Monthly Archives: December 2014

Hives.

So, I’m not normally an early morning blogger…as a rule, I am a big fan of the late-night for pretty much everything…even laundry-folding.  And now I find myself living in Jeanne Plumley’s world…and that world starts around 3 am.  We agreed to meet at 3 am one day last week and so I woke up at 2:51, brushed my teeth, put on my clothes, got in my car and was at PJP Buttonwood by 3:03.  Jeanne got up at 12:30 am and had coffee, did a Bible study, shopped online, and did her makeup.  And arrived at 3:03.  And if you ever wanted to know how we differ despite being so similar, well, THERE YOU GO.

We have been a little busy over the past week.  And by a little busy, I mean that I may have to research a long-term therapy program for people affected by overexposure to 4 ounce Ball canning jars.  In the last week at PJP, we have filled, baked, put lids on, boxed, and sold over 1,000 Jelly Jar pies.  And for that, we are most grateful.  I would clap for us, but my hands may be permanently gnarled into a round 4 ounce shape.  On Friday, I briefly considered calling up a pre-school to see if they could send over a pack of toddlers interested on working on their fine motor skills while opening 1,000 jars.  And but for our super hot ovens and our propensity to sometimes swear, I would have been happy to have them.

Tomorrow, another 300 jars or so go out of our doors and onto UPS trucks.  And then our focus will solely be on order pick-ups.  I find myself using whatever spare mental energy I have to focus on ways to ensure that Christmas pickup is NOT like Thanksgiving pickup.  And like someone who has been thrown from a horse and is trying to get back on for the first time, I’m a little skittish.  And thus, if you’ve seen our front door in the past 24 hours, you’ve seen this:

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And the anxiety of writing that sign almost did me in.  I am the worst person EVER at saying no.  Our plan was to cut off orders on Friday morning and then people would wait in line to get to our front counter to order a pie, we would say no, and several people welled up with tears.  Tears are my kryptonite.  So I would let them order.  Some people were super grouchy about it.  And super grouchy people are the worst for my need to please everyone.  So I would let them order.  And by the end of the day, we had added 61 new people, both crying and grouchy, to our order list.  After thinking it through at 2 am (thanks, Jeanne!), we decided to make a sign for the door so that would no one would walk in and wait to order…thereby limiting my exposure to feeling terrible and saying yes.  And I get that in the long run, saying no is the better choice…overbooking us in terms of what we can produce and/or what we can make happen without people waiting 45 minutes to even get our front doors is the logical thing.  It is just that logical isn’t Jeanne or I’s strong suit.  We are TEAM EMOTIONAL all the way.  And all this is to say that please know if you read that sign and you are sad, just making the sign gave me hives.

And while on the subject of hives, we have made the decision to close the week between Christmas and New Year’s.  So here is the plan, we will be open on the day after Christmas and the Saturday after Christmas from 9 until 1.  And then we will close until Tuesday, January 6th.  The decision to do so has almost killed us.  We’ve been back and forth on the whole thing and in terms of pros and cons, it basically came down to the number of people we guessed would want pie for New Year’s Eve versus our sanity outlook for 2015.  I think that if we can start the new year with a sufficient amount of REM sleep, then who knows what is possible for PJP in 2015?  So that is the plan…no pies, but a lot of REM sleep, my favorite lounge pants from Old Navy, wine, and sitting.  A lot, a lot, a lot of sitting.  A lot. Of. Sitting.

Oh, and some sitting.

Eight Months.

Eight months.  248 days.  5,952 hours.  357,120 minutes.  Here’s what we’ve learned since unlocking the door to welcome our first sale at 3601 Buttonwood…

  1. We are not the same girls we were 248 days ago.  Notably, my roots are at least 1/4 inch longer than socially acceptable because I’ve been too busy to spend two very needed hours getting them done.  But more notably, we are much wiser about our business and about ourselves.  We are probably also kinder, more humble, and more thankful for the opportunity we have been given.  We also laugh in the face of standing on our concrete floors for 16 hours in a row…if you are going to challenge us, ask us to stay all night long.
  2. Speaking of which, remember the first time you stayed up a significant portion of the night with your newborn child?  It is an experience that ushers you into parenthood in a way that nothing else can.  I think doing my first overnight at PJP during Thanksgiving week bonded me to World Pie Domination in a way that will never allow me to relent on the journey.  (All that said, one overnight a year is good, thanks…I hope against hope that it isn’t required during the week of Christmas.)
  3. And so, going through important first milestones, such as our first Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons, is the only way to figure out what is going to happen on those days at PJP Buttonwood.  Because the image in my head for the day before Thanksgiving included soft lighting, Christmas carols, and stacks of freshly baked pies boxed and ready for pickup.    And when the day before Thanksgiving actually imploded upon itself and was a hot mess, my managed expectations took a hard hit.  Getting back up and going back at it was harder than I thought it would be.
  4. This time of year, many advertisers call to schedule a breezy chat about our 2015 marketing budget.  Bwhahahahahahahahahahaha.  I’m not even sure what I’m doing 12 hours from now, so…
  5. Speaking of chats, blogging about the sub-par Christmas wreaths at 3601 Buttonwood will make 96.8% of The Kroenke Group really mad at you.  But there will be new ribbons on the wreaths.  Ahem.
  6. We are hoping Santa brings us new oven mitts.  And a person who just answers the phone for us next Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.  And an Ecolab dishwasher contract termination clause.  And wine.
  7. I don’t care for spreadsheets.  That is all.  Please don’t ask me to format any cells and return it to you by email, because it likely won’t happen.
  8. That said, if the IRS sends an envelope that is stamped “IMMEDIATE ATTENTION REQUIRED”, that will catch my focus.  Even if it is a bill for $.17 of payroll tax shortfall.  I have an irrational fear of tax calculations.  Probably because the only calculator I really know how to work is my iPhone calculator and I’m certain to lose any argument based on mathematical calculations and tax tables.
  9. As 2014 draws to an end, can we all just make an agreement to stop using voicemail? I’m fairly certain I haven’t returned a single voicemail on my personal phone in the past 248 days and the prognosis for the next 365 days is looking similar.  Jeanne actually retrieves the messages from the PJP phone line and she writes them all down and returns them in order. Bless her.  Text me.
  10. In 2014, we stumbled into this idea of World Pie Domination.  In 2015, we move forward with focused attention on World Pie Domination.  I’m a little intrigued to see what the next 12 moths bring us.

And as always, there would be little point to any of this without you reading the blog and without you rooting for us and without you stopping by PJP Buttonwood, so thank you.  Thank you for a game-changing 248 days in 2014.  And to so much more together.  Cheers.

Documentation.

Earlier this evening, Behind-The-Scenes-Tech-Guru Jason asked me how my day was.  And rather than launching into a soliloquy of epic proportions, I decided to document it for posterity…

5:50 am:  Check email.

6:00 am:  Drink coffee while my people still slumber peacefully.  Read Buzzfeed and think about nothing.

6:15-7:05 am:  Feed my children breakfast.  Engage in a lengthy debate about why one needs long sleeves and long pants when the forecasted high is 37 degrees.  Explain that I don’t know why we don’t live in Florida, why winter has to be so cold, or why school has recess when it is cold.  Remind myself that one never wins when negotiating with terrorists.  Or nine-year old girls about yoga pants.

7:10-7:35 am:  Deliver children to school.  Look forward to receiving my trophy for “Worst Mother of Year” that I’ve earned by mandating everyone wear their winter coats into school.

7:45 am:  Stop by Hy-Vee for coffee, bananas and Angry Orchard Hard Cider.  Realize you can’t buy alcohol before 8 am, so purchase bananas and our usual order from Caribou.

7:55 am:  Make the baking schedule with Jeanne.  Have more orders than what fits on the baking schedule.  Freak out the appropriate amount.

8:10 am:  Return to Hy-Vee for the Hard Cider.  Awkwardly blurt out to the checkout guy that the cider is for a drunken apple pie and not for a possible drinking problem.  Feel even more awkward when he doesn’t find me funny.  At all.

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8:15 am:  Return to PJP and be alerted to the fact that we need more ribbon for tarts and Jelly Jar packaging.

8:20 am:  Choke down my fear of visiting crafting stores and go to JoAnn’s.  They don’t open until 9.  Really?  Am I the only one with early morning ribbon needs this time of year?  Would knocking on the door be unacceptable?

8:22 – 8:40 am:  Organize pies on order, bake pies, answer the phone.

8:45 am – 9:00 am:  Realize we are out of condensed milk.  Return to Hy-Vee for the third time prior to 9:00 am.

9:05 am:  Go back to JoAnn’s.  Break into hives at the mere thought of all the fabric in that place.  Pick out ribbon and race to the checkout like a wayward episode of Supermarket Sweep.  Get in line behind a woman trying to return ONE EIGHTH OF A YARD of fabric.  Think unkind and un-Christmassy thoughts.  Consider just paying her for the fabric and then throwing it in the trash if it means she will just be out of my way.  Finally pay for the ribbon.  Refuse to put the JoAnn’s app on my phone, discounts be damned.

9:20 am:  Return to PJP with ribbons.  Be thankful that Jeanne doesn’t mind to be the one that uses the hot glue gun to glue the ribbons to the jars.

9:22 – 10:30 am:  Continue to organize pie orders, pay bills, answer the phone, bake pies.

10:31 am:  Assist first customer and realize we have no quarters in the cash drawer.

10:34 am:  Walk to the bank instead of driving solely for the opportunity to look at Facebook on my phone for five uninterrupted moments.  Almost get run over by a semi-truck delivering goods to Big Lots.  Realize it is an Ashley Furniture truck and think “huh, I didn’t know that sort of thing was in Big Lots”.  Tell self to reconsider Big Lots.

10:45 am:  Bake pies and help customers and answer the phone.  In that order.  Many times.  Many, many, many times.

11:45 am:  Unexpectedly argue with Jeanne because our communication styles are completely different when we are stressed out.

12:00 pm:  Sit in Jeanne’s car and sort out the roots of all evil.

12:25 pm:  Eat Orange Leaf that Jeanne goes to get for us once we’ve made up.  Apologize to each other for the things that we said to each other when hangry.  Neither of us do very well when hot, hungry, or tired.  God help you if we are all three.

1:00-2:25 pm:  Think about Jelly Jar orders for Wednesday.  Wonder why no one has ever pioneered the concept of allowing a single dose prescription of Xanax.

2:26 pm:  Text three members of my Inner Circle and tell them that I’m in no way smart enough to drive the PJP bus to World Pie Domination.

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2:30-2:50 pm:  Collect children from school.  Briefly wonder about whatever happened to the Octomom.  Think that finding out would be a great Buzzfeed article.

2:50-3:00 pm:  Stop by Caribou for Round 2 of caffeinated beverages.  Waste no time feeling any shame about it, either.

3:00-5:30 pm: Bake pies, box pies, order boxes, order stickers, dream of having a PJP Director of Procurement.

5:30-5:45 pm:  Wait for a customer in transit from Jefferson City.

5:45 pm – 6:30 pm:  Have dinner with my people.  We should eat at home, but we eat at Buffalo Wild Wings because the thought of cooking dinner and then cleaning up dinner makes me stabby.

6:40 pm:  Feel completely out of control when I arrive home, so I vacuum and start a load of laundry.  Because I’m weird and laundry makes me feel calm.

7:00 pm:  Analyze homework with 6th grader.  Almost suffer near heart attack when realize that said 6th grader needs a rough draft of a paper about rabies and to finish a study guide about Hammurabi.  Google Hammurabi.  Curse entire 6th grade curriculum.

8:00 pm:  Print shipping labels.  Marvel at the destination of our Jelly Jar pies.  Make a note to buy some stock in UPS.

8:50 pm:  Drink large glass of white wine while checking email.  See that Netflix has added Flea Market Flip.  Think about how much I would like to watch all the episodes of Flea Market Flip.  Also wonder how I didn’t know that Lara Spencer from ABC is also an interior designer.

9:20 pm:  Text bestie.  She is righteously indignant about Hammurabi.  And study guides.  And rabies.

9:50 pm:  Crawl into bed and analyze Fit Bit app to see that despite feeling like I walked the circumference of the globe, I actually only made it 9,427 steps.  Declare Fit Bit to be completely wrong.

9:54 pm:  Blog.

10:30 pm:  Watch House Hunters and feel that “mid-century modern” is a completely overused term.  Also wonder if anyone at HGTV has analyzed whether there is any statistical truth to the common belief that people on House Hunters pick the house $100,000 over budget.  Think to self that this would make a great Buzzfeed article.

11:30 pm:  Set alarm.  World Pie Domination starts at 5:30 am.