Happy Independence Day! God Bless America. Now, If You’ll Excuse Me…

You know that feeling in the swimming pool when you take a deep breath to fill your lungs enough to swim underwater to the far end of the pool?

Right now, that “pool” = Fourth of July Week. The “swimmers” are me and my cohorts at Holly B’s Bakery (where “Holly’s Buns Are Best”). And that “deep breath”? That’s this blog post. My way of saying Happy Fourth! and I’ll see you in a week.

For those of you new to Wing’s World, here are some pix I posted a year ago showing the mayhem pre-Fourth prep in our tiny bakery world:

On a normal July Saturday we’ll sell 120 croissants. On the Fourth, it’ll be nearly three times that. We’ve been making and freezing croissant dough every day for the past two weeks.

cinn rolls

Did I say 15 pans, last year? Make that 21. Who knows what it’ll be this year, now that Lopez Island has made National Geographic’s Top 40 Places list? (#6, yet. Yup. Here they come.)


In order to get all this food out by the time we open @ 7 on July 4 and not instantly sell out, we bakers will be starting at 2 am. Am I going to ride my bike in to work that morning? Yes I am–but from the house of a friend who lives half a mile away. Hey, I’m dedicated, not STUPID.

Because, as on most lovely ocean-y spots, those of us who live here will all be hosting family and friends this weekend. Of course we will! It’s how it ought to be. And I can’t wait to be doing this:

Croissants? Meh. Pass me another s'more!

Croissants? Meh. Pass me another s’more!

and this…

My bakery doesn't make pies. All the more reason for me to make 'em at home!

My bakery doesn’t make pies. All the more reason for me to make ’em at home!

at home, in between bakery shifts.

I will be one happy, tired, but HAPPY puppy. Finishing Chapter 13 of my next book? Won’t be happening. Selling Books 1 and 2 at the Lopez Farmers Market? Nope–not till later this month. And one more thing I won’t be doing, in the upcoming underwater swim through a pool of love & butter–blogging. I’ll catch y’all next week.

The Flying Burgowski will be back after a short break...

The Flying Burgowski will be back after a short break…

So meantime, happy Independence Day, everyone! Let’s love our families, treat our friends, honor the our freedom…and have another s’more.

Happy “Independence” Day to All You Small Business Owners…Bless Your Hearts!

When I left teaching to become a baker, some of my former students were confused. “How’s your bakery?” I would sometimes see on Facebook.

Well, they were half right. I do feel like it’s MY bakery, especially when I unlock the doors at oh-dark-thirty and turn our oven on. But in truth, Holly B’s Bakery (“Holly’s Buns Are Best”) is not MINE…for which I thank my lucky stars. Especially at this time of year.

For a little bakery in a town with a tourist-dependent economy, July Fourth is Black Friday and the post-Christmas sales all wrapped up in one buttery croissant. Or make that 250 croissants.

Our kitchen is TINY. Three bakers have to squeeze past each other. We have only one oven. But the food must be baked! Here, I’ll try to give you some visuals:


cinn rolls


full racks

overflow 1

overflow 2

Can you imagine the planning all this bounty requires? The ordering, the scheduling, the storage? What if you get it wrong? What if you run out of chocolate chips? What if you bake too many pesto baguettes and not enough of the olive tapenade? What if you make too much? What if you don’t make enough?

How does Holly ever sleep in late June (let alone continue to be the World’s Nicest Boss)???


Holly’s oldest son, Ty, is now co-owner (and the World’s Second Nicest Boss). Maybe it eases the stress to have someone to plan with. I sure hope so!

bread rack

I LOVE my job. I love “my” bakery. But around Independence Day, I am extra-super grateful that I’m fairly “independent” of the stress of being in charge, and I take my hat off to all those brave souls who carry that load.


Happy Independence Day, business owners! Now go get some sleep.


How ’bout you? Do you own your own business? ARE you your own business? Or do you have that in your family? How do people COPE????

Happy Independence Day! Boom! Crash! Hold Me…

(courtesy Melissa Bowersock, WANA Creative Commons)

(courtesy Melissa Bowersock, WANA Creative Commons)

July 4 is the one day of the year our little island suffers from traffic jams. For some reason, even with a year-round population of under 2,500, we boast a fireworks display that rivals that of Seattle. Seriously. It lasts for 30 minutes, with a finale that sucks the breath out of you. An extra ferry runs on the 4th, just to accommodate all the onlookers…who then get stuck in traffic trying to negotiate our single road along the bay.

Me? All that traffic gives me the perfect excuse to stay away. I’ll be watching from a distance of about six miles, as the raven flies. From our roof, we can see the fireworks just fine.

They’ll still be gorgeous. And even better…they’ll be QUIET.

I am one of those people who hates loud noises. Let me give you some examples:

As a kid, running track races, I used to plug my ears at the starting line. If I were in the lead heading for the “gun lap,” I used to dread speeding by the starter who would obligingly shoot that gun one more time, just for me.

Invited to birthday parties, I would do a quick surveillance. Any balloons? Hmmm, a few. Any rowdy boys who looked like they’d consider stomping on those balloons to be fun times? Uh-oh…stomach-knots.

(original image courtesy Lynn Kelley Author, WANA creative commons)

(original image courtesy Lynn Kelley Author, WANA creative commons)

Holding a board for my dad to hammer, I’d wince at each blow.

1812 Overture? Getoutahere!

And don’t even talk to me about thunderstorms. Please. Even now, my stomach clenches a little, remembering how I’d do a little pre-bedtime sky-check. Stars out? Phew–dreamland, here I come. Cloudy? Uh-oh. Can I fall asleep before the storm and maybe sleep through it? Too late…best turn the fan up to its loudest setting, fight with my sister about closing the window, and get ready to suffocate beneath my blanket, eyes squeezed shut against the lightning which only ratcheted up the dread. Oh man. How old is too old to crawl into bed with Mom and Dad?

(original photo courtesy Melissa Bowersock, WANA creative commons)

(original photo courtesy Melissa Bowersock, WANA creative commons)

(Did I mention that I grew up in North Carolina? Where summer thunderstorms are as common as beer cans on roadsides?)

So you might have figured out by now why Independence Day wasn’t my favorite holiday as a kid.

Over the years, I’ve learned to adjust. When people invite me to fireworks-viewings, I counter-invite them to MY place, where I know in advance just how loud–or NOT loud–those beautiful, scary explosions will be.

I don’t run races very often any more, but when I do, I clench my fists on the starting line and don’t let my fingers anywhere near my ears, much as they want to go there. Who’s a big girl now?

I’m proud to say hammers don’t make me wince any more. Baby steps!

Oh, and since I moved to the Pacific Northwest 23 years ago, thunderstorms are a distant nightmare memory.

You might wonder why I’m so willing to share this humiliating weakness of mine. It’s because, somewhere along the way, I decided that I suffer from a PHOBIA.

I’m not “scared” of loud noises: I’m PHOBIC! In fact, I’m PHONOPHOBIC. 

Phobias are cool. I have a lot of company being phobic. I can even be proud of all the common phobias I DON’T happen to suffer from, like spiders and heights, all while proudly maintaining my spot in the phobic sisterhood.

Why does this make me feel better? I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure it has to do with that nice, big word. PHONOPHOBIC. Yup. THAT I will proudly own. I will celebrate! I will have a party.

Just please don’t bring balloons.

YOU’RE INVITED…not only to my phonophobia party, but to share some phobias of your own. Or are they just fears? Is there a difference? What do you think? What’s the weirdest phobia you will admit to? I love hearing from you, and I promise I won’t make fun. No fingers crossed.