc. The man who developed this technique started first with actors and was interested in how we hold our heads and necks in relationship to our spines. His interest was in how different holding patterns affected the voice – specifically its clarity and strength. Humans have a habit of jutting out our chins beyond proper alignment. This crunches the cervical spine because it forces the neck to bend backward and opens our throat cavity in a way that actually pinches the airflow. A more relaxed position would be lengthening the cervical spine and pulling our chins back in, thus relaxing our necks – softening our chests – and allowing bones to settle in correct alignment.

Why do we do this? And why am I telling you about this? Because, humans also have a habit of wanting the NEXT thing… the next moment… the mark beyond now. So we crane our necks, we strain ourselves to reach forward, to peer quizzically at the next line item on a to do list instead of softening into the Now, releasing into the experience at hand… bringing our chins back from tomorrow and letting today happen in proper alignment.

I realized the other day how much my body bends to the future. Because we are behind schedule, my body wants desperately to rush everything. But, at the same time, what’s happening right now is so interesting and so unique that it would be a shame to pass up a full experience of Now simply to accomplish the Future within a predetermined set of benchmarks.

We might not be a team of 15 men.

But we’re getting things done each day that are beyond my every expectation.

And that’s pretty awesome.

So we continue. In a million directions at once.

Here are some of them.

Celebrating Spring…

Purchasing for the cafe…

Sourcing materials…

Talking to vendors…

Some more Craig’s Listing…

Talking to the locals…


“So I have this blog…”

Basically, here’s our lives in a picture:


“It’s in here somewhere…”

It’s a constant struggle, to balance our needs tomorrow with what needs to get done today. What gets us through is a sense of humor and definitely, 100%, EACH OTHER. I don’t think this project would be possible alone, if only because no one would be there to laugh at the jokes! Or take the picture! 😉

Speaking of, what’s wrong with these pictures:

Does that go there?

Does that go there?

And, does this go there?!

And, does that go there?!

Wait. How do you get into that room?!

Wait. How do you get into that room?!

... Oh whew! Like that!

… Oh whew! Like that!

Ah, such is life at Amber Lane.



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