Thursday, April 30, 2009

Bidding and Quoting and Communication

Being a home owner I am given a lot of opportunity to learn more about my business.  This week I have been getting quotes from gutter companies.  Each time it rains I cringe because I know the gutters I have now are lacking in the water distribution ability.  In the past I've gotten estimates/bids from driveway paving, exterior and interior painting, electrical rewiring, roofing. If it isn't one thing...  I've come to appreciate the position that Art Buyers are in when presented with an estimate.  Price is important  but what I've discovered was communication and personality make a huge difference to me.  I once hired a guy not only for the fact his price was good, his demeanor was comfortable,  he was respectful and he answered my questions with patience and thoroughness.  The money became secondary.  Most bids bounced around the same bottom line.  But the kicker was that as we were going over his approach to paving my drive a hawk flew just behind his head, low and slow.  That was my sign; a nod from my dad.  "Hire him, Sugar Face."   I suppose luck, timing and persistence could play a part too.  

Thursday, April 9, 2009


For years my lawn has been over run by chipmunks and I was talking about the problem with my cousin.  He said his wife hated them because they ruined her garden.  He told me she'd "hold their little heads down in a cup of water."  I was shocked!  But, bing....I thought, you can catch those things.  So for the next few years I've been scheming.  

Now that I have a hen (coyotes got my roosters) I keep feed in my greenhouse.  One day as I am puttering around the patio I spy a munk in the house.  Stealthily I tip toe to the house, doing a body block at the door, I shut myself in and the race is on.  Luckily I was smart enough to get a jacket and gloves after accessing the situation because when I did finally run the chipmunk into the proverbial corner she was like a tasmanian devil.  First thing she did was bite me and then the next things she did was bite me.  When I tried to sweet talk her into calming down, she'd squint
her eyes in anger and bite down really hard.  It was amazing her bravery and anger.  Needless to say I didn't get my picture.  But the next chipmunk was much more agreeable.  

Notice my death grip.  

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Yesterday I was with my mother at dinner time at WMP.  The staff have her with a couple of women now that are so enjoyably sweet, particularly one of them.  I learned yesterday that she is 93.  Her brother comes to visits her weekly who is 94.  He drives himself.  Now that might not be all true.  The minds of many of the residents aren't what they use to be.  Every once in a while during yesterday's meal this sweet lady would announce an observation about her surroundings.  If you stay open you can have quite a good time listening to what the residents say.  One woman was thinking that no one was bringing her meal and she was being ignored that she was "goin' to call the police."  It is hilarious once you get past the sadness of the place.  You have to keep your sense of humor.  Back to our dinner party.....So our 93 year old makes this observation "how wonderful it is to see all these young people helping these old people eat.  I never was that kind."  I said that she helped feed her children.  "Oh yea, sure I fed my own, but I never went around to restaurants and helped other people."