What it really boils down to is the pants.
When I wake up these days, my first question is “what pants do I put on?” and it’s often QUITE hard to answer.
My stained work pants? Great for yard work, grouting, painting, staining, cleaning, and other disastrously messy activities.
My casual grey jeans with some peripheral stains? Great for running errands that involve heavy lifting at garden centers, the metal yard, or our storage unit. These are also a good choice for a long day of baking because they offer nice mobility, and I don’t worry if I spill something on them.
Or one of a few pairs of “cute pants”? Great for times in which I want to appear put together when leaving the house… and not like “fancy” put together… but just normal put together. Like the type of put together where people who meet you will later trust you, assume you to be sane, and pass you off as a “regular person.” This happens when I go to a cafe to do computer work or when we meet with city officials or for social functions at which we occasionally find ourselves.
The cute pants days are still pretty scarce but, like most people, I own several pairs. So, on these days, I then must deal with the secondary dilemma of which cute pants to feature – a problem compounded by the relatively rarity of the opportunity. But that’s a whole other rabbit hole.
Back to the first problem – which pants should I wear?! As of late, I often go through 2 or even all 3 of my pants categories in one day. This can be exhausting to manage. And, really, it only magnifies the real issue… that we are running in entirely too many directions at once, trying to pull this beast together. But —> it’s working! I swear we’re getting there.
Two days ago… we had our final plumbing and electrical inspections. We failed both of them, naturally. But the issues to address are minimal, and we should be good to go within a week. Then it’s on to our health inspection and final building inspection… as well as our pending handicap ramp and retaining wall along Amber Lane. Oh you didn’t know about those? Well, hold tight. We’ll see how it alllll shakes out in the end.
What else? So many things. Amber Lane Parklet is coming along quite nicely! I’m really proud of the work we’re doing there – and I hope the community embraces what we’re building for them. We’re planning a “Parklet Party” in a couple of weeks to officially welcome the little park to the neighborhood.
Then, there are all the final details for the cafe itself:
I’m about 3/5 of the way through recipe testing for the bakery, wishing my friends and family were closer so I could foist these off on more people!
Next week we’re turning on our espresso machine for the first time (eeek! wish us luck!).
We’ve been pinning down final menu items with all our partner companies and will be testing final ratios/recipes/grind size next week at the espresso bar. We’re working with 2 coffee roasters, 3 tea purveyors, and 1 chocolatier. Each relationship is AMAZING but the details take time to finesse. We’re so very excited to be featuring each of their yummy products in our cafe.
In the juice department, Fitz recently fixed our juice machine (a great first step to juicing… <ahem>) and we’ll probably start dialing in juice recipes in about 2 weeks. On May 15 we drive to Boston to pick up our custom glass juice bottles from the Boston Port!! (Only a week behind schedule… <ahem>). That will be an adventure for sure.
And on and on it goes.
In renovation news, I’d like to start telling the story of building out the Gallery. This was the last space we started on because, for a majority of the project, it was the holding cell for all our junk // materials // treasures! But, we were able to get one project in early on —> the Gallery Window!
The most amazing part of this story is the window itself and how it fell into our laps. I’m not sure I can even recall all of the versions this window took before it hit reality. There was the very first version: we wanted to put in a garage door that we could open up in the summer and have customers walk right into our Espresso Bar! A lovely idea but fast-forward to that one time when we entirely redesigned the place, moving the espresso bar to the other room and making this the gallery… and that one sort of tricky detail where we don’t own the land beyond the building. Our neighbors weren’t about to let a bunch of customers traipse across their property to enter our cafe. C’est la vieve. Our San Francisco dream was abandoned in favor of good ol’ New England practicality.
Then onto several versions of “window” – a learning process that led us through the world of really, really expensive custom wood windows and really, really ugly aluminum and vinyl clad windows – all of which opened in complicated ways that never seemed quite right. This battle went on for months as we tried to tow the line between what we wanted, what was possible, and what we could afford.
Wheels spinning, we turned to our favorite guardian angel – Craig’s List. And he didn’t disappoint! After 7 MONTHS of searching for a window solution, with a credit card number already on file with an area aluminum window business for a BIG purchase, we finally. Found. The. Window. On Craig’s List!
Here she is:
This magical window is LITERALLY a perfect fit for the rough opening. And, best part? $200. $200! Yes, that’s right. Salvaged from a barn in Ware, MA. 40 panes of wood with the old wavy glass. She nestles perfectly in what was originally the opening for the barn doors on our carriage house. From one barn to another, this window has certainly come full circle!
Now, onto installation!
Step 1: Remove existing stuff, including a normal size window (re-purposed up in our library, see this post for details of this installation!) and very ugly lattice work.
Step 2: Put in new window, quickly!
Step 3: Reglaze, reglaze, reglaze. Fitz reglazed all 40 panes of glass on all 4 sides of each pane. It was insane! He did a great job, definitely a pro by the end! We also had to replace a couple of panes of glass but, all in all, the window was in good shape for the age.
Step 4: With the window in place, we needed to trim it out. It was a bit of a brainstorm to hit on a good solution but we finally decided to trim it in sheet copper! I won’t go into the details of the terrible Craig’s List scam we went through to try to find a contractor to do this (if you’re curious, read this post). As per usual, in the end we just sucked it up and did it ourselves.
Step 5: Installing the copper!
And the final product:
Next up: planting in the window boxes! I already have the plants but I’m just waiting for the weather to get a bit warmer… soon enough. 🙂