Monthly Archives: December 2016


As it turns out, being completely off the grid for six days is my personal limit and so here we are…mainly to say that we hope you had a wonderful holiday and are enjoying the odd week between Christmas and New Year’s when the whole world seems to function just a little off kilter.  (Honestly, I spent most of the morning under the assumption that today was Wednesday and I ate cookies for breakfast.  No shame.)

PJP Buttonwood is closed this week for our annual holiday break.  We did spend some time earlier this month contemplating a half week break and then opening for at least Friday and Saturday of this week.  But by the time we worked over 100 hours last week on Christmas orders, we were all completely over it for 2016 and more than ready for some time at home with our families.  And our Netflix.  Ahem.

And you probably won’t be surprised to read that I felt stressed out and guilty about our decision for most of Monday and Tuesday, once the glow of Christmas was over.  And each time I left the house with my family and went to any business in town, I would analyze whether they were busy or not and then turn to Behind-The-Scenes-Tech-Guru Jason and say “OMG, we probably should have opened this week.”  It was pretty charming.  Said no one ever.  Jason deserves 41 extra Christmas presents for putting up with me being gone for days to work and then listening to me obsess about not being at work for days.

But then yesterday, I found myself at the movies at 1:45 on a Wednesday afternoon with my people…which was pretty winning.  And later Jeanne called me to let me know that she had time to check out “the YouTube” and ended up watching four hours of videos, the least being Johnny Cash’s entire concert from Folsom Prison.  And I’m seven seasons into The Office, with Netflix asking me at least four separate times if I’m still watching because it has been on so long.  Yep, I am, Netflix.  And I’m still laying on the couch too.  Except Jeanne wants me to check out “the YouTube” if I haven’t before because it is pretty amazing…

So, that’s the story here.  Odds are, “make YouTube videos” will be high on Jeanne’s list to do in January.  You are welcome, 2017.


As We Will.

You might be relieved to know that we did, in fact, have a better day at PJP Buttonwood than yesterday.  WHEW.  Two of yesterdays might have just done me in until the very end of time.

So today was our last day with a full staff.  We’ve now lost Sydney, Kevin, Emily, and Katie to their holiday plans and tomorrow will be our last day with Andrew.  Which means that on Friday, Jeanne and I will be baking all of the pies alone (well, with Shelby working the front counter…THANKFULLY).  In short, we are just kicking it back to the old school days of our first PJP Christmas…just with ten times the orders of the first year.  Can someone please cue up Hard Candy Christmas?

As I was baking today, I thought of that old Sandra Bullock move, Speedyou know, where she drives that city bus in Los Angeles and it can’t drop under 55 miles per hour or it will explode and Keanu Reeves is the police detective who is there to save them all?  Yeah, that show.  And basically, this whole week at PJP feels a little Speed-esque.  Jeanne is the Sandra Bullock bus driver…mainly because if someone has to jump a missing section of freeway in a bus about to explode, Jeanne would be the woman for the job.  Actually, “unafraid of missing sections of freeway” could be the best way to describe her EVER.

Which I guess makes me the Keanu Reeves, only because someone has to know how to use a walkie-talkie and make quick decisions about where to exit.  And all of the people on the bus are our sweet employees who are now unloading one by one to a flatbed trailer pulled up next to the speeding bus, leaving just Sandra and Keanu to see it all to the very end.  Spoiler alert…they all end up JUST FINE.

As we will, one way or the other, by Saturday at 1 pm.

Knock On Wood.

If I had to guess, I’m pretty certain that every entrepreneur has a day or two a year when absolutely nothing is going particularly well and thus the entrepreneur has an existential breakdown and questions all her life choices.  Or maybe it is just me and now I’ve made this awkward.  Either way.

But suffice it to say, today at PJP Buttonwood was a rough go from start to finish.  I suppose we were just due for a day like that, right?  Perhaps the universe needed to remind us that we have so much to learn about what we do and an absolute day from hell is a stellar reminder that we are nowhere near perfect at this just yet.  Here’s what slayed me today:

  1. We had far too many pies on order for 10:30 am this morning than the capacity of our ovens or our sanity.  So while we were able to get them all baked, we didn’t have much available for sale in our storefront until the afternoon…which causes me the sort of anxiety that could be featured in a pharmaceutical company television commercial.
  2. We also had a million or so jars on order, give or take.  Each time I printed labels for the jars, I took a deep breath and willed the printer to not be out of ink.  Perhaps sensing the stress in PJP Buttonwood today, the printer cooperated.  I feel like that should be acknowledged, especially because we all know I’m going to need to go to Wal-Mart tomorrow and buy ink…because that’s always how this sort of thing always goes.
  3. It wouldn’t be the holidays unless we need to stop and go to Hy-Vee least five times in one day while we wait for the Sysco truck to arrive.
  4. In fact, we went for pecans TWICE.  By the time I bought nuts twice AND paid for the ones that arrived from Sysco, I spent just shy of one billion dollars.  I’m surprised the grocery stores don’t just list “market price” next to the nuts like a fancy restaurant does with lobster.
  5. I had an actual conversation with UPS today regarding a driver who left a shipment of Jelly Jar pies in a snow bank next to someone’s driveway in Wisconsin last week instead of taking them to the door.  I CAN’T EVEN.  We will need to reship them tomorrow and I’m tempted to write “DO NOT LEAVE ME IN THE SNOW” on the box.  (UPS opened an investigation and we don’t have the driver’s side of the story yet.  In his defense, I probably would have done the same thing in a snowstorm.  But I am also afraid of getting stuck in the snow and driving in a truck with no door on it, so I’d be a pretty terrible UPS employee from the outset.)

Tomorrow looks to be better, so cheers to that.  Or what if I’ve jinxed us now?  Can we all please stop and knock on wood right now?  Thank you.