Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Quick update and then some more post to follow

Just to let you know, we are still alive and on the face of the earth.

As you all know we started our own business. It was something that was to be coming eventually, but got started sooner than we expected. No biggie, just go with the flow.

We started out as a window cleaning service. Turns out there is one man in town that basically has the entire area wrapped up. It is either that, or the economy is so bad that no one can really afford the luxury of having their windows cleaned right now. So, we didn't give up, we decided that yards would be the thing.

Neither one of us like to do lawns, but might as well venture into uncharted waters, or lawns. And so we did.

We decided that we were going to advertise with "Welcome Friends" the local welcome wagon. The lady was so nice and just so happened to need someone to advertise to do yard work. I wasn't so sure of this, but, we got one nice hit out of it.

We got a phone call one night from a lovely lady, she asked if we did lawns and told us that she got our number from Welcome Friends. We got over there and found out that this lovely lady worked for Welcome Friends for a while and then found out that she had cancer and had to stop.

This yard was huge, still is huge. Chuck rides the rider and I push what I can get done. There is a hill, and it is my job to get the hill done. Oh lucky me!

Anyway, we get done with her yard and mention to her that the ad that we were running with Welcome Friends was free pressure washing with a summer contract. So, Chuck mentioned to her that he would be coming out to pressure wash her porch and furniture so that way she could drink her coffee outside. She was very pleased. But what made her happy was this, I heard her mention that she wanted to get the windows cleaned. Well, Chuck and I talked about it and I ran this by him, if she gets us 2 referrals I would clean her windows for her. I told her this, and she was thrilled with that. So, she is still working on people because she wants her windows cleaned. And I will hold true to my word, she will get them done as soon as we have 2 referrals.

Here it is, close to the end of April. We started this thinking that if we got 3 yards this year, we would be happy. We went out and bought a used Simplicity from the main lawn place in town.

It would have been perfect if we stayed with just the 3 yards that we had. But, all of the sudden, we grew. And I mean grew! As of now, we have 7 yards, not including our own. Now, one is just part time, very small yard. One is just one time a month, but very large, and the rest are either every 10 days to 2 weeks. So, this coming Saturday, we have 3 yards to do and windows too. UGH! I will get back to you to let you know that I survived.

This week we picked up another yard. A lady that I go to church with lost her guy from last year and wondered if we could look at it and see if we wanted it. Ok, we go out there and get started, I push, Chuck rides the mower. I don't mind as long as it is FLAT. I got all around the front, around the trees and all over the place. I did this one spot twice, behind the azalea, the first time I got through fine, the second time the branch got hung up, and the third time when Chuck mentioned for me to do it again. Although I had been through there twice, I did it once more. Yep, should have stayed where I was at. I went through, the flowered branch passed by me with a little trouble, the one that was a thick limb, well, it stretched all the way up and came flying back on my thigh. I have a welt that is multicolored right now. And it hurts like anything!

We had been talking about buying a zero turn radius mower. Now, let me explain something here. I have only mowed once on the rider, just once, and that was our own yard. I haven't been on it since. I am not the kind that gets on mowers and knows what I am doing. So, a zero turn radius mower scares me.

We had the chance to buy a commercial mower a few weeks ago. It was used, 95 hours, a $7000 mower for $3000. WOW! But I wasn't so sure of it at the time. When we did finally decide on it, we were 5 minutes too late. Oh well, live and learn.

Today we went out to Vassey's again, for like the umpteenth time. Looked at one of the mowers and then talked to the owner about anything used. Well, he had something, but we thought it was sold, since the tag said "SOLD".

Turns out this man came up from Florida, built a house on a hill, bought the zero turn radius mower, used it for 5 hours, got scared and decided he was going to trade it. Lucky us, we get there, talk to the owner, I have to drive this thing, found out it has a tow package on it, and ended up buying it for about $900 less than a new one. Ok, so this is used only 5 hours, it is new to me. Full warrenty. SOLD!

I told Chuck that we weren't gonna go home and think about this one. Because if we did, it would be gone the next day. Go home, get the trailer and load it up.

Of course I had to try and figure this thing out, I ran into the neighbors bricks going down the hill, ran into my garden and Chuck said I hit something else, not sure, but I am sure I did hit something else.

Chuck decides to let Eric drive it. Now, this thing is fast, Chuck popped a wheelie on it once. Eric gets on it, nearly ran Chuck over
Gets some instruction
And off he goes
Of course he had a blast, while PJ is inside pouting.

Chuck finally gets Eric to stop and get off the mower and gets PJ.

All I hear is laughter and mower engine running, this is what I see

So, we are doing well, staying busy, living life, loving life, enjoying the boys and each other. It is work, but it is so worth it. So, we are a little sore the next day, get over it. We are ahead of what we thought we would be. Actually, we thought we would be looking at 8 yards in August. We are looking at getting another yard from someone that I know, and giving incentive to other customers to get us referrals.

Life is busy, but at least we are having fun at it.

We are doing well, having fun, living life, enjoying the boys and