Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter

Well it is Saturday, Lisa and I are whipped. I gained a new client that wanted service asap, so we squeezed them in and were trying to beat the rain. They had 1 acre surrounded by Leeland cypress trees that needed mowing and trim. Lisa mowed between the cypress while I mowed and trimmed. Then they wanted 6 barberry bushes shaped, 3 dogwoods and 3 burning bushes cut way back, edging removed, weeds pulled, and some other what nots. This was after hanging wall border for someone. We now have a new man in our lives Ben Gay!

Is the economy getting better? I am busier because of the season, tax returns, and cutting prices. A friend of Lisa's just lost her job as an radiologic technologist in a Florida office. That indicates a big No to us. Lisa has applied for a cat scan position at a hospital in Baltimore. It is a 3pm-11pm position with on call once a week. A long drive to work but you do what you need to at this point.

This past year has really made me question the way we live. I am working and doing work that I enjoy but in reality how many years will I be able to do this type of work if the business doesn't grow enough to hire full time employees to lessen the physical load on myself. The house we live in takes up more time than both of us have and is more than what we use. We have to commute to get to work or enjoyable functions. The mileage and upkeep on our vehicles is high. So we have talked about moving. Lisa is thinking more of condo living and I am thinking small bungalow. I still want that privacy and small yard.

Of course this all comes after getting socked with a $320.00 truck shock bill and the need for $625.00 car struts. A hike in truck insurance, lack of work for Lisa, the leftover pangs of last years gas prices, and current electric hikes. I am a person that usually does not sit and wait until something forces my hand but, try to predict what might lie ahead and get a jump start on it. You enjoy different things at different stages of life and I think we are entering a new stage.

To me the things that should be simple are getting harder. I decided to give our riding mower a tuneup the other day to save money of course. Changed the oil, the gas filter, the air filter, replaced fuel line, and the spark plug all without a problem. By the way the cost of that was only $32.89 compared to $167.46 that was charged at the dealership. I noticed that the mechanics get $60.00 an hours to work on mowers. Went to change the blade and put on a sharpened one to no avail. King Kong himself must have put that blade one. I struggled for 2 hours trying to get it off. Then decided to take the whole mower deck off to make it easier. With each bolt and pin removed carefully writing down where everything went I finally got it off 1 hour into it. Not to bad I thought now I can remove the blade and really cleanup the underneath. Even with the deck off the bolt that held the blade was not budging. I had 4 feet of leverage and it was not budging. Several cuss words later, grease laden, and mad as hell I got the hammer out. A small sledge hammer will do wonders! I simply beat the hell out of it. Put the ratchet back on and it screwed right out. Now I am about 4 hours into this mower, did I save money-maybe. Did I get out all my frustration-yes and I won!

I didn't relish getting so dirty and thought it would be much nicer to have a small yard with a little cheap self propelled mower.

I have shopped around for truck shocks for over a month and priced them everywhere. Most were comparable in price so I bought locally. I wanted to put them on myself with the neighbors help but after the lawnmower incident I thought better of it. So I went to the garage in town and was told it would be a three hour wait after I made the appointment the day before. Just Great!
They get $70.00 an hour (they are really nice there though), which I really think this is outrageous pricing. I decided to walk to the bar and restaurant my friend owns in town for lunch.

During my walk I realized that I was the only person in town walking. I kind of felt like an alien from another planet. I wonder why people don't walk more, than realized because we live in a rural town everyone is used to driving. It was still strange. I had lunch and heard way too much of a conversation than I needed to between some men at the bar and the barmaid and decided to head back. On the way I stopped a small convenience store to buy lottery tickets and found two old friends sitting in there having a soda playing keno. Of course we are all gamblers and played awhile reminiscing about old times. We had fun but failed to win anything. Time was slipping by and I decided to walk up the side streets going back to the garage. This proved to be a good ideal.

As I was walking I noticed the homes that needed touch ups, grass mowed, mulch, minor paint jobs and other what nots. This would be a good target area for business and I already had an idea of what needed to be done. A couple residents were out on the porch enjoying the warm day as I stopped to exchange pleasantries. I continued my walk and realized just what a safe town this really is to live in. Oh my once again I am flooded with doubts about the possibility of relocating. Making it back to the garage I was still early but surprised that the mechanic had finished putting on the shocks. Yeah!

I have been dealing there for 10 years now and this is the first time they have asked me where I am from. They were under the impression that I am from the South. I have found this so amusing over the years that people ask me this. Even when I visited the parts of the South. Lisa even will bring up the way I pronounce different words such as bread, mask, sink, eggs, and such. This is what happens when you spend alot of time during formative years with Southern folk (as I have referred to in the past as my second family growing up). The blend of Baltimorian, Country Mason Dixon with West Virginian can make for a different vocabulary sometimes. When I work in Pennsylvania they think that I come from Tennessee. I often have to repeat myself or explain. It can be very strange sometimes.

Well tomorrow is Easter Sunday and supposed to be a sunny day. I miss the Easter egg hunts and Easter baskets. I guess it is still the child in me. My mother was still making me an Easter basket at the age of 32 so that is my excuse for not growing out of it. I gave the dogs their Easter gifts early and they are passed out on the floor like children with their toys next to them after a hard day of play. Lisa spent the day napping and trying to see how many episodes of UFC, the Bering sea fisherman, and survivor man she could watch. I spent the day making a pot of chili and chatting with my sister on the phone. No real big plans for Easter, just a quiet dinner here than going to the relatives for dessert. So on a last note I wish everyone a Happy Easter!


Lucy said...

I think the economy is inching up but slowkly. My son is still out of work but still has a few body shop jobs comming in. They got me the prettiest Easter Plant I have ever had. Have a Happy Easter, you and Lisa. Lucy

mortonlake said...

happy easter kelly.i think the recession has bitten everywhere so hard.hope life keeps good for you,love mort x

Janie said...

Wow! Sounds like you were having to work fast!! The price of things are getting unreal !! Sounds like you have really been busy!! Hope you had a blessed Easter. Janie

Lucy said...

It worked out good taking my pill at breakfast. I do take it with a full glass of water. I slept like a baby last night. Renains to be seen how tonight goes. Hope things are going well for both of you. Lucy

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Hope you had a good Easter. Things are tough all over, but a postive attitude can work wonders.