Friday, November 19, 2010

As the world turns 180 degrees this morning

Hi there.  The rain has finally stopped (well, it stopped yesterday).  It is supposed to be sunny for a few days. 

Things have changed once again.  Now we are told we can continue with our building as planned.  Which would be a lot better if the construction crew was actually still in town!  We are working with them to plan a return date.  That could be later today, it could be tomorrow, it could be Monday could be in a week.  We are not sure. 

My mom told me on Wed to wait two days and they would call and all would be well.  So at the moment she is 1 for 1 on this project.  I am sure she has kept a much more updated tally over the years (and if she is willing, she can fill us all in).  If she goes into the business of predictions or whatnot, I will let you all know.  But I am advising her to start that business in her existing home, not trying to build a new space!

Let's all hope that what we are hearing today is good in perpetuity and that mom doesn't create a reversal of things two days from now.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Rain sets in

Well, it is supposed to rain for a couple of more days.  Which is probably ok at this point.

Remember we were discussing the disconnect between lawyers, insurance brokers, accountant and bankers earlier in the blog?  If not, well,  there you have it.  The type of business the lawyers want you to set up may not be what the accountants think is best and so forth.  We have dealt with a lot of that type of stuff. 

Now we are onto a new set of disconnects.  As my friend Ed says, "Sometimes you get all the gov't you pay for."  So work is still progressing a head of a line of rain clouds but once it stops today, we are not sure when it will start again. 

If you are thinking of starting a business or doing new construction, please make sure that the people you are dealing with know what you are doing.  We are now going to be halted for a week or two because after explaining what we were doing extensively, supplying drawings, write ups, forms, etc, someone did not get the message.  And that miscommunication is unfortunately pivotal to everything.  Yes, people make mistakes.  But if you want to know that things are going the way you need them to, those people really should be willing to talk to you, listen to you and answer your questions. 

We will keep you updated but do us a favor and keep your fingers crossed.

If you are not familiar with Office Max's Elf Yourself program, let me tell you, it has been a great stress reliever the last couple of days!  Google it and enjoy!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Fun stuff from framing day

Fri and Sat were absolutely beautiful days.  And none of us were inclined to do much other than sit in the sun and watch construction.  There is a lot of goofiness when we all get together (bodes well for work ethics, eh??).  Here are some random shots from yesterday.



Saturday, November 13, 2010

Trussed Up

Well, the last truss went up about 12:50 pm.  The work crew says they have about 1 hour left of work then they are heading back to Lancaster, PA.  New crew (which includes some of the old crew) will be back on Monday.  It has been a beautiful day to be out watching all the excitement.  As you can see, it got to some of us....But when the pizza arrived, they both perked right up again!

Day 2 construction

 The work crew stayed until 9:30 last night (it gets dark about 5:30 / 6:00 these days) and were back at it by 7:30 this morning.  I do not know why but I was really surprised to see a crane here.  How did I think the four man crwe was going to hoist the trusses up there??  I have no idea! 

Claire is having a great time exploring the machinery and Brigid is having some nice paca moments!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Let the Building Begin

Well, it happened.  The building began this morning.  The post holes were dug and inspected (yup, officially inspected).  The work crew arrived about 10:30 or so and when I arrived about an hour later, they were already working. 

The idea is to frame in the building today and tomorrow.  I am not sure the plan of attack after that but will keep you informed.

It was a beautiful day here today.  Nice and sunny.  We didn;t need coats through the afternoon but by about 4 pm we did.  They are still out working so there might be some px later as well.

Photo one is about noon or so today.  The second photo is about 4:15 pm.  The bottom photo are Angie (Alpaca to left) trying to nonchalantly hide behind a pole and Vera (llama right) pretending not to notice while being highly annoyed. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Pictures of Trusses

Yes, this is the truck that showed up outside my door yesterday.  I wondered how they were going to get the trusses off the truck...Our first delivery on the new driveway!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Not what you are expecting

I know I told you all that construction was to start today.  I truly believed it would (wait, aren't I a card carrying skeptic??).  Somehow, wires were crossed and only the roof trusses were scheduled to arrive today.  And as a bonus, the insulation arrived as well.

It is never as simple as all that though.  Craig let me know the insulation, which we were not expecting, had arrived and being the wonderful person he is, was already tarped and safe from any weather that might occur between now and the end of the week. 

We both have lots of outside work to do with the change of seasons:  I own four huge maple trees between my house and the street; Craig has many acres that house 40 plus alpacas.  So we were both out enjoying a warm fall day serenely prepping for winter while calmly awaiting the delivery of the trusses and subsequently the rest of the building. 

Ramona the mail lady parked her little mail truck where she always does.  And our street is really only about 1.5 lanes.  A huge truck with "Oversized" markers on it pulls up and the driver gets out.  I figure he wants to know when the mail lady will be back so he can get by.  Then I realize he is attempting to deliver the 48 roof trusses...not to Craig's in 84, PA but right here in Bentleyville.  At my house.  So I have to figure out how to turn him around and get him out safely.  So far, no one has come beating on the door to tell me that plan of attack failed. 

The trusses did make it to Craig's about 20 mins later and have been unloaded.  Craig promises to send me pictures later so I can post them for you. 

And apparently, the insulation was also scheduled to be delivered here but he managed to get that truck to him before it arrived here.  And being good, he called the appropriate people to let them know to send the next truck to him.  But somewhere, the message got lost....

Why all the confusion?  Because I own the building that is going up at Craig's (long story) and they are having issues with the whole "billign address" versus "shipping address" issue.  Oh my. 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Site prep basically done

The site prep is basically done.  After many trucks of clay appearing yesterday and graded out, they put down landscaping fabric and mill slag in the driveway / parking lot.  Later they will bring in the stone for these areas.  They also buried the drainpipe for us.

They brought the "little" machine to deal with the pimple.

The entire peanut gallery (except me):  Craig in front.  Left to right behind him are Bill, Brigid, Tim and Zoe.
The end of the day.  Mill site closest, drive and parking farthest.

And for those of you enjoying the published comments, JoAnn is my mother!  Thanks mom for following our progress!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Clay and Rock

At 8:00 am this morning, huge trucks of clay started arriving.  Because of the amount of topsoil removed, the excavator wanted to build the site up with clay before adding rock or say a building. 

I love watching construction.  I have no idea why.  I love watching demolition.  I have no idea why.  I hate the cold but I have been outside watching, clutching my coffee cup (I am inside at the moment though). 


I will add some of Craig's photos later.  I also have a video of the cherry tree coming down I might try to upload  (I promise to plant more trees and shrubs.  Really.  Really really). 

The pimple is popped!

Despite the cold and the intermittent rain / hail on Friday afternoon, the site prep began.  There really was 12 - 24"  of topsoil that had to be pushed aside. 

And apparently, this really is a pimple of a job because it did not take much time to push that topsoil around (when you have the right equipment, the works always goes faster!). 

The px to the left shows the amount of topsoil removed near the road (and this is the lowest spot in the field).  The second px is the site where the building (closest to camera) and the parking lot (farthest) will be.  

Now, I mentioned that it was raining / hailing.  It was in the upper 30s or lower 40s.  Earlier in the day, I decided to try a sauna and swedish massage.  The stress from Wed and Thurs really got to me.  I had spent a lovely morning in a 132 degree room.  My daughter pointed out that there had been about a 100 degree temp change in my day.  Very depressing....Luckily, the site prep happening relieves a great deal of other stress.

84 Alpacas at Linwood Farms website

First things first.  Here is the website for Craig and Bill's farm website:

Friday, November 5, 2010

Soap Box

I have a tendency to soap box every now and then.  Given that we are starting a new business there has been a lot of this lately.  For those of you who might be considering starting a new business, we would like to share some of the not so fun stuff we have gone through. 

Craig and I kind of divvied up duties:  I am dealing with the financials and Craig is dealing with equipment, building, contractors.

One of the funnier issues we have gone through is that we are not married, we are not dating, we are not related.  This seems to be hard for people to understand.  We are friends.  We met about two years ago.  We have a common interest - alpaca fiber.  We identified a need in a small niche market and decided to go into business together. 

The bank can not understand any of this and tries to list us as married.  Craig tells the contractors and everyone that contracts need to be in my name.  Inevitably, they are not initially. 

But at this point, that all seems to be settled.  But here is it Fri, Nov 5.  It rained yesterday, it is raining today.  It is supposed to snow / rain tomorrow (but hopefully not all day).  The excavator has been told time and time again that the site prep needs to be done by Mon, Nov 8.  Yes, I am getting very nervous here.  I emote, Craig internalizes so I am really not sure at the moment if he is nervous or not.  Amazingly enough, with all the stress, my blood pressure was low yesterday!  It is always low.  Must be all the yelling. 

A lot of my stress is from the financial end of things.  We will get into this more later.  But for the moment, let it suffice to say that despite what the SBA and bankers say, they are not willing to help you start a small business.  In fact, I was looking at a book on small business and it said SBA only helps 3% of new businesses.  And recent articles say that even after a small business has been created and has a good history, help is still not available.  Another fallicy perpetuated.  To those of you who have had better luck with financial institutions, good for you.  We were not dealing with a poor credit history, score or lack of assets either.

Enjoy your weekend.  If and when they start moving earth, there will be photos here!  Until then, I will be trying to think positively. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

A pimple of a job

The excavators brought by one very large piece of machinery today.  They now want to start the work on Thurs, if it is not raining (guess what the forecast was for earlier today!). 

The gentleman in charge has informed us that the prep work will be done by Mon, Nov 8 and this is just "a pimple of a job".  From our point of view, it must be a truly huge, volcanic type pimple!  It is all just a matter of scale I guess.

Hopefully you can see the stakes that outline the building site.  These include the building and the porch.  I am "in the office" and Agnes is patrolling the perimeter.  The excavators actually brought the dozer over the ridge and down the hill (the right side of the photo)!  We thought they were bringing it tomorrow and had gone out to get pre-work photos.  Imagine our surprise to find the dozer all ready there and realize we had not heard a thing! 

If you are new to the blogspot way, you should be able to click on the photo and see it enlarged.  And please leave us comments.