Tuesday, August 2, 2011
The dream car. Everyone has one, Hardly anyone gets one. Mine, let's see...I saw it one day while walking to my parents house in North Lewiston. A Mustang. Sort of a chiffon yellow. I fell in love. I saw it again later that day and showed it to my dad he said , it was a 1965. I wanted that car so bad. I knew if I could just get close enough to it, and look over every inch, it had to have my name written on it somewhere. Just a small 'debbie' written in sharpie somewhere. Anywhere. That was a lot of years ago, about 30 or so. And as dreams sometimes do, that one faded. Except when I would see a light yellow mustang. Any mustang I suppose. Not the newer ones mind you. Just those cute little 1965 ones. Then I would get that old warm fuzzy, you know, and think "someday". Well. When my brother was in our bar one day, he said to me, "So when are you gonna get your hot rod?" Not sure those were his exact words, but I knew exactly what he meant. I just looked at him, and said "find me one...start looking." After all, I get to keep my tips, to do whatever I want with them.....why not save for that car?? I told him I wanted an automatic. Never been to good at multitasking with my feet and hands while behind the wheel. I got a call last week, and Dan said to get on the internet and look at the body style of the 1968. I did and I decided I could live with that. It's pretty close to the 65, still has that 'pony car' look! Mikey found not one but TWO 1968 Mustangs that would make ONE 1968 Mustang! So.........even though my dream car was a chiffon yellow 1965, I could have a 1968, whatever color I want ( I've since decided I like red) Mustang. We went and looked at them today, and I have to say, it was fun to watch Dan and Mikey look this car over (the better of the two) and talk about what was good and what wasn't so good. Most of it was good. It was a side of my brother I hadn't seen before, and I was impressed. This is what he does, I know, but to see him do it was cool. They left it up to me, and I just said I trusted their judgement. Guess what??? I got the cars for $1,450! Both of them! I am so excited!! Lots of the body work has already been done, 98% of the pieces are there, and I love it! I'm in no hurry. When Dan has time he can work on it for me, when he's busy he can park it out behind his shop and put it on the back burner. After all, every Mustang you see going down the road has a little old lady driving it. I'm not quite there yet. So he can take his time, and I can pay as I go, which is great for me. Even though it doesn't look like much in the photos, someday this will be a nice car!!! MY DREAM CAR....almost!
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Well, I had great intentions on posting rather regularly on this blog, mainly to keep family and friends know how our new venture is coming along. Those plans didn't quite pan out, but here ya go... After 2 months, there is lots to tell! We spent the first month cleaning, and creating new "table" menu's. Nikki agreed to design and print them up for us. They turned out awesome, just what I wanted! Simple cardstock menu's folded on each table. That meant we could take down the big menu off of the wall. Trust me when I tell you, it was time to take it down. We added 2 dinners to the menu, a steak and a chicken fried steak. Both have had rave reviews. Jim has proved to be quite the cook! I got to sneak away for 2 days to the Tri Cities for a scrapbooking reteat, and was back in time for Super Bowl Sunday. We had about 25 people, and gave away prizes and everyone had a great time. We even had a couple of guys dressed up to bartend if we needed them. February was our first test in actually planning an event. For Valentine's Day, we decided to do a "Sweet Heart's Dinner" complete with decorations, tablecloths, chocolates, the works. Could we turn this little bar into a quaint little restaurant for one night? And would anyone come? We also hired a local young man to do Karaoke. His wife owns the Quilted Moose in Colfax (there's a plug for you, Heidi). Well, the BR looked awesome (why I didn't get a photo of a set table I have no clue), and believe it or not, the place was packed! Jim cooked for 4 solid hours, and I bartended and waited tables the whole night (I even got to sing!). It was a total success. At one point a customer counted 45 people that had food or empty plates on their tables. Jim got the best compliment from a friend of ours when he said, and I quote...."You've proven one thing to me tonight, you can COOK!" In hindsight, we should have had a back-up person to help me, because I was barely able to keep up. Everyone was very patient though. I think with all of the hours I had been putting in there, and working so hard that night, I got just rundown enough to catch a bug. A nasty one to say the least. I thought with the flu shot, I could side-step the bugs.......but nooo! I have spent the last 2 weeks either on the couch in misery with the body flu (which involved an ER visit), or on the couch in misery with the stomach flu (which should have involved an ER visit), literally back to back. Lost a bunch of weight, am still weak, and don't ever want to be sick again, but I am on the mend at last! I learned 2 things during those 2 weeks. Our channel selection now sucks (we went to the cheapest package when we bought the bar), and our couch sucks even MORE! I get to go back to work tomorrow and am ecstatic about it! Being quarantined in your house is no fun. It'll be a long time before I wish for a day all to myself. Not sure my grandbabies will even recognize me! So back to the title of this blog. 2 months later....and we are proving to ourselves that this was a good decision for us to make. We have paid all of the BR's bills, all of our own bills, and we still have our start-up money in the bank. As it turns out, at this point we have one daughter volunteering her time and expertise so that Jim can have one morning a week off, and by summer, maybe 2 daughters willing to take over for a weekend once a month so we can relax and spend some quality time together in our 5th wheel or on our new motorcycle. What more could we ask for?? Hmmmmm......maybe good health for everyone of you and your families? Yep, after the last 2 weeks, that's my wish for you!
Sunday, January 16, 2011
One day before Jim and I took over the bar, we went looking for prices for covering the pool table. The one in the bar was 15 years old and stained and 'old' as old. When we saw the blue one in the store, we loved the color. It's actually purple, but they call it "CouerD'Alene Blue". Who knew they had colors other than blue and the ugly mustard color I've seen before? Heck, they have red even! So, today, Jim and Dennis spent hours recovering our table. It was such a process to watch, I had no idea that it was so labor intensive. When they took the slate off, we had a bet on how many chalks would be inside the table. No one was even CLOSE!!! 21 of them!!!! We won't have to buy chalk for months! I took pics to show the whole process, but am only posting 2 here, before and after. The rest will be facebooked later. It's so pretty now! I can't wait for people to come in tomorrow and see it. And guess who got to break the first rack of balls??? You got it! ME!!!!
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
We have been given a lot of ideas about changes to the bar. Some from customers and some from other customers. Changing this to that. Soup everyday. You get the idea. They are all great ideas, except that most of them are gonna involve a BUNCH of money, which is the one thing we are short of. Some of them have been things to be considered, and some of them have been things that I would never consider. The one that got my attention was from a customer that came in and had a glass of wine. He told us of a bar up by the Canadian border, some little town in Idaho. They hang an umbrella upside down behind the bar with string, and customers throw their change into it. He said this bar owner has had the bar for 15 years and they are on their third umbrella, so it takes a couple of years to get the umbrella heavy enough to break the string. When that happens, they have a big party. As the umbrella gets heavier and the string gets close to breaking, they throw heavier stuff. Rolls of quarters. And one guy even threw his open jack knife with the hopes that it would cut the string. He promptly lost his knife to the bar when it failed to do so. Now this idea appealed to me!! So, I put the word out that I was looking for an umbrella, a bucket type. LOL. I didn't know they were called 'dome' umbrellas. Yesterday by accident, one of the customers at the bar heard me, and she went right out to her truck and brought in a clear one. I had Jim hang it, and now we have change in our umbrella! Our last customer came in as Jim was hanging it and I asked him if he had a quarter, to see if he could throw it in. He did, and looked with a question at me. I told him our idea and while he finished his drink, he quickly emptied his pockets of change. So......we're in business. Note to all of you superstitious readers out there, since I had to open the umbrella indoors, I held it upside down, so as to sidestep any bad luck. Lord knows we sure don't need any of that right now.....
Well, New Years Day we took over. Did it take the wind out of our sails a little on New Years Eve day when the roof sprung a leak right over customers tables? Yep, a little. But we called upon a handy man, and he and Jim got on the roof and caulked it up. We have to keep the garbage bin locked with a chain and lock, we found a couch cushion in there a few days ago. What kind of people do that and why would they think we wanted it?? Not sure how much fire insurance will cost us, because of the age of the building and no fire suppression system is installed. There's an expense we had forgotten about. The crowd for the NYE party was amazing. Standing room only, and all wishing us well. At midnight, I did panic a little when I realized we had just bought a bar!! After all, that's HUGE! Friends and customers went ahead and did the dollar on the wall thing, and that was kinda special to me. I made mine say "MY BAR" so I can point at it when I need to. LOL. The party went well, and that's all that really matters. With lots of friends, family and customers rooting for us, we're thinking this was a good move for us. Our first week is going great. We were able to get the Hamms Bear out of the back room and cleaned up, and he is now our doorman. I love him! We are getting the pool table recovered on Sunday, and since we have five pool cues and only one has a tip, we'll be fixing those. I'll be watching for hermit crabs to go on sale somewhere so we can have hermit crab races (for fun of course). A blind dart tournament is scheduled for Jan 29th (and no your not blindfolded and spun around like Kamryn thought). Your just playing with a dart board that's covered with newspaper. First, second and third place take home 2 nice big steaks!! Feel lucky? That night is also the "excuse me" party for Trish and Eric. It's the first anniversary of when they met. The 'excuse me' part is a cute story! You'll have to come to find out about that. With a little hard work and some long 16 hour days, we've turned the clientele around, have heard LOTS of good reports about how the place looks and feels. I guess we can't ask for more then that, huh? I am positive that we can make this work. I've learned to cook on the grill, and I've learned to clean the grill, too! And guess what? Last Saturday I learned how to make White Russians!!! I might just learn how to flip those bottles in the air like Tom Cruise in that movie.......
Monday, January 10, 2011
What a way to start 2011. After 18 years at Deaconess, last November my husband tendered his letter of quit. Scary, oh yeah. But what was scarier was that his job was effecting his health. High blood pressure, no sleeping at night, only sleeping on 195 on the drive to and from work. Many times the phone would ring at 7 or 8 in the morning and I wouldn't want to answer it. He would always say that he would already be at work by then, so why worry? I would always say back that it would take the police an hour to find his wallet in the mess on the highway and get the home number to do the notification, so plenty of reason to worry about a call at the time of the day. I love my husband and wanted to grow old with him, so I was behind his quitting 100%. We knew that with his job history, he would get another nursing job quickly. He ran his unit very successfully. Then, 4 days later, we sat down together and decided to go in another direction. A local bar needed new owners. Our thoughts went from we can do this, to can we do this? We got a lot of positive feedback from family members, so we pushed forward. We did the whole lawyer thing, and we are now "J and D Hospitality LLC". Sounds kinda professional, huh? To me we're still Jim and Deb though. I think we can do this and be successful. He's cooked on the grill before, anyone can use a fryer. When the food floats, it's done. I've waited tables and and I knew I could bartend. I'm a people person. Crowds don't scare me. The question is, can I learn to make a White Russian? We'll see. We take over New Years Day. Wish us well.