Saturday, April 27, 2013

We Are Now Open! Whoot!


I really think Spring is here this time! Snow is melting, puddles are forming, and the bikes are out!

A Great Week!

Well, Integrity RV Service is now officially open for business!

After a week of late nights, a lot of scrubbing, painting, workbench building, sore muscles, and moving, putting, rearranging, recleaning, shopping for forgotten items, and a frazzled nerve or two, we made it!

I made it back from the trade show, and a great, much needed visit with a fantabulous friend, just in time to finish pricing and setting up the remainder of our stock. We only got home Sunday night at about 1:45am, but we did it! After a few hours of sleep we were at the shop and open at 8:30am Monday morning.

Yes, we were beyond tired, and there was still a lot to do, but we were able to get to a place where we could open the doors to the public!

What an incredible feeling! All of the craziness, hoop jumping and incessant rolls of red tape are finally behind us, and we can now enjoy the process of actually getting to run and work in our own business.

It's both liberating and scary to know that our fate in now truly in our own hands. But, if this week is any indication, I think we'll be ok. We've had some trailers booked in, some people in to buy parts, and have been booked to do a seminar of sorts for a 400+ strong camping club in June.

Another new business in town sent us a bouquet of flowers to welcome us to the business community, we have had reps from the town's business development department come and ask if there is anything they can do to help, we have had a very nice man come and assist in repairing one of our overhead doors and refuse any payment, with a grin and a "welcome to town".

As I sit here tonight, writing, it's hitting me. Wow! We really pulled this off! All that's left is some hard work, and, let's face it, we would have been doing that anyway, so it might as well be for ourselves.

Doing the books on computer instead of  with an old fashioned pencil and ledger is a bit of a challenge. I feel like I'm having to retrain my brain to accept that it's ok not to have all of the paper. That I can trust that the computer software really does know what it's doing, and it will all balance out in the end.

I'm figuring it out. Thankfully, I have some brains to pick and have had a fair bit of experience with computers in other capacities, going in without any computer knowledge would be scary as hell!

On the home front, we are still a three ring circus, with a seemingly endless supply of chaos, laundry, meals and dirty dishes. There is also plenty of hugs, giggles, and exciting puddle splashing
stories to share. There are sticky, toast stealing little fingers, and the completely delightful sense of humour totally wrapped in fart jokes that every five year old boy seems to share.

In a world where senseless violence rips families apart in the blink of an eye, where, at times, so little thought seems to be given to the value of life, I am very thankful to have the life I do, chaos and all.

We are here. We are healthy. We have each other. We have so much to be grateful for.

Now, for the upcoming week.......

Get my first official "month end" completed.....

Get caught up on laundry........

Finish setting up my shop "office" ( ok, it's a nook under the stairs, but it'll work)

Start prepping for a wedding we are doing in June......

Rehearse for our show in Denzil on May 4th.......

Prep for trade show in Outlook on May 4th.....(not a typo, they are both May 4th)

Get some more work done on next book..........

Well, that about does it from this end for this week, until next time, I'll leave you with this wish.....

May you find in life that someone who will jump in the deep end with you, not to save you, but to share the thrill.
May you find that someone who will meet you wherever you are, even if it's not half way, but in a valley or on a hill.

May you find that someone who really knows you, every flaw, every quirk, and loves you, not in spite of them, but because they make you who you are.
May you find that someone who makes you feel you are everything, the breath, the beat, the only, by far.

May you find that someone, one who really hears, not only what you say, but all that lies between every word
May you find your someone, recognize them, it's in their voice as they whisper your name, the sweetest sound ever heard.

Until next time!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Juggling In The Dark!

Hi Folks!

Well I'm afraid this week's ramblings may have to be cut a bit short. This week did not at all go according to my grand plan, as usual, but because of that we are going to be scrambling to be ready for Monday's opening.

The plumber has come and gone, there was water freezing issues, and, well, I bet you didn't know that a toilet could do double duty as a ornamental fountain!

The electricians have come and gone, everything went well there. (insert big sigh of relief!)

Oh yeah, and to start the week off perfectly, I came down with some kind of stomach bug that took me out for THREE days! Not only did I end up having to miss Oprah(sigh), but, that also meant we lost half of our workforce for those days. I would have tried to go anyway and just do what I could, but without a bathroom???? Not so much.

Oh yeah, and I still have no interac, the pinpad that was sent, didn't work. (Yay)

Our first official customer's trailer has been repaired, and went out the door, with a very happy owner.

So now, here is where we sit......

A little lunch room has come from the ashes of a greasy, dirty, storage closet. An "under the stairs" junk catching space has been transformed into an office/supplies/parts area.

The framework of a 16ft workbench has been constructed.

The two shipments have been received and gone through and entered into inventory.

And we now have a functioning bathroom!

So now, I'm afraid I need to run. I need to get to the shop, get as much done as I can there before leaving to go to North Battleford for a trade show! I still need to get packed up, do book count, etc. for that.

When I get back tomorrow evening, I will again meet my hubby at the shop to put the finishing touches on the shop before opening on Monday!

So my friends, I'll leave you for another week, until then.........

May every minute you need stretch out into an hour.
May you make reality the dreams of an luxurious, long shower.

May all the moving parts come together as one cohesive, beautiful piece of art.
May nothing fall to the ground,  though you feel you're juggling in the dark.

May positivity surround you and keep negativity at bay.
May it, in the end, everything, all of it, simply be okay.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Spring Has Sprung! Yeah.....No...


It saddens me to tell you that this is the view from my little writing nook, as of about 10 minutes ago, and for the last 6 months.  It seems that Mother Nature has fallen asleep at the wheel and forgot to take the last couple of exits onto the Spring off ramp. Something tells me that maybe a sobriety test may be in order.

Although this winter has overstayed it's welcome about as much as a "fragrance sample engineer" with a twitchy finger who doesn't know when her shift ends, and follows you home, it is what it is.
Looking at the bright side it has, and is buying us a little time with the shop. The timing should be pretty good. By our opening day, people just might be able to get their RV's out of the snowbanks in their yards!

So, this past week..........

Found out that the "little angel" I told you about a few weeks ago is doing fantastic! He is about to part take in his baby shower this weekend!

We picked up our counters and got them into the shop.

This is when we unfortunately found out that our hopes of getting the heat,water, and electrician in to do their work would have to wait, as the previous owner was not able to get his stuff out as soon as planned. (Weather hindrances!)

We were able to go and pick our sign and Hubby was able to assemble it here at home. It looks awesome! Thanks Amanda! It is pretty heavy and is going to pose a challenge when it comes to mounting it to the post, but I'm sure we will figure it out.

We received a call from a customer and he is bringing his trailer in on Tuesday. We aren't officially open until the 22nd, but he's leaving and won't be back for 10 days, and he need it fixed. We'll figure it out.

Needless to say, with no water or heat, we were not able to get the jump on the scrubbing and painting we had hoped to. It's going to be a loooooonnnnngggg week!

Also, because of the delay, I had to postpone our stock shipment until Monday. So our stuff isn't going to be getting here until Wednesday. Gonna be a bit of a scramble to try and get everything ready for the 22nd. Might have to take an airbed to the shop camp out for the week! (I wish that was entirely a joke!)

And as an added bonus, I woke up, yesterday with some flu bug thing that knocked me on my butt for the entire day! Yeah, that was handy.

Anyway, today is a lot better, back to my laundry doing, roast cooking, email returning self.  so grateful it was just a short, whatever it was.

So for the upcoming week..........

Tomorrow........have a date with my second eldest daughter for dinner and then Oprah! so looking forward to it!

Monday......Meet plumber and electrician at the shop and get them set up. Clean up the store portion of the shop and get the counters set up. Run back home to pick up IT person so she can come and set up computer/cash register/accounting stuff. Learn what she needs to teach me, get the bathroom functional, clean out our "lunch room", buy microwave, mini-fridge, coffee maker, and toaster, that will constitute our "kitchen". Get IT girl back home. customer at the shop, continue to scrub, build benches, paint etc....

Wednesday.......receive our first shipments of stock! Yay!

Thursday......figure out and fix any mistakes made receiving aforementioned stock, continue painting and cleaning.

Friday......see Thursday

Saturday.......head to North Battleford for trade show(cross your fingers that my copies of Lexi and Crazy don't run out!) and great time with some dear friends!

Well folks, that about does it for me for this week, until next time I'll leave you with this wish.........

May the warm breath of Spring be felt upon your cheeks, the gentle fragrance of her blossoms tickle your nose.
May the fragile blades of infant grass break through with abandon, and caress your long awaiting toes.

May the heat of the sun reach the earth, where you are, just enough to put a kiss on your skin.
May you feel deeply the rejuvenation, the regeneration, of your own Spring, within.

May everything cold and bitter give way to all that is light, breezy and bright.
May you gather the sunshine to you closely, and hang on with all your might.

Until next week!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

So The Light At The End Of The Tunnel Wasn't Even A Train! Yay!


Well,  it's been a long battle, but all of the phone calls, doing research, pitching, convincing, doing more research,  taking classes, meetings, losing sleep, frazzled nerves, picking brains, business plan making, contract revising, and bouts of frustration finally paid off!

We picked up the final papers from our financier, took them directly to the lawyer and signed them. We now have the final result of the loooooonnnnnnggg awaited environmental study and we are in the clear. This is something that coffee row told us a long time ago, but they apparently need more official documentation. Could have saved a lot of time and money, if they would have just taken our word for it, but, what are ya gonna do?

So, this past week has been pretty eventful, and the weeks ahead are sure to be just as much so. But, at least now, it all has a tangible purpose. We will take possession of the shop within the next few days, and we will open April 22.

I have no delusions that the hardest part of starting a business is over and done. We are very aware of the hard work that lies ahead. We are no strangers to hard work, it's just been that up to now, our hard work has always put a pretty healthy lining in our employers pockets. This is the first time our crazy work ethic will actually work truly in our favour.

We were told by both groups of financiers that if it was based on the numbers alone, we wouldn't have qualified. The business we are starting doesn't really have a predecessor. We are one of only two RV service shops independent of  dealerships in the province. And the other guy only does it part-time from his acreage.  It's new ground. 

We were told they were willing to take the chance because we are survivors, we always have done, and continue to do whatever it takes to make things happen.

It's funny, throughout our life together, we've learned to adapt on a dime, been slapped with roadblocks, hit with illness, job loss, injury, floods, and things that, when they happen, all you can do is sit back and think, really? Like we don't have enough to handle?

We never really took the time to examine or even really look at it. We just did. I guess, that's a quality that people are willing to have faith in. Who knew that someday, it would provide the tipping point on building something like this?

We are incredibly grateful.

Oh, did I mention we were also booked for a couple of dj/karaoke shows. One for May 4th and one for August 3.

So in the upcoming few days.................

Sunday evening and Monday will be spent picking up our counters in Unity........(gonna take a couple of trips)

Tuesday..................with any luck, get the heat and water hooked up at the shop, email  wedding questionnaire to upcoming bride (djing their reception in June)

Wednesday...... Get the shop phone lines and wifi hooked up

Thursday....start scrubbing and painting

Friday.......continue scrubbing and painting and probably receive our first order of stock

Saturday.......see Thursday

Well guys, that about does it for this week....

Until next time, I'll leave you with this wish.......

May you witness the fruits of your labours falling bountifully at your feet.
May every piece be glorious, fully ripe, with a taste so simply sweet.

May every step you take bring you closer to the dreams you wish fulfilled.
May you realize the path to those dreams rarely runs straight, is often bumpy and chilled.

May you work as hard to realize your dreams as you would, that of your child.
May you see the value of that example, that you consider yourself worthwhile.

May you take the time to absorb the scenery along the way, dark as it sometimes may be.
May you soak in the entire journey, for every mile taken, earned, has set your soul free.