Sunday, January 29, 2012

Playing with Floor Plans

Last weekend these birds took a little field trip to Elkhorn, NE. We visited the office space that, with a little love and a lot of work, we will transform into a commercial kitchen (with help). We agreed that it would serve us well to have an idea of the size, layout, and utility placement of the building before calling we began asking contractors to come out and give us estimates.

Elkhorn office layout
I scanned in a floor plan of the existing office that we created (that's the chicken scratches pictured above). We expect that it is somewhat accurate. Trilety took measurements with a yard stick and I transferred them to graph paper. In actuality, we might be an inch or two off here and there, but it helps us to get an idea of what we are working with. This is what we have to play with. It was also really great just to be in the space and feel it out. It got us so excited! "Oh, we can do this here!" and "Oh, I bet we can put that there!", were the types of things we were saying out loud (but more specific). We discussed knocking some walls down and leaving others standing. There seem to be many options, even for a small space. I am curious to see if the contractors that we contact will have their own recommendations (I expect them to actually), and I am curious what those would be.

We plan to start contacting some contractors in the next month or so, and we'll definitely keep you updated on our progress!


Sunday, January 15, 2012


I mouth the word “community” in reference to Omaha a lot.  But yesterday, I was reminded of the fun that comes with that word.  As one of a large group of folks, I volunteered for the Community Clean Up Day at the Union for Contemporary Art.  From 9:30 am until late in the day, at least 50 people cleaned, primed, and painted an existing building to ready it for its new life as an arts center.

The Union is “committed to strengthening the creative culture of the greater Omaha area by providing direct support to artists and advancing the understanding of contemporary art forms through education.”

The building was full of artists, arts supporters, community activists, designers, teachers, architects, etc.  As volunteers lunched on food donated by Dante’s Pizza and La Charlotte, it appeared I was in the midst of an art opening where everyone was donning do-rags and paint splattered clothes; it was refreshing.  Meg and I brought a couple batches of cookies, which were gone by lunchtime - proof that cookies are good for breakfast! 

I was lucky to spend my Saturday working alongside some amazing folks: Peter Cales, Anne Meysenburg, Tom Miller, Thom Sibbit, Wanda Ewing, Amy Chittenden, Bart Vargas, Tim Guthrie*, Kristin Pluhacek, and Anne Trumble.  This crew of creative and generous people barely scratches the surface of everyone who came out to volunteer yesterday.  It is this spirit of enthusiasm that puts these birds at ease about starting a business in such a supportive community. * Linking to Creighton's website seems impossible this weekend, so find out about Tim from a new blurb instead!
Volunteering with people I usually see at art openings or parties proved a good reminder about the multidimensional nature of people.  We are more than just our art or our jobs; we are our actions.  

Thanks to Brigitte McQueen for starting the Union and bringing the community together.

~ Trilety

Monday, January 9, 2012

On The Horizon

Two Birds had a very productive meeting a few days ago. Aside from the always important task of reconciling our checkbook, we have decided to take a few steps towards building our super-sweet kitchen space. I know, I know. Exciting, right?! Well, yes! Planning is usually exciting... at least for these birds. Here's what we have down so far for January and February.

1. Compiling a wish list is a very good idea, which we learned from Mark and Molly, owners of Mark's Restaurant here in Omaha. This seems like such a simple concept... well yeah, it is. But we hadn't really thought about it yet, at least not in much detail. So Trilety and I have begun a list of equipment, appliances, utensils, etc. that we believe will be necessary in our new kitchen. That basically includes everything: mixers, sinks, refrigerator, freezer, pots, pans, bowls, knives and bleach buckets. This may seem tedious by the way I've been writing, but it's actually really fun so far!

2. Measuring the existing space. As Trilety mentioned in an earlier post, we are hoping to convert an existing office space into a commercial kitchen. Measuring the space will be an essential tool for communicating with contractors and planning out the space. Will the building be able to accommodate a kitchen as it is? How much work will go into it? How much time? How much money??

3. Calling the contractors. We have not done this before. Have we mentioned that yet? Hiring contractors is new, especially to do a job like this. We have about 4 or 5 contractors on our list who are local. We basically searched the yellow pages, looked at websites, and made sure each of them was accredited by the Better Business Bureau and had a good rating. That's all we have so far. We'll have to call out each one on our list, have them come out the the existing office space/future kitchen, and hopefully tell us everything we ever wanted or needed to know. Oh! By the way, if you have any words of wisdom to offer in this process, or if you want to recommend a contractor, please feel free!

After we get a few estimates or bids, we can look further into the loan process. We'll keep you updated to our progress/adventures!



Wish us

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year's Resolutions

Happy New Year! 

Have you made your resolutions? 

I have not. 

Last year, my resolution was to make my bed each morning.  For 31 days in a row, I crawled into a well made bed.  And the balance of the year found me untangling the covers and giving up on top sheets.

I resolved to make changes last October when I joined the Health Month game!  Developed by Buster Benson, Health Month is an online adaptation of a game he and a few friends played, from New York to Seattle, as a way to improve their healthy habits. 

If you thrive on receiving praise, or thrive on being lovingly scolded, then I recommend checking out Health Month as your New Year's resolution.

Each month you sign up for a new set of rules to live by for the next 28 to 31 days.  This month is my toughest yet, with six rules that I'm required to abide by lest I lose life points and risk a bit of embarrassment. 

If you run into me in the month of January, you can be assured that I will have followed my rules:

1. No added sugar
2. No watching television content via Netflix
3. Exercise for at least 45 minutes, three times a week
4. Do yoga for at least 45 minutes, three times a week
5. Meditate for at least 15 minutes each day
6. Practice piano or origami every day

I will report back with updates at the end of the month!  Consider it for yourself, or choose one of the resolutions below:

1. Resolve to watch backyard bird behavior and divine how said behavior relates to the activities of the government

2. Embroider your initials on each piece of underwear (this is better for men, or women who wear mens' underwear)

3. Chew each bite of food at least twenty times.  This works best for people who like to eat steak.

4. Laugh!  If you don't know how, then do a jig in the mirror while wearing a goofy hat.  If you don't laugh, at least you've had a bit of exercise.

Happy New Year!

~ Trilety