Magical Cheapness!

I hope you are all well and you had some type of Mother’s Day celebration if it was your day to celebrate!

We had a quiet celebration here and I made a brutal wish list of things I wanted the guys to get done AND THEY DID! The goal was to make things or reinvent things around the house. You know how many times a year I flipped the interior of the bakery or the Little House, so you should feel deeply sympathetic to this crew marooned on Quarantine Island with me!

We roasted large batches of coffee, installed rain barrels from recycled bits, upcycled broken bikes and made pavers from old bags of concrete. BUT THE big event was GUERILLA PLANTING! One time at a yard sale I bought an enormous bag of seeds. It’s been in my pantry for over a year and this spring I planted some in pots-half of them sprouted and the other half did nothing. So, I determined that rather than gamble on the remaining 60,000 packs, I would save them for a different project!

Guerilla Planting
Lake of Shining Waters (as per Anne of Green Gables)
Concrete Crafts. Less fun then I had imagined. Will gladly never pour a concrete countertop.
Broke Chic. Will look better when plants fill in!!!
Organic Peruvian roasting to dark and delicious goodness!

So ANYWAY, I mixed all these iffy seeds together in a bucket and planted this field adjacent to our house! It used to have buffalo in it, and we miss them immensely, and now they no longer use (or mow) the pasture and I figured, when in my lifetime will I ever again have the luxury of randomly planting an entire field that may or may not grow? I didn’t feel bad about seed waste because the seed packets were years expired and IF some of them work, well then it will be the most outrageously gorgeous food harvest I will ever get to do! I also planted a sunflower seed at the base of every fence post in the pasture, so fingers crossed, they all pop up!

Gypsophila Million Stars

What’s in a name? I have always loathed baby’s breath until I met this particular type of baby’s breath, Gypsophila Million Stars!!! And CLEARLY, the tiny blossoms do look like a million stars! So I stuffed them in a broken percolator to look like clouds of steam and stars and was tickled at the cheap, messy result! (Fear not, flower arranging is not my backup day job!) But it’s funny how words can change your perception so quickly. As we have been operating on less than a shoestring budget for quite sometime now (me and the rest of the world!!) I wanted to have loads of flowers for not too much money. And once I had culled the bruised peonies that didn’t make the cut from your Mother’s Day orders and stuffed them in my various junk store vases and the few gift vases, I had a house full of girly happy that made the guys SUPER uncomfortable.

So because I made them all work like dogs (where does that come from? my dogs do nothing but demand affection, bark loads and shed entire mattresses of hair) on Sunday, we are going to make it up to them this Friday and BLOW IT OUT in celebration of NATIONAL PIZZA DAY and NATIONAL CHOCOLATE CHIP DAY! -I did not make these days up.-

When I was little Mom used to make Chef Boyardee pizza kits once in a while on Sunday nights and we would get to EAT and WATCH TV (this was unheard of-we did not watch much tv) usually, Murder, She Wrote. ( I adore Angela Lansbury. Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Harvey Girls, Beauty and the Beast, Nanny McPhee, Murder She Wrote-she is way up on my list on “people I would love to have a cup of tea with sometime!!!”)

Chef Boyardee+Angela Lansbury=Time Travel.

But, we have grown up sadly, so instead of boxes of magical pizza, this week we are sending you the option of a “Chef Quarantine Pizza Kit!” Homemade dough and sauces, gorgeous cheeses and some luxury add ons so you can celebrate in-style at home! Bake it or grill it!

National Pizza Day! Fresh basil, beautiful cheese, homemade dough!

Most of my favorite things are spontaneous gifts I have gotten over the years. Like this apron from Weez. When we first opened in downtown Wilmington years and years ago, Ms. Weez made me some super light, super soft aprons with pockets. After years of use, abuse and too many washings, the cotton gave way and we hung it in a place of honor at my house. (It’s like my shoulder, torn to shreds…) Right next to these obscenely glittery shoes that I will probably never, ever wear but that Logan got me in a most magical turn of events! I found these shoes in one of my favorite jumble stores. They were new and spoke of a cancelled wedding or perhaps an online purchase that couldn’t be returned but MOSTLY they twinkled and glittered and gave you the option to believe that A. Yes, you are the kind of person that can walk on a church steeple held to your foot with bejewelled dental floss and B. CERTAINLY, as many formal events as you attend, you WILL get your $80 out of these glittering fripperies. And this was even before quarantine, so now…I blather. But, I had visited these shoes longingly 3 times over the course of 2 months. They haunted me. But I knew better. $80 is a LOT of cookies. On the fourth visit to this store, the store had been sold and unfortunate changes were AFOOT. So I greeted the shoes sadly, made a quick lap and we headed to the checkout. Logan was still meandering through the store and a man approached him and asked him if he could help him move a bookshelf to his truck. Logan, of course, agreed. The shelf was crazy heavy and the man felt bad and offered Logan money and Logan said “No, it’s ok” and the man said “What about something from my booth?” GUESS WHICH BOOTH IT WAS!!! I was clueless, by the way, any of this was going on in the hinterland of this warehouse. So Logan says, “Mom is crazy about those shoes” and the man was DELIGHTED to give them to him and THAT is how, through Magical Cheapness and Supreme gentlemanly kindness I am now prepared for a night on the town followed up with a trip to the ER!

But since, really, nobody wants to go the ER, ever, I will take this opportunity to tell you that, we are NOT going to be reopening for a while and are going to stick with curbside for lots of reasons. We have disabled vets, handicapped people, heart conditions and infants in our immediate family and when we ARE open, it is kind of stunning the amount of people who come through that little door on a daily basis. For example, the Saturday before we closed, we had 300 people come through there in 5 hours. That was a Saturday in the off-season. So you can imagine in the summer how the numbers swell. There is no way to clean books and stuffed animals. It’s just not a thing. And for now, until there is a better handle and a clear path to what exactly this new situation is, it seems safest for everyone to stay with this method. This way, nobody has to worry about the treats they pickup or the books or toys they purchase having been sitting geese in a mind-boggling parade of humanity. Other stores have stayed open and are re-opening and we wish them much success and certainly do not question their choices and hopefully when this is all situated we will look like hyper-sensitive silly geese but if that’s the worst that happens, I will be ok.

Thank you for all The Mother’s Day texts, emails and messages! I passed them on to Mom and she said to tell you all “Hello!!! Be Well!” We appreciate all your support as do the farmer’s that you guys have been rallying to keep going in our Coastal Community. This is such a delicious time of year! There will be recipe cards in this week’s CSA bags for some of the delicacies and we always LOVE getting pictures of the foods you made and the #virusgardens you have planted.


“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” Roald Dahl

Published by sugaronfrontst

Bookstore/Bakery/Microfarm in the South!

4 thoughts on “Magical Cheapness!

  1. I’m one of the 300 people that came into the bakery before you closed to get a scone and a book. You are doing the absolute right thing although I miss visiting you. I’ll be at pickup on Friday.
    Love, Caroline


  2. we will miss you guys dearly, but certainly respect your decision and your concern for the health of all of those that love you store. I have been riding by and checking for dates that you will reopen…so it is good to know that it won’t be for a while and that I must order quickly or I won’t get any of my favorites treats. We love your shop and I can truly say I have never enjoyed baked goods as much as yours. Nobody has ever come close to baking the cookies and cakes that I remember my mom baking when I was growing up… except for you! Thank you ! Thank you!


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