If you don't have something nice to say... March 6, 08.

The last week has been particularly stressful. A project that we expected to be pretty cut and dry turned out to be one of the more epic events since our arrival. But, for various reasons, this will not be an epic description of what happened. Along with the purchase of the building came 8 new doors for the theater entrance. It was our belief that they were solid wood, custom made to fit doors, which would directly replace out the existing units, but after spending two days working on trying to hang them we learned they are not solid wood, not custom made to fit, and quite simply do not fit in a manner that is sound, safe and energy efficient without modifying the door jams more than with which we feel structurally or aesthetically comfortable. Since we didn't order the doors from the door company there isn't much we can do about it.

Rich has decided that we will probably just have to take a loss on them. He hopes that he can save the original doors - which ARE solid wood, do fit, and have lasted a good sixty years. He did a fantastic job on the door into the storefront - so I'm sure they'll come out beautifully. Unfortunately they are damaged and will need repair in some places, one of them has a broken pane of glass, and they need planing and totally stripped. This will likely take him a week which, right now, we don't have. So unfortunately the beautiful new doors we'd planned on won't greet the Rotary - but we'll do our best.

The worst part of it all is that Bob spent his time all weekend trying to make these doors work, hour-by-hour gradually realizing that they were not at all what we believed them to be. It was so upsetting because, as you know, our time with the Bobster is very precious. He's brute force and big brains. And, unlike Po, he has opposable thumbs, which gives him a real edge. Rich, for a while, had been calculating a list of the stuff that was really, really paramount to do with Bob here. We don't have a contractor. We don't have workmen. We don't have masons and builders and mudders...we're our crew. We have relied upon the expertise of one very smart, very hard working man to help us through the most difficult challenges this endeavor continually presents. And our last forty eight hours with him before he moves to Atlanta for a year and a half were wasted.

Ok - now back to blogging as normal. Phew. You have no idea how glad I am to be past that couple of paragraphs.

The weekus horriblus just didn't seem to want to quit with the doors. We soon learned that the carpet we had found, which we loved AND was actually in an ideal price point for our limited budget - was DISCONTINUED. They stopped manufacturing it a month ago. So, after having the installer come and measure and everything so that we could have it in time for the Rotary - we were suddenly S.O.L. Last night we went to Lowes and Home Depot and tried to find a replacement to absolutely no avail... and all of the stress of the week suddenly smacked me in the kisser. We didn't have doors. We didn't have carpet. Any other carpet that looked half as nice was four times as expensive...and with 1,700 square feet we just couldn't afford to do it. Last night, it all hit me and I was crouched over in a corner of Lowes by commercial carpet as this poor guy is trying his best to help us and I'm starting to bawl like a menopausal woman watching Steel Magnolias. Seriously, if Jessica Tandy had walked past she would have said "sweethart you gotta get yourselves some hormones". And yes, before I'm inundated with emails from confirmed bachelors - I know that's Fried Green Tomatoes, not Steel Magnolias.

Of course, Tiwanda sure would have come in handy this week.

Anyway - enter the PeGGGan. While she and I painted all afternoon the pack leader went carpet hunting in Huntington on his own (because frankly I think he was tired of having to blot tears off of carpet samples.) He came back with some great samples - all three times more than we could afford ("why must the pack leader torture the jojo?" you ask. "why bring samples the jojo can't have?" Because the Pack Leader woks in mysterious ways). Margaret called in the Eckerts. Which are way better than the national guard. She called her sister who lives in North Carolina (where davenports are apparently conceived) and determined that all the hotels etc. tend to get their carpet in Georgia. Peachy. She and Rich then rushed to the Bat Cave...ok Rich's office, but you've seen it - it LOOKS pretty much like the Bat Cave, and started internet magic. Margaret sat with him for about three hours and they found us a bunch of patterns which were in our price point. And a couple of them even have diamonds. (happy sniffle).

BURBUR BABIES carpet-search.JPG

And they ordered samples. They actually did MUCH better online than we had looking in any carpet store or home store. Our problem is that we need something dark. Dark browns and golds. And did you know, cuz I did not, carpet is SEASONAL? I mean seriously - the spring carpet choices are different than the winter carpet choices. I never knew anyone who changed their carpet seasonally, but I do look forward to the day when I'm rich enough to do so. The most surprising discovery about carpet in Georgia is that the shipping isn't prohibitive. The pack leader normally doesn't breathe oxygen unless he's priced it out online - but he figured there'd be no way to get carpet here without it costing a fortune. It turns out a roll of carpet is only like 200 bucks in shipping. Who knew.

So - while blubbering in my catatonic state, we have managed to get some work done... The icky red and brown is now offically covering all of the inner lobby - no small task - which means I can start the gold treatment in there tomorrow. And, unless the walls start crumbling again, those should be painted by Monday. Rich started scraping the twelve layers of paint off the banisters. The recessed speakers and recessed lights and pendants are all now hooked-up in the out lobby. Margaret also managed to get the two accent walls in the inner lobby painted with what is now her signature dark brown paint as well as the brown of the ceiling ledge. The black lower ledge has to wait until the gold is done.

It turns out that the big metal palms can be sandblasted. Hmm....who do we know who has a sandblaster? Not Larry, according to Margaret, who admitted it was the one nifty thing he did not own. Then Larry walked in, looked at Rich and said "Why don't you just bring those over to our place and use my sandblaster". Ah, the PeGan barn, it's like Mary Poppins carpet bag - stuff just keeps comin'.

"FOR EVERY JOB YOU UNDERTAKE, YOU NEED AN ECKERT, NO MISTAKE..." julie_andrews_as_mary_poppins.jpg

So. We're gonna pick up some...sand. Apparently the only thing that will strip your stomach BETTER than Diet Pepsi, is using a sand blaster as a straw.

So, by the end of the weekend we actually should be at a stage where all the gigantic projects have been tackled (excpet the carpet install - which Rich is doggedly insisting can be handled by Pack Leaders R Us.) There are still a zillion things left to do - but they are rapidly becoming a list of day projects - rather than the phone book thick list of week-long, or weekS-long tasks to tackle.

We got a blog message from a gentleman who was as perplexed as I by that article in which the photo caption seemingly connected us to the local community theatre. However, the good news is that the article peaked his interest and he found the blog. So, I guess Cher is right when she said "I don't care what they're saying as long as they keep talking about me". I do thank him for contacting us and validating that I was not completely loopy for being perturbed. Sanity, particularly this week, was very nice to have validated.

I got a report back via the PNN (Pork News from Nicks) that the Purple Heart cake was a big hit. Get this - apparently he wore his dress blues to the party and CUT THE CAKE with his SWORD. How awesome is that? I reallllly hope they took pictures - if I get my mitts on one I'll post it.

Speaking of Fried Green Tomatoes and cakes...there is BIZARRE show on the country channel called "Fried Green Movies" or something - and they basically focus on the flannel/pickup truck/twang genre of films... and they do seem to feature Fried Green Tomatoes a LOT. You ever watch a movie and then watch it ten years later and see it in a totally different way? Ok. Well ten years ago I totally didn't realize their supposed to be lesbians. I guess I didn't figure it out because they never got a cat. Anyway. On this Fried Green Video show in between segments of the movie they have this completely wacky lady making food. And she makes that kind of southern food that basically involves the chef having far too much Jack Daniels before they try to read the recipe card. She's like "Ok, now we're gonna make what my Granma called 'In a pinch cake" cuz you make it in a pinch". And then she lists off these truly bizarre ingredients that have no business in a cake... "All right y'all - ya wanna take a yella cake mix, some Penzoil, a package of cup a' soup, wasabi, three live chickens and some shampoo then bake at 350...".

In the midst of all this weeks ickiness we had a butt load of deadlines for printing and design stuff. This Huntington Expo thing is coming up (which is like this vendor thing/trade show extravaganzarooni) that we have to get ready for. I kept hoping it was like the World's Fair since Winton would probably visit if I could convince him that they sing "meet me in st. louis" and the Trolley Song every hour. Anyway - we had to have newspaper ads designed for the Supper Club and Rich's Website business, two big vinyl banners for the Expo/theatre marquee, flyers for the supper club, Jean Anne's post cards, and some display posters. It was a lot. Very fast. But they came out pretty well. I've never really had to take a design and alter it for so many different configurations (horizontal, box, vertical) which we need for newspaper ads etc.. I do like how the banner layout came together for the Supper Club...

supper-banner-for-blog.jpg

Apparently FEMA has declared some kind of state of emergency in a nearby area. At first it was because I thought they'd heard about Malibu Blend - but it's apparently flood damage. Actually, Rich and I went for dinner tonight to the OTHER Nicks (what???? no!!! The betrayal!!!). See Jean Anne's siblings sort of branched off and in the surrounding area started a Nicks Country Cafe and a Nick's Junction. Anyway - Jean Anne's sister Nancy informed me that she would never come see one if our shows if WE didn't come eat at her restaurant. Which is perfectly fair unless you had already sworn in blood during a bizarre ceremony involving candles, incense and hooded figures chanting 'oink' that you would NEVER betray the Queen of Pork. We were granted a rite of passage however, and branched out. First thing I saw on the menu....and I'm NOT making this up... CALIFORNIA blend. aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. And as Shakespeare said "A blend by any other name would still taste like feet".

Sorry I left you guys hanging... We'll get back to our laughin' place as soon as possible.

xo jojo.