Sunday, June 14, 2009

Pleasant surprises, and some not so pleasant

I signed the loan papers Friday evening and will deposit the money in the morning. I am now (gulp) a business owner, along with the joys and the tribulations that come along with that.

On the joy side of things, it turns out I did all my profit and loss projections using numbers from the larger loan amount I went after (purposeful on the part of the REAP people who gave me the loan), so my loan payment turned out to be nearly $240 less than I had projected. THAT kind of suprise I will take any day! :)

Another joy was discovering the hardwood oak floors under all the grime in the caboose. Pretty! I want to sand them down and stain them, but my hubby thinks I am biting off more than I can chew. He thinks I should just paint them. He did, however, work really hard to get all the dirt, grime and old paint off them with the pressure washer this weekend. The look much better, and once they are dry, I'll take some new photos.

I will pick up red/orange/whatever implement paint at the ranch supply store tomorrow, as it is cheaper than regular paint and covers rust well. It is also impervious to the elements, so it is the perfect choice for the exterior of the caboose. Whatever version of red it turns out to be, it will be coupled with John Deere yellow or a similar color of exterior paint on the ends and on the cupola. I had thought I would spray on the paint, but my father-in-law thinks it would be easier to roll it on. I think I will spray the ends (extruded metal on the decks won't take a roller well), then roll the red on the sides (covering any overspray from the yellow).

On the tribulation side of things, when we removed the "boiler" from the corner, it turned out not to be empty, and not to have held water -- it was a diesel tank and it was full of red diesel. So, the owners of the building drained it into 5-gallon buckets, but it leaked all over the floor inside. We got most of it up with the power washer and some degreaser.

Another tribulation was that when we took the old diesel stove out and removed the plywood plank it was sitting on, we found that the plank covered a very large burn hole in the floor. I made sure the caboose owners knew about that one! I sure wouldn't want them to think I did it with the wood stove!

The plumber came to put in the toilet, but the used (hardly used and very clean) one we planned on putting in was too big, and of course, the newer smaller ones, cost approximately $60 more than the older larger style does. So, my $350 bathroom plumbing bill just went through the roof -- because a lot more man hours will now be involved, and I have to buy a brand new toilet.

The local electrician is too busy to take on another job, and there isn't another "local" guy, so I am now going to make the round robin of calls to electricians from neighboring communities to find someone with time on their hands, who can drop everything to help me get this thing wired. I'm already looking at mid July before I can be up and running, and that is IF we can find someone to run the electrical and wire the caboose, and IF we can find someone to run the water line and put in a septic tank (and do it all cheaply -- as the estimates for both are $8000 but I was only awarded $2500 towards that).

Then, to make matters worse, I sit down to make out my orders and I find gold has QUADRUPLED in price since I applied for the loan, so my "gold stock" line item is woefully inadequate.

But, the extranneous items are now out of the caboose -- no more desks, stools, diesel stoves or tanks, and no more iron whatevers soldered to the walls. The floors and walls are clean and we covered over two of the leaking windows with plastic, which should prevent further floor damage due to water.

Next weekend I will paint the exterior while the family goes camping.

This week I have to take the pressure washer back to the rental agency (65 miles away) and buy paint and Father's Day gifts on Monday and hurry back for my daughter's t-ball game in the afternoon; work at the gallery on Tuesday and get my state pieces ready to go; drive the state pieces to the state show in Kearney (120 miles away) on Wednesday and get back in time to take my daughter to the rodeo 65 miles from home (in the other direction) that evening. Thursday will be a momentary chance to breathe. Whew!

Saturday I would like to take a landscape pastel course at the state conference, but it is probably full already, and pick up the state entries (hopefully leaving one or both of mine behind for the traveling show because I received Awards of Excellence). Lofty dreams, since I have never won an award at the state show.

I HAVE, however, been hard at work creating pieces for the upcoming "Summer" challenge at

I have two seraphinite pieces and two lapis lazuli/sodalite pieces so far.

Now I had better work some more on my orders so I can keep my budget in line.

Happy creating!

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