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June 26, 2023
Bits and bobs from the last six weeks.
Embarrassing but true fact: One of the things that keeps me from updating this dang thing more often is the fact that I hate thinking of titles and subtitles for entries, like to the point where it paralyzes me.
This was a struggle I also had with the LiveJournal account that was updating pretty much constantly from 2003 to 2013. I eventually ran out of dramatic song titles to repurpose for entries, and everything just went up as “untitled” with the date next to it. This made the posts more or less useless as an archive but was maybe for the best?1
Maybe a date is all I have right now anyway as a marker of where we’re at. In fact, I started this entry on June 20 to have it ready for the summer solstice, and here we are six days later and I’m just finishing it now.
We’ve had a few big developments on the renovation front! Like that Haritha discovered these beautiful turquoise columns underneath some plywood.
I kind of can’t believe it. They are so close to the same colour that I kept painting my Toronto apartments.
Feel free to roll your eyes about this, but it again feels like a little sign that the building has been waiting for us — just like when we unearthed those green and white floors. Which okay fine were not at all salvageable, but at least turned out not to be asbestos!
Also as evidenced by the picture above, we have finally had the subfloor (and walls) installed on what will be the grocery store part of the building. It smells so much better down there now that the layers of grey carpet under click flooring are gone forever.
Also as evidenced by the picture above, our actual floor tiles haven’t gone in yet. We put a deposit in on them on May 12, under the impression they’d be ready in ten business days.
This picture I took of Haritha that day feels like one million years ago haha. Also the colour combination of his outfit might have inspired the colours (though not the shades) of the floor we ended up choosing. I cannot wait to post pictures, I think folks are gonna either love it or hate it.
Speaking of lovers and haters, I’m doing much better at rewriting my mental narrative that local every person I interact with is probably already annoyed with me. Some are, some aren’t. Not everyone has to like me, it’s fine.
One heartening thing is, whenever I tell a new kind person I’ve met that I’m feeling deflated by a mean message or interaction I had with someone in particular, usually they say "Oh that person is terrible, don’t pay them any mind!” So at least I’m connecting (or not connecting!) with the right people.
Fun fact: I had some little surprise trinkets made that I’m carrying in my purse and just giving to folks who I have a nice chat with! So if you are local and you read this and you would like a trinket, let me know and I will make sure you get one!
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In other friendship news, we went to the Annual General Meeting of the Lunenburg Barnacle this weekend, because I am so charmed by everything they are doing and I want to know them. It was really lovely, and I was happy to hear that they are happy to connect and collaborate even though we are in Queens County (not Lunenburg County). It was really inspiring hearing their vision for the project, and how they are happily working within the constraints of their own capacity. It’s a lesson I could do better to learn!
My capacity is more under control than it has been in a long time though, which is a relief. I’ve taken a staff (!) job (!) at the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, a public sector union. I’d been freelancing for them for months, and really enjoying myself and appreciating being able to write in a voice that comes very naturally to me. So when a Communications Officer job became available, I decided to apply. It’s a good salary, a good work-life balance, and there are good jokes at every meeting. Along with being values-aligned those are my main requirements for an employer.
I’m also freelancing for a company called Faire — which is where I’ve been buying all of the items selling in our online shop for the last several months! I had tagged them as one of my dream clients in a LinkedIn post a few months ago, and I’m truly loving the work so much and learning so much that is directly applicable to my work to get the store open.
Speaking of getting the store open! We are getting so close! We even have a beautiful stamp of our logo from our sweet friend Yuliya Tsoy — who also designed the logo!
This is the our plan for opening as we broke it down to our social media followers recently (apologies if you’ve already read it):
We are getting closer every day to stage one of opening. This will see us selling groceries and takeout tea and coffee and other delights in the front of the store for a few days a week (still to be determined).
Because I am me, we will also be offering some vintage goods and art prints and craft supplies and spooky candles and our tarot decks and other things that bring me joy.
Once we have all of that is up and running, we will finish getting the kitchen ready to use as a Temperance Tonics production space and rented out to other food entrepreneurs. We'll have the back part of the building closed off (literally behind a velvet curtain!) while we are working on this.
After the kitchen is ready, we will install our cute booth seating, so folks will be able to sit and enjoy tea and sweet and savoury baked goods we make in house and bring in from other vendors.
We eventually plan to be up and running as a café again, once we have our feet under us enough to do a good job with it, and the resources to to hire some well-paid staff.
Eventually, we will clean out the back porch area and have more café seating in there. We will also host things like "house concert" style music performances, board game nights, open mic poetry hangouts especially for area youth, food and drink pairing events, and anything else that feels like a good fit.
We have no idea how long any of this will take, but I know each part of this plan will take a while to get from from baby steps to up and running. We are hoping everyone will be able to offer us grace along the way -- especially ourselves.
So there is a lot of untitled news from me! Thank you as always for reading, particularly if you’ve taken the step of subscribing (paid or not)!
As ever, please let me know in the comments what you are feeling what you’d like to hear more about, and what you cannot believe I have not written about already! I’m sure there are lots of things I’m leaving out, but it’s not (always) on purpose! I’m here for your curiosity2!
I only regret not labelling things more clearly when I want to dig around for old pictures of my sweet cat Zoe who is no longer with us in corporeal form but whose ashes I wear in a necklace. I miss her so much every day.